The fear of phobias

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Monday, 15 April 2013

Do you have a fear? Come on, don’t be scared to admit it, but do you have something you are really afraid of? Of course, there are the boring fears that lots of people suffer from, like spiders and snakes or heights or public speaking. But I love hearing about rare and unusual fears, especially those which are just plain weird.

These include optophobia, the fear of opening your eyes, ancraophobia, the fear of wind, or allodoxaphobia, the fear of opinions, which could actually make the world a better place if it wasn’t so rare. Then there’s triskaidekaphobia, the fear of the number 13, and the even more specific fear of Friday the thirteenth which is called paraskevidekatriaphobia – Freddie Krueger movies have a lot to answer for in my opinion. Perhaps you haven’t heard of the 21st century one called nomophobia, which I love, not only because I suffer from it, but actually think it is rather helpful: it’s the anxiety that comes from being without your mobile phone, because you either left it, lost it or its low on battery.

I also love Arachibutyrophobia, which the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth and it is this fear that reminds me of a work colleague I once had who worried every evening on the train home that they would sit next to someone eating a banana. They told me it was not so much the banana they were scared of, but it was the sound and the combination of lip-smacking and banana goodness squelching and squashing inside someone else’s mouth that really gave them the willies. Admittedly I find that pretty gross as well, but even the slightest whiff of a banana or the possible sighting of our yellow curvy fruity friends would cause my colleague’s heart to flutter, palms to sweat and result in an immediate relocation to another carriage.

Now for the good bit of this post - would you like to know what I fear? Would you like to know the really unusual fear that I suffer from, which is a recurring thought I have had for many years and something I really worry about?

It is escalators.

What about escalators, I hear you ask. Well, I have no problem getting on and off them and in fact I am very thankful for the 5 to 50 steps they save me walking up, but perhaps like the specific fear of Friday the 13th, my anxiety is this – I worry about going up an escalator and falling backwards and then continuing to roll and tumble down the escalator while it is still going up. Can you see my dilemma? I worry that in an amazing perpetual motion trick that the best physics professors in the country will be unable to explain at the coronial inquest into my death, that I will never fall to the bottom of the escalator and just continue to tumble down at the exact same up speed of the escalator.

Am I alone in this worry? Have you ever had this thought before, or are you now worried about falling down an up escalator?

Or do you suffer from a completely different unusual fear that you are willing to admit on this blog?


Chyc said...

So that would only affect upward-going escalators eh? Upi have no issues on a downward escalator I presume? I had a similar fear of escalators! I was 4 or 5, but lasted only a few times I was on an escalator and then never returned - until 20+ years when I now have to carry baby in my arms and get on an escalator going up!! Thanks for this cool list of phobias! (Though maybe not so cool for those suffering from them!)

RodeoClown said...

I got my shoes caught in an escalator when I was a little kid (8 or so). That was kinda freaky - managed to hit the emergency stop button in time though!

But now I make sure my kids keep their feet well away from those yellow lines!

Andrew said...

Thanks for the comments. Yes it is only the upward going escalators.

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