Sunday, October 28, 2007

Scary Week

I'm scared. Right this second I'm sitting alone in the house and it's dark and windy outside and I've allowed my mind to start on it's usual chain of neurotic obsessive thought which starts off innocently with something like "I wonder if that brie was too old" and usually ends with me being dead in a ditch somewhere. I know you can't see any connection between those two things - possibly old brie and ending up dead in a ditch somewhere, but I can see it eventually if I keep on obsessing, which I will.

I'm scared of all kinds of things. Most of them are stupid, some of them are terrifying, which sounds like I'm stating the obvious because duh, if I'm scared of something then naturally it should be something scary, but actually, a lot of the things that scare me aren't truly scary. Like mayonaise. I'm very scared of mayonaise. I find it to be the most revolting substance on earth. I've stopped ordering chicken sandwiches all together because although I always clearly state no mayo, I inevitably dread that slow peel back of the bun because more often than not I will see that oily, white horrifying substance that I have despised since I was a toddler.

Halloween is this week and Halloween is my favorite holiday. Recently a few people have asked me why I like Halloween so much and I think it has to do with a certain sense of abandon people get around this time of year. I like the creativity. I like that Halloween validates the darkness in us all, or at least the darkness in me. My inner teenage goth girl loves to surface on Halloween where that day only she may wear her spider pin and burn a tacky candle in the shape of a skull head without people sending her in for psychiatric evaluations.

A lot of my love and adoration for Halloween has to do with candy, but I try to sound all smart and lofty and usually don't admit that I just like Reeses Cups and cream soda Dum Dums, as well as Snickers Minis and those wax bottles filled with some kind of scary chemical water that looks like Windex or antifreeze. I love those wax bottles. I pour out the scary chemical water and chew on the paraffin. See, something else I'm scared of - chemical water. It's probably just water and food coloring, but what if it's like amoeba water from Mexico or what if the food coloring is made out of beetles or worse yet, what if it's some cancer causing pesticide derivitive, because I'd rather drink beetle water than cancer causing pesticide water, because then I'd end up dead in a ditch somewhere and I'd be dead of cancer. You see how it goes now? I went from candy to dead in a ditch in just a few run-on sentences. You too can be totally neurotic in just a few short steps.

Perhaps, and this is just a theory, I love Halloween so much because in some odd way, I think I enjoy being scared. Dr. Phil (whose show has gone to beyond shit and is now at the level of Jerry Springer and Maury Povich and not that it was ever that fantastic to begin with, but still) would say that being scared of everything must be doing something for me. I think it provides me with a certain safe thrill, especially since my myriad fears are mostly mundane.

The other night I went to a reading given by one of my teachers and she read an essay where she talked about her fears that she can't explain and it was hilarious and brilliant. My own ranting about being scared can't even come close, and I don't want anyone to think I'm ripping her off. I'm writing about fear because it's Halloween and because at this very moment I am scared in a house alone on a proverbial dark and stormy night where I know with at least 99.9% certaintly that nothing will happen.

Most of my fears, and really most of everyone's fears come from things they heard, saw or experienced in childhood. They become almost like fear fetishes. This is how the majority of my fears developed, such as the fear of German Shepherds because one bit me in the ass when I was 9 and wearing lavender pin striped culottes. I'm also scared of culottes as a result. I'm scared of food poisoning because I had it, scared of anything made with cream of mushroom soup, velveeta, harboiled eggs and crushed ritz crackers or any combination thereof because most of my childhood meals involved casseroles guaranteed to send one screaming in terror over the Mason-Dixon line into the North where people eat normal foods.

My mother scared the crap out of me telling me I was going to get two deadly diseases called crotch rot and trench mouth. Crotch Rot could be a number of things I really don't want and trench mouth I think is actually tetanus. Crotch Rot is caused by wearing wet bathing suits, too small pants, not washing, boys and playing with yourself or all of the above because all those things usually go together and all of them will eventually lead you to death in a ditch. Trench Mouth on the other hand you get from eating dirt and drinking out of mudpuddles, which I have never done, I assure you, so I have no clue why my mother feared I'd get Trench Mouth. You'd think with all the cussing I do that Trench Mouth would be my middle name by now.

I have a ridiculous fear of being poisoned and since I've never been poisoned I'm assuming this came from a past life where I imagine that I was the person hired by a king to test all of his food and honey mead to be sure that his evil brother in law, who was second in line for the throne, wasn't trying to do him in. One time maybe he was and maybe that was the end of whoever I was. You can see how that job could cause someone a phobia that transcends incarnations. My fear of being poisoned gets on the nerves of everyone who knows me. I'm always sniffing and smelling and inspecting my food and I won't eat at a lot of places because they seem like their food would definitely kill me, hence the fact that I will not be eating Ox Tail Fish Dinners at the B & M anytime soon. See picture below.

