Irrational Fears [NOT 19/6/21]

Ellie bought me a stainless steel mug for work. She had the time 2:38 printed on the side of it. The time signifies when I get home from work every day. It is nice to look at it through the day knowing I will be home with her soon enough. She also purchased a metal straw to go along with it.

Irrational fear alert. I refuse to use the metal straw because I am afraid I might trip while taking a sip of my drink and impale myself. I don’t want to be listed in the Darwin Awards because I am incapable of hydrating myself properly.

So tell me the things you are afraid of for no reason. Unlike Florida which you should stay clear of courtesy of @bryanlsplinter



  1. I have an irrational fear of a shark or an alligator snatching me from below – at the lake. Granted we only swim around our dock that is in a cove with about 6 other docks – but I won’t ever be the first in the water. Which the fam thinks is hysterical. The lake is also above a dam so it would have to be a super shark to swim up stream and jump over a massive dam. An alligator is much more plausible – although apparently there haven’t been any alligator sightings for a few years. I’ve even done research – I know it’s irrational but it’s not something I’ve been able to shake. I think it comes from reading the book 12 Days of Terror about the 1916 shark attacks off of New Jersey that Jaws was loosely based on – one of the kids was attacked really far up stream in a tidal creek and the man that tried to rescue him was killed too if I remember correctly. I think it affects me because there was a dock and people swam there all the time. 

  2. For some reason as I’ve gotten older, heights. But only certain heights. Like driving over a large bridge, or a ferris wheel.  Tall building? No sweat. Flying? Pshaw. Middle of the Delaware memorial bridge?  Jesus.Fucking.Christ.

    • @Yellowbird When I was younger I loved roller coasters. The older I get the more afraid I am.  Not of the height or the speed. I’m terrified of human error. I spend the whole few minutes worrying about missing screws and loose bolts, sure that some hung over maintenance person is going to be the cause of my death. I don’t ride them anymore at all. Maybe that’s what worries you too.

    • I hate structures with open grates that you can see thru (ie: looking down.)
      The Eiffel Tower is probably my worst nightmare.  When I was there 20 years ago (!) I went up via the stairs instead of the elevator.  It seems I hate lineups and 4 hour waits even more.
      The worst part was while I was trying not to piss myself, there was a little French girl skipping up the damn stairs behind me without a care in the world.

  3. @Yellowbird, you and me both. Also, space. The scenes in space in the Expanse gave me a full body clench. I am mostly okay in tall buildings…I used to travel to NYC weekly, and had many appointments in the Empire State Building. The entire building sways in the wind, and it was eerie to see things move about while in high-floor offices. 

  4. This is a weird one, but… going to jail. I generally try not to do things that will even risk that, because I am a law-abiding citizen, but the very idea of it happening terrifies me. I think it’s more of a very specific claustrophobia (which I have, in spades) and the thought of not being able to go outside or even get fresh air if I need it. I hate windowless rooms for the same reason. Husband’s work did an escape room thing for their Christmas party one year, and I noped right out of that. 

  5. Whenever the house creaks in the middle of the night, I get paranoid that it’s someone living in our crawl space. I made my husband buy a padlock but then daylight comes and I feel less irrational and haven’t made him install it yet.

    • That shit happens. In college one of my many part-time jobs was a custodian at a Baptist church. Pretty chill, vacuum the carpets on Monday after services, clean the bathrooms, etc. Not glamorous but not too tough either. 
      Baptist churches are typically constructed with a baptismal pool (Baptists fully immerse people in water. None of this namby-pamby sprinkling, nossir). It’s a giant bathtub at the front of the church, usually built into the wall behind the pulpit, up high enough for everyone in the congregation to see it easily. When nobody’s getting baptized, it’s empty and curtains are drawn across it. You get to it by two stairwells that go up to changing rooms, and then stairs down into the pool. One on each side, one for women and one for men. 
      One day I’m in the sanctuary pushing the vacuum around and I get the feeling I’m not alone. I look all around this dim, cavernous space, and there’s nobody there. I vacuum some more and damn, I just can’t shake this feeling. So I go to the light board and flip on all the lights, which also includes the baptistry. Out of the corner of my eye I think I see a shadow move behind the curtain, but it’s gone. I stare for a second and then figure, nope, seeing things, and finish up. 
      Later that week another custodian, Harold, has to set up for a baptism on Sunday. So he starts setting up, cranking up the water valves (in the men’s changing area) to fill this pool. Next thing he knows somebody goes tearing down the opposite stairwell and busts out the side door. He thought it was me. He heads up to the pool and finds a nest there, made of choir robes and seat cushions. Somebody’s been living there. Dude came in during a service, hid somewhere until everybody left, and then made himself at home. No telling how long he was there. It was a big building, with several bathrooms and water fountains and we assumed he either snuck into one of the kitchens for food or jammed the lock on one of the doors and went foraging.
      For a long time after that, church members would do a sweep through the building before we locked it up at night. 

