Leave the Light On

When you are six years old it’s okay to be afraid.  No one questions why you don’t dangle your feet in the lake or why you vault onto the sofa when mom or dad turns on the vacuum cleaner.  Kids are just expected to be scared of stuff.  The kick in the pants is that a lot of these fears follow us into adolescence or adulthood where people’s perception of your unease goes from “Aww, that’s cute, she’s afraid of the toaster!” to “BWAHAHA!  You’re scared of COLD CREAM?!  You wuss!”  The latter usually being followed by the jerk in question chasing you with the object of your fear.
I used to be terrified of elevators.  And by terrified I mean I would throw myself down on the ground kicking and screaming, not caring who I was embarrassing or who was there to see me.  I was NOT getting in that small box of horror that I was certain would be the means of my demise.  I just KNEW that the cables were going to snap and the elevator was going to plummet straight down to Hell where I would be chased by toasters, vacuums, and demons with cold cream on their fingertips.
While I am happy to admit that I have since faced that fear (alone, mind you, without people to call me names or say I wasn’t doing it right) I still get uneasy in elevators.  Especially the ones that take forever to let you out once you’ve reached your desired floor.  I’m forced to confess as well that when there are others in the elevator who press buttons for floors that come before mine I give them dirty looks, as it means that not only will I be stuck in the elevator longer but I have to sit through that “Hurry up and open you stupid door,” waiting period longer than necessary.
Do you guys remember the movie Critters?  It was a 1980’s horror flick about these evil porcupine looking things that could kill you by shooting their quills at you. 
…okay, it doesn’t sound like much now but when you’re eight it’s terrifying.  To this day I can scare the crap out of myself in the middle of the night with nothing more than the mere recollection of those little red eyes glowing in a dark setting like they did in the movie.  I imagine them at the bottom of the stairs waiting to…well…shoot me with their quills I guess since that was their thing. 
Alright, you’ve had your laugh.  Let’s move on to a dear relative of mine.  We’ll call her…Darla.  Darla and her significant other…Bob…live in a relatively new developed area outside of Phoenix.  Anyone familiar with the desert that is Arizona knows that with development you have…scorpions.  Lots and lots of scorpions.  And they aren’t shy about crawling into your freshly built house in search of shelter, air conditioning, or (if you believe as Darla does) your soul and still-beating heart.  Darla’s fear of scorps is rooted deep in her childhood where she was unfortunate enough to have gotten stung by one of the little buggers.  When Darla sees a scorp in her house this is what her brain registers:

Of course this is what really happens:
I could go on and on about my personal fears.  Lizards are right up there.  Germs.  Moldy bread.  Well, moldy anything really.  Airplanes.  Vomit.  That I will crack an egg for breakfast and find a baby bird inside.  It’s a wonder I can make it through a day with all of the things I have to concentrate on avoiding. 

I know what you’re thinking.  “Gee, Mabel, this girl is neurotic.”  Au contraire.  I am perfectly sane as long as I AVOID these things!

If not, well, see for yourself:

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