Under the table in my parent’s kitchen, I hid when it came on. It was the Nickelodeon show “Eureeka’s Castle.” I don’t know what it was about this show that scared the hell out of me. According to the internet’s most credible source, Wikipedia, “Eureeka’s Castle follows various puppet characters including Eureeka, a sorceress in training.” Puppets. I was afraid of puppets.

Viewers discretion is advised – this may make you hide under a table in fear.

Then, there was that movie. That movie was “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” In case you’ve never seen this horror, Wikipedia describes it as “a 1971 musical fantasy film… the film was an adaption of the 1964 novel ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ by Roald Dahl.” A musical. I was afraid of a musical. However, film critic Jeffrey M. Anderson wrote “If you’re a kid, Wonka seems magical, but watching it now, he has a frightening combination of warmth, psychosis, and sadism.” So really, I was just wise beyond my years.

When I was probably around four years old, I went to Disneyland with my parents and they took me to the Breakfast from Hell, or what normal children call it, Breakfast with Micky and Friends. The tears for fears (literally not the 1980s band) came streaming from my face, when one of Micky’s a-hole friends, the fox from Pinocchio, came to our table and stole packets of butter off of our table. Security! Help!

Foxes are not friends.

Then, there are people. When I was in middle school it was older people. Like, high schoolers. I was with my friends at a park and a group of high schoolers appeared from high above on a hill, an army ready to attack. I have this vision, with cinematic precision, of their dark figures, approaching, and then of me, running for my life. I honestly can’t say this is what actually happened, but that is how I remember it.

Another group of people that now and then evoke fear are strangers. Whoever coined the adage, “strangers are  friends you haven’t met yet” is probably dead in a ditch somewhere. Post-college, my best friend and I joined a kickball league. After our first game, we were invited back to a guy on the team’s apartment. Once everyone began getting high, my fear of strangers got even higher. I turned to my friend and told her “we don’t know any of these people!” Before she could stop me, I ran out of the apartment, hailed a cab, and escaped to safety.

I have many more irrational fears (at least I know they are somewhat crazy) but I’ll leave you with one more: revolving doors. How I have not lost an arm in one of these, I really don’t know. I feel the fear every time I am faced with this path to entry.

The limb chopper.

It’s not easy being me.

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