I'm scared of iguanas because we have them in the wild here and they get big and look mean. I saw an orange one the other day and that scared me a lot worse than the green ones. I'm not entirely fond of pet birds because they seem like they want to poison my food and eye me suspiciously out of the corner of their eye with their head all cocked to the side. Birds are also sharp. I have a mild fear of people who go out in public with snakes draped around their necks. I'm not scared of the snakes, just the people who go out in public with them draped around their necks.

I love scary things too. I like scary movies but then I get scared and change the channel, which I also love, so I won't go see scary movies in the theater, because you know, that is just TOO scary.

I TiVo Ghost Hunters and watch that, but it's boring as watching 12 cups of coffee brew so I fast forward to "The Reveal." They never find anything though. That damned show. I swear to God, it's the same thing every week. They go to the home of some inevitable, total white trash family who has clearly watched too many B-Movie Horror flicks and tried to contact their dead Grandma on the Ouija Board a case of Labatts more than they should have, and then they get to thinking that they have a poltergeist and call in TAPS. Since the show is in New England the families are that particular New England type of white trash which is very different from my kind of Southern white trash. New England white trash is a little more urban and a little more into sports, so you'll get some 400 pound woman in a Patriots Jersey, who lives in some run down house outside of Boston, who is on disability and swears that the ghost knocked down all her framed posters of unicorns, wizards and Josh Beckett. She will then assure TAPS that her ghost is "Wicked Scary" and her oldest son will then come into the 1970s style harvest gold and wood paneled kitchen to comment that this whole thing is "Retodded." Because it is.

Then TAPS will setup all kinds of equipment, and turn off all the lights, which does nothing except make it more scary. I'm serious. Do ghosts care about the lights being on? No they do not, but TV producers do and they want the show all Blair Witch, Night-Vision-y looking, but personally I think that a lot of these people's houses are a lot more scary with the lights on where you can see their mirrored sunburst headboards and the fact that they didn't bother to clean at all despite a TV show being filmed on premises. Maybe they get it confused with Clean House. Oh I just thought of something brilliant - a Clean House Ghost Hunters combo!! They can get rid of the ghost AND the 27 trashbags of junk the home's inhabitants have saved since they were five, although they are now 43. It would be perfect.

So TAPS turns out the lights, waits around, and scares the holy mother of shit out of themselves until they imagine cold spots and things brushing against them that are probably only fuzz balls since none of the homes they visit have been vacuumed since ever. Then they get sick of nothing happening, pack up, turn the lights back on and go back and find nothing except that the house has a leak, the furnace is loud and the cat is behind all the eerie sounds. Every single show is the same thing. Crazy people, dirty house, turn off the lights, get scared of nothing, find leaky pipes and faulty wiring and leave with the people disappointed because for some reason they all seem to WANT a portal to Hell in their kid's bedrooms. Yet I watch in hopes that once, just once, TAPS will actually find something. I can not explain my insistence. I guess it's like why little kids won't go to bed. I don't want to miss something because you know just as soon as I stop TiVoing, they'll find something cool and I won't see it and that would be tragic. See, I'm afraid of missing things too.

Because I'm petrified of carpal tunnel, I'm going to stop. I would like to announce though that in honor of Halloween, this is officially SCARY WEEK!! Every post will be related to something scary, all week, or, um, all half a week since Halloween is Wednesday.

As I am exploring fears, tell me what things scare you.

UPDATE: I am so thrilled and so excited to tell you that we have already raised almost $900.00 for the Wide Lawns Birthday Charity Challenge!! Thank you so much to everyone who has linked and donated. I know my birthday is not going to suck ass this year now. If you haven't seen the challenge yet go HERE and check it out. We are also in third place on the General Blogs Leaderboard which has aroused my competitive have to be the best at everything nature, so I'd really like to move up to second place. First place is some Tomato person who knows Claire Danes and has raised $100,000 so I'm not even going to try to touch that, but I know we can at least do second place, right? Of course we can.


saintseester said...

I am deathly afraid of clowns and clown like items. So much so, that I had to leave a picadilly cafeteria on kids' night. They had a clown.

Subservient No More said...

Oh I feel you there. I'd have to leave the Picadilly too, on account of its casseroles and heavy hand with the mayo.

A said...

