I’d been craving that Guinness I had sitting in the fridge all day. As I drove home from my fun-job tonight and saw the lightning crashing around I knew just how I’d enjoy it – sitting on the porch, smoking kreteks and sipping it as my dessert.
I live in the lightning capital of North America and a good storm gives me that comforted, warm and squishy feeling of being at home. Friends from the north have often told me how BFI we all are living here because of the electricity that comes down from the sky and kills golfers – and I’m not a complete idiot. I know that shit kills people, yet, it is not one of my fears. It’s not that I’m not mindful of it or that I don’t respect it – it’s just not something that sends me into my closet cowering. I get it, though, and I would never fault anyone for their fear. Just as I hope you don’t see fault in me for mine:
I am afraid of tornadoes. Anyone with half of their synapses firing is, in my humble O, afraid of these beasts. The way that my friends from the north see me for working in my garage during a lightning storm – that’s how I see anyone that lives in a wood frame home anywhere that there is a history of tornadic activity. I know concrete block construction is not the end-all-be-all when it comes to tornado protection but it sure makes me feel a bit safer. That and strapping myself to the plumbing in my master bathroom with steel chains and then sinking down into my tub clutching onto the Book of Mormon, the Torah, the Qur’an and my copy of The Real Sex Kitten’s Handbook (perhaps I can charm my way out of death by wind). If it’s storming pretty badly and I think I hear that train a’comin’ I round up my cats, stick them in the bathroom with me and start to cry. The other night I had a dream that a tornado was chasing me. It started out as a water spout (a common sight where I grew up) and chased me all through Tampa. I am very, very afraid of tornadoes.
I am afraid of making phone calls – especially to people I do not know. I can accept phone calls from anyone in the universe. If somebody I don’t know is calling me than they obviously either need my services or need some knowledge that I can offer. Either way, I have the upper hand. I don’t actually know if that is the reason I’m so afraid of this but it seems plausible. I hate calling to make appointments, I hate calling for support and I hate calling to order pizza. I’m lucky that this hasn’t hindered my work life but I’ve always had people to make phone calls for me. I will do crazy amounts of research in hopes to avoid a call to a help desk. I will drive to a restaurant to order my carry-out in person and wait instead of calling ahead and making something quick of it. This one must be more common that it seems. I’ve only known one other person with the same fear and we always had perfectly lovely phone conversations.
I am terrified of birds. The fact that they exist is fine with me as most birds are content to just fly about and leave me alone. Pet birds, though, really frighten me. My mother had a cockatiel that she found (no joke, it was in our Pecan tree and it flew down to her and pretty much didn’t leave her side for the rest of it’s life) and I think this animal is the one that cemented this fear on my psyche. Those things bite … HARD! Birds are not friendly little things that wish to be held and petted – NO! They are the terrors of the sky! They peck, chase and nibble and I’m always sure they are going after my eyes. The problem is that birds know no fear themselves, therefore, I must fear them to protect myself. Sea Gulls will walk right up and peck at your hands to get the food from your grip. Chickens are assholes, too. I was chased by a chicken when I was a kid and I had done absolutely nothing to this animal. A Sandhill Crane tried to fight me once a few years ago and that was the scariest dealing I’ve ever had with a bird. He was taller than me and pecked me right in the face – and you know that whole crane deal from the Karate Kid? They are hovering in the air screaming when they put on that pose so it’s much more intimidating than it was on Ralph Macchio.
I fear the dentist so much that I can’t even write about it.
In an effort to save a little face and not look like such a pussy here’s a list of commonly held fears that don’t bother me: bugs, spiders, snakes, heights, public speaking, being on stage, doctors, needles, blood, boats, water, tests, vampires, zombies.
So while I may seem like a superhero when I trap that bleeding snake and take it for a sea-cruise during a lightning storm please, don’t ask me to call an exterminator. I’d only pawn that off onto my secretary.