  6. I sort of developed one during the pandemic. I like to go to work (yes, we’ve all talked about how that is irrational), and my office authorized certain people to go back last July. I had my hand up immediately. Got authorized to go back two days a week.
    I assumed, naively, that there were others like me. Uh, no. I’m roaming around in office space for 250 on two floors largely by myself (had some long conversations with the mail guy). That part was actually pretty cool, and now that people are coming back I’m getting annoyed at their presence. 
    So cool, except for one thing. I’m on the 4th floor and I typically take the stairs down (I ride up on the elevator ’cause lazy). One day at 5 I’m trotting down the stairs and I tripped. 
    Caught myself by grabbing the handrail but it was 5 or 6 steps before I completely arrested my downward descent and got my balance back. Whew. Headed down, and then started thinking. What if I’d fallen? What if I’d broken something? What if I’d broken my neck? There’s nobody here. Nobody would hear me yelling. Nobody would even know where to start looking for me if I didn’t show up at home. Mail guy leaves at 4. 
    It freaked me out. For a couple months after that I rode the elevator down, but then people started coming back in and the second floor assholes wouldn’t wear masks. So I went back to the stairwell, but now I hold on to the handrail like a senior citizen getting into a walk-in shower. It still gives me the willies. 

  7. i got scared by my left hand once…..i was just taking a breather and something moved on me left…it was pink and had fingers
    i was very tired okay?
    im scared of circular saws
    its not the brutal dismemberment i fear
    its that fucking noise

  8. I am living my biggest fear of all RIGHT NOW. Sitting by the fire with TWO very talkative people and I have to pretend to pay attention and act like I am a “normal” person.

    One of whom is well known in my hometown for leading the anti-lockdown protests and just went on a 10 minute rant about how “Catholicism isn’t real Christianity, Protestant is real Christianity” with no sense of irony whatsoever.

    I am beginning to think my dissociative nodding needs some work.

    • Funny thing is that they’re sisters.  The smart one…who is the one I am used to being around, not her sister, ever…keeps trying to talk to me via second conversation in case I troll her sister which I promised I wouldn’t.

  9. Being buried alive.  The Serpent & the Rainbow & Kill Bill 2 buried scenes stress me out.  I will be cremated to make sure that doesn’t happen.  I’m not a fan of any lack of oxygen situations so don’t scuba dive or want to go to space or in a sub.  

  10. I’ve encountered some irrational fears of others at work.  The plant i work in has a few places where  you can work in isolation.  Not exactly the kind of place you should be if you’re afraid of being alone.
    I’m a sometimes team lead (not paid as one, just the duties and headaches) so I go check up on people to see how things are going.  Only problem is that some people think I should wear a bell like a cat because I walk very quietly.
    Anyway, I check up someone in one of the isolated stations and I just ask “Hey, how are you?”  She jumped up and screamed for about five minutes then proceeded to hit me in the chest for scaring the shit out of her.  I asked her “Why are you so jumpy?”
    She told me that she doesn’t like being isolated and alone so any noise scares her.  I mentioned to the supervisor later that he shouldn’t assign someone who doesn’t like to work alone and isolated to work alone and isolated.  That idiot never got it.

  11. When i was a kid, the little red lights on smoke detectors freaked me out. I was a little suspicious that there were tiny cameras in all of them (also electrical outlets). Who was watching? Aliens? The government? No idea. However now that all our devices are literally watching us, I feel slightly vindicated. I know it’s impossible to escape but i at least won’t have an Echo or Nest in the house.

  12. I’m bad with heights and spiders.  there are some weird mitigating factors, like how many handholds I have, if I’m strapped/tied into something, etc. for heights, or the size and proximity of the spider (like, this past week I noticed a tiny one on the mug I was currently drinking coffee out of, and that just amused me, but if one the size of a quarter suddenly runs over my arm… and well, lochaber’s going to have a difficult time typing the following week, due to beating the fuck out of that arm…)
    I’m not sure if it quite counts as a “fear”, but I get really squicked out at damage to hands (and a lesser extent, feet).  I don’t think it’s entirely irrational, as hands are really important to almost everything we do, and there isn’t much “padding” to absorb damage – so almost any damage to a hand is going to effect it’s ability to be a a hand – it’s going to hit nerves, tendons, bones, ligaments, etc.  there isn’t much fat in hands, and almost all the muscle that moves fingers is in the forearm.
    I can handle the idea of someone falling down an elevator shaft and getting a chunk of rebar through their thigh.  But just tripping, and putting their hand out to catch/brace themselves and getting a bit of wire through it… Nopethenopeyfucknopeityout.  with a side of shudders

  13. I have plenty. Maybe my most notable phobia is bees/wasps. The wasp fear makes sense, but it extends to honeybees, bumblebees… I know they’re extremely unlikely to sting, but my body is less sure of that.
    But I mostly wanted to comment that my husband shares your fear of metal straws. I was able to get him to use them by getting little silicone caps for the end (you can buy a 10 pack on Amazon for a few dollars) that make them feel safer. He’s still a little weird about them, but he’ll use them. 

  14. My irrational fear of being on the water and the vessel sinks and I’ll be trapped below the waterline or eaten by sharks etc. is trumped only by my love of being on the water and insistence that whenever possible I set sail. So this ratchets up the irrationality, as if I had a fear of flying and took a job as a flight attendant. The other thing is I don’t get seasick…

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