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2004-02-05 @ 4:24 p.m.
the pop-up spider that tried to eat me

So I was calmly sitting at my computer, feeling all happy and secure. Oh, there's my favorite teddy bear nearby. Hi Bear-Bear. And oh, there's my favorite photo of my Dad and I in Armstrong Woods in Northern California in 1983. Hi Dad! And oh, even though I can only see the edge of my knapsack with all my art supplies. Hi art supplies...when SUDDENLY....

Abrupt Sound Effect: bloodcurdling scream!

"A fucking spider!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

God, how I hate spiders. Every last one of those freakin' eight legged freaks. And this little bastard was so close I could almost identify a birthmark on the inside of his sixth leg. You just don't usually see spiders indoors during the winter.

Of course, I did grow up as a small child in South Florida, and that place was bug-licious year round. Big spiders, little spiders, jumping spiders, poisonous spiders, spiders with attitudes. You couldn't walk two feet without plunging headlong into some visible or invisible spider lair.

I would be terrified if I saw a spider in my bedroom. I'd always have to call in the Terminator (my mom) to kill them for me. The only problem was, that when she would take a swing at it, she would ALWAYS miss, and then it would escape and then I wouldn't be able to go to sleep because I was fairly certain that it was going to insert its spider fangs into my tender neck at some point during the night. And I would soon be either shooting webs out of my forearms and growing extra appendages or dying a slow, painful death of spider poisoning.

See, I was even a drama queen as a kid.

It actually got to be a joke after a while. My mom would come in to kill the offending spider and I would say, "Well, I guess he'll be safe" and she would laugh. Unfortunately, I wasn't joking.

A couple of days ago, when I was doing my laundry down at the Spin Cycle Laundromat, I had some time to waste, so I headed over to my favorite New Age Hippy Bookstore. I like it there. It reminds me of California.

I headed into the bathroom when I got there and it gave me the weirdest sensation. It's a small dark unisex bathroom and when I opened the door, there was a thick layer of smoke swirling up near the ceiling. I momentarily was taken aback. And the smell was really strong, and then came the realization...ah...they're burning incense.

Freakin' Hell, I thought I was either having a drug induced flashback or THE BUILDING WAS ON FIRE.

But over the toilet was a long shelf, with a large stick of incense burning, surrounded by large pieces of quartz crystals. It looked like an altar of sorts. And then there was a rather exotic piece of artwork behind it, and I was thinking, gee, I wish my bathroom was this cool!

So, what did I do? I almost always carry around one of those cheapo cameras that are preloaded with film. I snapped a few pictures. I could just imagine somebody walking by outside and seeing bright flashes of light coming out from under the door.

Of course, if it was some hippy who had just sucked on some ganja or had his aura read, he would probably think God was trying to communicate with him or something.

After I came out of the bathroom, I noticed a rather large book lying on a nearby bookshelf. I picked it up and it was called "The Pop-Up Book of Phobias." Hmmm, that sounds interesting.

So I opened the first page, and suddenly this huge cardboard pop-out spider comes springing out of the pages.

Fruckkkkkkk!!!!!! Spiderssssssss!!!!!

And it was an ugly sucker. A Black Widow. But it was actually kind of funny too.

So I started looking through the book, and page after page, had some kind of terrifying thing popping up like a GIANT CLOWN (coulrophobia)! Or a GIANT POP-UP MICROPHONE (glossophobia - fear of public speaking)! Or a PLANE PLUNGING TO THE EARTH IN FLAMES (Aviophobia - fear of flying).

Some of them were just plain creepy like Fear of Being Buried Alive (Taphophobia), which had a casket springing up and open from the earth.

I had quite a few of the phobias in the book (OK, all of them except maybe fear of reptiles. I've owned snakes before and have no problem with them), but I thought it would be fun to look up Phobias on the Internet. The best list I found was And if I only thought I was afraid of a few things, this list definitely confirmed that I should never leave my house again. Ever!

Chionophobia - fear of snow (Boy, am I in trouble), and the little known Fear of Teenagers (Ephebiphobia), Lutraphobia - Fear of Otters, Zemmiphobia - Fear of Great Mole Rats.

Of course, many of MY phobias have to do with human interaction. In fact most of them. Doxophobia - fear of expressing an opinion (hello), Anuptaphobia - fear of staying single. Ennisophobia - fear of being criticized. Athazagoraphobia - fear of being ignored. The list just went on and on.

So just when I was thinking, oh, I'm only afraid of a few things like spiders (arachnophobia) and people (sociophobia), I think I just added about 300 new ones.

Oh goodie!

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Lyrics by Lennon/McCartney. All angst copyright by awittykitty