Spiders. When I was about 8, my dad told us of a time when he was spending the night at my uncle's house and he was sleeping in the basement, on the floor, in a sleeping bag (don't have any idea why he was sleeping on the floor -- I kind of blocked out the whole purpose of the story when he got to the next part...) when he woke up to find a black widow spider crawling across his forehead. I've weirded myself out so much, I can't even write about it anymore. Fu*@ing spiders.

MamaD4 said...

I almost choked when you started in on the "particular brand of New England white trash"...we live in RI (for the moment) and I know exactly what you mean. My husband calls RI "the gilded turd"...I can't believe that so many extremely wealthy and extremely trashy people co-exist in such close proximity. Seriously, our Wal-Mart in Newport is THE hang out for some of the weirdest people in the US!

Ghost Hunters are based out of Warwick, which is right around the corner...haven't you seen the one where they go to that prison and the "ghost" pushes that dude down? That seemed pretty realistic, but I know what you mean...a lot of hype, not a lot of scare power.

Husband and I have been watching "The Sopranos" again, so I laughed at your description of how some folks up here have the fugliest decorating ever. The thing that bugs me the most about Sopranos is how these seemingly rich mob people live in the UGLIEST houses...ugh. Junior's house...aaaacccckkk!!!

Anonymous said...

Iguanas turn orange when they are pregnant. Its a survival trait because orange looks poisonous.

China Doll said...

Ghost Hunters has had a few episodes that were amazing in what they found - watch the Eastern State Penitentiary one, the one at the property of the Manson Family Murders, um...there's a lighthouse one that has a moving, full body apparition...for everyone good one, there's ten boring ones, but the good ones are really, really good. Oh, Waverly Hills Sanitorium is good, and the Stanley Hotel (where Steven King wrote the Shining) was UNREAL. Worth downloading instead of waiting for it to come on. They went there twice, and one was cool, but the other was unbelievable.

Subservient No More said...

I saw the Manson one. The EVPs were creepy as hell, but the rest didn't do it for me. How about that one time the toys were turning on by themselves? I haven't seen the other ones you mentioned. I'll have to see if I can find them. Glad to know I'm not the only one who watches this show.

sadi said...

I have an irrational fear of bees and something going into my eye.

Other than that, I'm fairly normal!

I love your blog, thanks.

Mim said...

Halloween is the best time of year. Especially since I got my dog a batman costume this year. He looked so cute!

I am afraid of everything. I'm the kind of person that dreams there is something in my room and then I wake up and have to turn on every light and search under everything and then fall asleep without turning the lights off.

a guy said...

I love mayo and often ask for extra but I am petrified that I will be killed by liver.

Alex said...

Find a friendly iguana. This is my wife petting an iguana on Little Cayman island.

You'll have to cut and paste, they don't seem to allow image links here.

Anonymous said...

I haven't been able to sleep in a dark room since 9/11. It's about to drive my husband bonkers.

beatgrl said...

I am afraid of businesses with signs that say things like "Come in and try our myriad of hot dog's!" Creeps me out!!
Thank you for using myriad correctly. I feel safe here.

Anonymous said...

Lawnmowers, dollar stores, attic doors in ceilings (until they are opened), high fructose corn syrup...

Lana Wood said...

That ghost hunter show cracks me up too. I don't usually like mayonaise, but I am not afraid of it. I am afraid of;

Mediocrity, and people who aspire to it and gleefully fall short.

Clowns, and Santa, and any other face obscuring get up. There is something sinsister and deceptive about it all to me.

Germs. The fear flares up when I am tired, or stressed. Whenever I see one of those news segments about people not washing their hands, I get upset. I just think of all the people out there with their potty hands touching stuff.

NicoleinAZ said...


When I was a kid I shared a room with siblings in an older house. It was raining buckets. That night my mother tucked us in and turned out the light. A few minutes later we heard strange noises like clicking sounds. My brother turned on the light and literally THOUSANDS of roaches went scurrying rushes to go back under the floorboards. I screamed like the little blonde chick in poltergeist..and did my brother. To this day, I almost pee my pants when I see a roach.


Anonymous said...

I am afraid that someone is going to break into the house when I am alone...and using the toilet. I am completely and irrationally afraid of some bad man attacking me at my most vulnerable.

Anonymous said...

Oh my God-I also think people are always trying to poison me! If food tastes even the slightest bit funny or I can't specifically remember opening a food package I'll throw it away.
Also lately I'm very afraid of getting meningitis. Everytime I hear that someone died from meningitis my neck hurts and I call my mom, tell her I have meningitis and sometimes cry a little.
I also used to be very afraid of food poisoning but I'm less afraid now. For a while I wouldn't eat anything at a restaurant that I could easily get food poisoning from, like meat or eggs...although I'm sure you can get food poisoning from just about anything.
I also am afraid of rabies and will not touch an animal I don't know, no matter how cute it is.
I think I'm scared of way too many things...

