Folks, there are a lot of scary things in this world – like bears and sharks and bear-sharks…but I am sometimes surprised by the things that many people are afraid of. I get clowns and snakes. I get being afraid to fly. I get being afraid to try a new sexual position because you are afraid of throwing your back out. But some things…I just don’t get at all…or maybe in some cases…I do.
Here is a list of my favorite phobias:
1. Ranidaphobia (a fear of all things related to frogs). With the exception of the Poison Dart Frogs of South America, what is there about these things that inspires such blood curdling fear? My own son is deathly afraid of them. Maybe it’s because Kermit tried to suffocate him as an infant? Of course, maybe I am looking at it from the wrong perspective..anyone that plays the banjo while singing in a swamp is terrifying to me too…(hums that one song from that one movie).
2. Ithyphallophobia (the fear of the erect penis). This one I totally get. I am terror-stricken by them too. I would totally not make it in prison…
3. Ephebophobia (the fear of youth/young people). Is this why that crazy guy runs outside screaming at me to to get off his lawn even though I am on the other side of the street? I just thought he was ornery. Is he secretly afraid that my youthful demeanor will infect him thereby inspiring him to play video games or eat Funions? Or maybe he thinks I will attempt to sell him cookies?
4. Gymnophobia (the fear of being seen while you are naked). Totally get this one too! Being naked is something I avoid, because I am just not good at it. I look so bizarre that I could turn you to stone. I make Joan remove her contacts, turn off all the lights, and wear a blindfold that is duct-taped on before we have sex. I also wear a wet-suit when we shower together because I don’t want to frighten her. I maintain that I get just as clean showering fully clothed as most people get showering in the buff.
5. Ambulophobia (a fear of walking). Is this the excuse that lazy people use for not exercising? Is this how you eventually end up on Springer because you had to be fork-lifted out of your home? How do you get around? Is this fear even real? I have never gone out in public and seen some guy crawling around the mall. If I did I would just think he was creepy and avoid him like we do the homeless.
6. Chiraptophobia (a fear of being touched). Okay this is a mixed bag for me. On one hand, if I don’t know you…don’t touch me. On the other, if you think I may want to know you then by all means. And if you are my girlfriend, then please touch me! I like to be scratched behind the ears. Although, I wonder if this would excuse me from TSA screenings?
7. Hadephobia (the fear of Hell). I should have this one…considering if it exists, then I am probably going there. Okay, so probably is my way of being optimistic. But some people are so terrified of the imagination of John Milton and Dante Alighieri that they deny themselves every experience for fear it will damn them. (The bible actually has no description of hell in it for those that didn’t know that. And our whole concept comes from those two gentlemen whom I just named.)
8. Kathisophobia (a fear of sitting down). This, along with lounging, laying about, and all things related to sloth, is among my favorite hobbies. I can’t imagine never sitting down! I look for reasons to do it! Maybe that kid that refused to sit in middle school wasn’t just acting out – maybe he was terrified of what would happen if he sat! Is this why that one guy always jumps up to give me his seat on the bus? I thought he just found me attractive…
9. Achondroplasiaphobia (the fear of little people. And by little people, I mean midgets). I love midgets. They are awesome. I remember watching the Wizard of OZ and thinking that Dorothy could get eaten by the Cowardly Lion for all I cared so long as the Lollipop Guild was okay! Where would we be without Midget NASCAR (races involving Power Wheels)? Or Midget Wrestling?
10. Tachophobia (the fear of going fast). Speaking of NASCAR, this is what Ricky Bobby was afraid of! I didn’t even know that the fear of speed was a real thing. Maybe, Ricky Bobby was meant to be an inspirational film and not a comedy. Think of all those poor helpless souls who fight daily against their aversion to moving faster than a postal worker, who could watch Talladega Nights and know that they, too, could overcome their illness!
11. Gynephobia (the fear of women). Actually, every man on earth should have this phobia. Women scare the hell out of me. Joan can give me a look and suddenly I become a frightened child of six afraid to look in the closet because of the monsters that hide there! All I can say is “Run” if you ever piss one off!
12. Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia (the fear of the number 666). This has to be the longest, most unpronounceable name in the history of phobias. I am more afraid of trying to say this aloud than I am of a random number. It’s like someone was acting out demonic possession and spewed out some nonsense and someone else thought that would make the perfect word to express this phobia. Why would anyone be afraid of numbers anyway? They are all made up and arbitrary anyway – like religion! I think there are many more things to be afraid of than this…things that make sense like Cacophobia (fear of ugly people – because we all know we run screaming when one of them hits on us!) or Ephebiphobia (a fear of teenagers – which shouldn’t be confused with the fear of youth. Because as Project X taught us, these little bastards are capable of destroying whole neighborhoods!)
So there you have it…my list of things we should (and maybe shouldn’t) be afraid of. It’s funny that there isn’t an actual term for a fear of bears. Some say that it should be ursophobia since the Latin name for bear is Ursus…but I think it should be called Cuztheywilleatandmaimusophobia – because they can and will…