Inching towards mediocrity.

Fourteen fears that you’ll probably never have. (Now with 81% more mole-rats!)

Fear. It is the great divider. It is what separates ordinary from the extraordinary. It can reduce the greatest hero to a gibbering mass of terrified jelly, and when overcome, can elevate the lowliest peasant to heights of courage only dreamed about by mortal man. It descends into the deepest, darkest recesses of our souls and exposes our true nature for all the world to see – utilizing evil images, emotions and visions to tear  us down from the inside. Fear takes on the form of whatever disturbs us the most, and taps into our cultural and emotional psyche to become objectified forms of the things that frighten us the most.

We fear what can not be explained; we fear the things that we do not understand; and sometimes, we fear things that are just plain weird.

Fear, Itself.

I understand phobias up to a point. Some things are just inherently creepy, no matter how much you understand them or how small a threat they may actually pose to your well being. Your friend Lu Galasso, for example, is terrified of spiders. It might not be full-blown arachnophobia, but I still take it very, very seriously.

In my defense, though...that is seriously fucking creepy.

See, arachnophobia makes sense to me – and not just because I may or may not have it. I’m not bothered by snakes or rats, but I can understand those fears as well. These are seriously creepy creatures, and have been used as examples of fear for centuries in culture. And it has nothing to do with deadlieness, or poison, or what have you. Few, if any, spiders in Canada can kill you. In fact, there are actually very few spiders, scorpions, snakes and what have you anywhere in the world that pose a legitimate threat to a full grown, healthy male. A level-headed person who isn’t afraid of spiders (ie, my father) will calmly explain this fact to me after witnessing me freak out for thirty seconds at having touched one. They’ll remind me that it can’t hurt me, and I’ll agree, just before I take off running in the opposite direction.

Fear and You!

The point is, fears are internalized and usually stem from some unknown trauma in the person’s past. You may find Jeremiah Krunderdunk’s (not a real person) fear of rats to be a bit odd at first, but then when you discover that as a young boy Jeremiah got lost in a sewers for three days, you can start to understand why he might be a little trepidatious around the little cheese-gobblers.

Some people find this little guy terrifying. I, however, find him kind of adorable.

Certain things elicit a fearful response from people because of their history. Sure, rats are cute little pets now, but there was a time when they were known primarily as disease and plague spreaders. And snakes, while again not to bothersome to yours truly, were responsible (and in some places, still are) countless deahts throughout history.

Okay. So maybe this looks A BIT terrifying.

So, yeah. I can totally get some fears. Regardless of how they make me feel personally, I can at least understand them

However, not all fears are as justifiable as that. Now, I don’t want to mock these people openly (alright, maybe I do a little) because these are real phobias, and I’m sure there’s a perfectly good explanation for why they exist. Or at least there’d better be…because some of these are pretty out there.

Fourteen Phobias That Shouldn’t Be Phobias (And Kind of Frighten Me That They Are).

I’m gonna list these bad boys in alphabetical order since I have no other criteria here. Also, I’d like to point out, that these are all (to my knowledge) 100% real, and documented.

One. Allodoxaphobia – Fear of opinions.

Is this, like, fear of other people’s opinions or forming your own? If it’s the former, than that’s pretty messed up. If it’s the latter, than I think Bill O’Reilly might suffer from this OH SNAP.

Two. Caligynephobia – Fear of beautiful women.

I’m pretty sure I might actually suffer from this…

Three. Pogonophobia – Fear of beards.

Seems like an odd one. Was Abraham Lincoln scary? Is Steven Spielberg scary? Is THIS guy scary?!?

If by "scary" you mean "delightful" than yes.

That’s what I thought. Oh…wait.

Mel Gibson ponders as only Mel Gibson can.

Mel Gibson ponders as only Mel Gibson can.

Now I get it.

Four. Pupaphobia – Fear of puppets.

I suppose bits of felt glued together to make an anthropomorphic mitten can be a bit scary, but let’s be serious here!

Oh, wait…unless they’re talking about these kinds of puppets.

This video scared the shit out of me as a kid. To this day, I still can’t listen to a Phil Collins song without falling apart.

Though I suppose that can be said about most people.

Five. Eurotophobia – Fear of female genitalia.

See number two.

Six. Geniophobia – Fear of chins.

The obvious thing here would be to make a Jay Leno joke. But I’m better than that.

This is pretty much to scale, folks.

God I hate Jay Leno.

Seven. Consecotaleophobia – Fear of chopsticks.

I don’t recall seeing a “fear of knives” on here, or even “fear of sporks.” Which is odd, because really, what’s more terrifying than a half spoon, half fork hybrid?

Not even science can explain this atrocity.

I rest my case.

Eight. Arachibutyrophobia – Fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth.

This one is so damn specific, it has to be real. Now, admittedly, this can be annoying. But to fear it? To actually avoid the creamy taste of peanut butter because your worried about the sticky goodness adhering itself to your mouth?

This kid is the bravest man I know.

I would endure nearly anything for the dreamy taste of peanut butter. You arachibutyrophobes are missing out.

Nine. Gnosiophobia – Fear of knowledge.

I bet Bill O’Reilly also suffers from this. HA!

Also, dumb people.

Ten. Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia – Fear of long words.

I think the scariest thing here is the unrestrained irony used in naming it.

Eleven. Ithyphallophobia – Fear of seeing, thinking about or having an erect penis.

If I had this, I would be terrified, like, seventeen hours a day. (Yes, even when I’m sleeping).

Twelve. Methyphobia – Fear of alcohol.

Some days I wish I had this fear. Usually on those days where I wake up inside a tiger cage wearing a sailor’s outfit and reeking of cheap gin and vomit.

Totally. Worth it.

Nope, I take it back. I would never wish for this.

Thirteen. Tremophobia – Fear of trembling.

Much like number ten, the irony here is just staggering.

Fourteen. Zemmiphobia – Fear of the great mole rat.

When I typed “great mole rat” into Google image search, I got this:

Ah. My old friend the naked mole rat.

Now, I don’t know for sure if this guy is the “great mole rat” they speak of. To be honest, I only know of the one mole rat, and he’s buck naked. And not very great.

Either way, the odds of running into one of these guys in your daily life – slim to nil. The odds of one of these guys noticing you if they DO run across your path – slimmer. They’re blind, you see, and mostly stay underground.

Also, they’re AWESOME.

The Wrap-Up.

So there you have it. Make no mistake, dear reader, the point of this entry was not to educate. I would never dare attempt such a thing. No, the point of this article was to perhaps make you feel slightly better about yourself.

The next time you freak out a the site of a large spider or small rodent, just remember – at least you’re not afraid of beards.


3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Thanks for the smile … enjoyed this.

Comment by dggass

Anytime! Glad you enjoyed it.

Comment by Luciano Galasso

I love the huntsmen spider – They are everywhere in Australia.

Comment by Phill

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