Rosie-b said...

All the childhood classics:

The thing under the bed ( i just know it'll grab my ankles one day)

The thing that follows you up the stairs

Dracula (have to sleep with my neck covered)

Open closets (too dark in there)

Snake in the toilet

And I'm 32 freaking years old!

Stacie said...

That is one of the funniest things I've read in a while! You're a funny writer! I'm afraid of spiders, germs on door handles and grocery carts, spoiled milk, bacteria in cat litter boxes, and now, thanks to the lovely state of virginia, I'm afraid of house centipedes!

Where do you live that iguana's are running around wild? I think that would be awesome!

Kiera said...

I am afraid of snakes. When I was ten I grabbed a hay bale at the top of the stack in our barn so I could feed the horses and a snake that was laying on top fell down my shirt. Which was tucked in. And it was at night. My mom said she heard the most eerie screaming she has ever heard in her life coming out of my mouth as I frantically scrabbled at my shirt to get the snake OUT, which I finally did. Ever since then I leave the snakes the hell alone.

Crabby McSlacker said...

Wow, subservient, you have the coolest fears.

I have a ton of them but they're all boring and popular. I fear planes will crash, lightning will hit me during thunderstorms, I will perish in an earthquake (we live right on a major fault that's due to blow and the paper writes about it like once a week).

The only somewhat unusual one is a driving phobia--at least it's unusual for a California resident. I avoid driving whenever possible because I'm sure I'll crash and kill someone (or myself, which would really suck). But even that's not as cool as fearing mayo or iguanas.

BTW, what an awesome blog you have!

redb said...

I'm a horror movie nut and can watch most anything without being scared but the Discovery Channel's "A Haunting" show terrifies me. Those people are awesome at reenactments.

I got food poisoning from bad mayo once, it was a bad, bad thing.

Anonymous said...

Hi there, from your favorite Georgia Hypnotist!

is a link to the NLP Fast Phobia Cure. I've used -basically- this technique to get rid of fear of spiders in 42 seconds before.

It works, and it works well. If you need help, shoot me an email or call!

Jeremy Pope

Amanda said...

I'm afraid of ceiling fans. I won't raise my hands over my head while standing under a rotating fan, which is silly because I'm only 5'2" and have trouble reaching the pull chains on most fans unless they have a decent-length extender on them.

I also won't jump up and down under one because besides being afraid that I'll hit my head on it, I also fear knocking it loose with vibrations and having it come crashing down on top of me.

Amanda said...

And Rosie-B, me too on the Thing under the bed (the real reason I don't let my legs hang over the side of the bed. It's not really because I'm cold) and being followed up the stairs. If I'm the last one going up to bed, I always feel like something is behind me. I always run as fast as I can to the top because it's not going to follow me down the hall, just up the stairs, right?

I can also add the thing hiding in the closet - the real reason my shoes are in a big pile on the closet floor. I open the door a few inches, toss them in, then close it fast.

I got over the snake thing about 10 years after seeing that Porky's scene.

I'm 28 years old.

Kaitou said...

Hm... things I'm scared of:

-Needles. Horribly, horribly afraid of needles; every time I need a shot or bloodwork done I start crying, STILL. I think in a past life I was killed with one or something (probably accidentally- maybe with air in the tube or something like that, but still!)

-Spiders, but not so much now that I've gotten adept at killing them (buggers would keep popping alive after being "dead" for years). I actually know why I'm afraid of them! One night, on a drive home from a relative's house, my cousin (who is the same age as me) and I were sharing scary stories. He told one about a type of spider that crept up on you when you were asleep, and wrapped you in the web. The web of that spider, naturally, couldn't be cut, and slowly dug into your skin when you grew bigger... *shudder* He doesn't remember telling me that, but it's still a vivid memory for me. XD

-Things under the bed. It still makes me jump into bed instead of getting into it like normal people do.

-Things in the closet at night. I absolutely can NOT go into a closet at night without the room being brightly lit, or I get freaked out horribly.

Corrinne said...

I am also terrified of clowns. Not even so much the creepy ones, but the normal ones. It is... just weird. That permanent expression on their face and you can't actually see who they are...ick.

And along with the other suggestions people made about Ghost Hunters check out the one where they went to Ireland. They use their heat sensor camera and see like, 3 tiny people following some of their crew in the woods. And a bunch of other things. It was bad ass.

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