Sunday, July 23, 2006

Send in the Phobias



'Organisers of a British rock festival have been forced to change its circus theme after a number of ticketholders told them they had a phobia of clowns.
...
"We have had so many people with clown phobias contact us I am worried everyone might end up hiding in the woods," Rob da Bank, a BBC Radio One disc jockey who will "curate" the show, was quoted as saying.

Fear of clowns - or coulrophobia - has symptoms including shortness of breath, rapid breathing, irregular heartbeat, nausea, sweating and a sense of foreboding, The Times pointed out.'
- Sydney Morning Herald


Personally I don't get the clown thing, but so many people seem to feel the same way that there is even an I Hate Clowns website (it's pretty funny actually). Yet I totally understand the phobia of something completely irrational- I myself have had a life-long pathalogical fear of owls.

It is ridiculous, I know in theory that owls cannot hurt me, but if I look at a picture of one I get chills. If I hear one hoot, I convulse in involuntary shivers. If I see one at the zoo I start to get short of breath, and my heart races.

My sister, Liz, has a phobia of bees, but seeing as she is quite badly allergic to them, it makes sense. All our lives we have teased each other by buying little owl or bee presents and leaving them in each other's beds. Cruel yes, but fun? Also yes.

A friend of mine recently told the story of an ex-girlfriend of his who had an irrational fear of spots. Yep, you read that correctly: Spots. Dots, splotches, Polka dots, a pattern. It included clothes, furniture, even animals with spotted patterns. If she saw a spotted pattern she would start ucontrollably clawing at her body, as if to get the pattern away from her skin.

One of my students recently confessed to having a fear of any animal with a beak, and another friend has a fear of having their toes 'naked' in public.

Which makes me think: does everyone have an irrational fear? Perhaps not so strong as to induce a full-blown panic attack, but what gives you the willies?

[I WANTED TO INCLUDE A PICTURE OF AN OWL HERE, BUT WHEN IT CAME TO SEARCHING GOOGLE FOR ONE, I JUST COULDN'T DO IT]

25 comments:

Philippe Roy said...

Since I'm such a good boyfriend, I just wanted to help you out:

http://www.cunninghamland.com/owl%204c%20p%20%20clopse%20sml.jpg

Philippe Roy said...

I thought it would do it automatically, let me make it easier...

beautiful cute little picture

Louise said...

You Bastard! Of all the owl pictures out there you couldnt ease me into it with one of the 'cute' (HA!!!) ones.... NO! You linked to the Devil Owl From Hell!

Well, darling, you are going to regret that big time when I frantically make you search the house for your friend the Devil Owl in the middle of the night for the next month!

That, my friend, is what we call "shooting yourself in the foot".

Girl Clumsy said...

Hey Louise,

I was always a bit unkeen on clowns, but as an adult my irrational fear is something far more insidious.

Geckos.

Ugh, yuck! I hate even mentioning the word. Gives me the willies. I hate their little transparent bodies and sticky sucky feet. It's terrible now in Brisbane in summer - they're bloody everywhere. You just know one day cockroaches and moths aren't going to be enough to satisfy their hunger - and that's when they'll start eating HUMANS. Yeah, that's right, the geckos will inherit the earth. You mark my words.

Anyway, now I'm probably not going to be able to sleep, which is a bad thing considering how tired I am. By the way, I ordered some Crocs off Ebay, but I'm still waiting for them to arrive! I'll let you know how they feel as soon as they get here!

LondonMisfit said...

Ok, I'll admit mine. I'm terrified of the underneath of boats in water. Completely freaks me out, even looking at pictures of it makes me break out in a cold sweat.

And yet I love snorkelling and would be happy to do it for hours - just don't watch me getting off the back of the boat! I do this mad backwards frenzied kicking thing to get away from the boat as fast as possible! And seeing me get back on the boat is not a pretty sight either.

Carbi Yarker said...

I posted a comment last night - but it appears to have disappeared so i will try again....

Lou... do you remember Robyn's boyfriend Dom telling us he was scared of snails.

And I have to say that leaving a stuffed owl on your bed that you could see as soon as you walked into the room was a bit different to leaving a book titled "The beekeepers year" with photos of bees all over it on my pillow, when I couldn't see it until I climbed onto my double bunk and almost put my head on it! (AND BEES CAN KILL ME!!!! OWLS CAN"T!!!!)

kelli said...

I have friend and her daughter (starting college now) is terrified of clowns! Oh, and there are two owls that live in our neighborhood! I can hear them at night! You would hate it!
I don't like snakes or spiders....not even pictures..freaks me out!

Louise said...

LMAO so it turns out one (wo)man's fear is another's funny.

Girl Clumsy, I am still giggling at the image of Gecko's taking over the earth... insidious.... LOL! Does it help at all to know that geckos are a sign of goodluck in Thailand? No, probably not- it doesn't help me to know that owls are a symbol of wisdom. Well the only option you have left is to throw on a pair of your new crocs and get some comfort elsewhere.

London Misfit- I kinda see you point. The underside of boats ARE pretty manky.I'm not much of a fan of the bottom of lakes myself- i have perfected treading water in even waist-height water. I would pay good money to see you getting into the boat though...

Liz, I don't remember the snail guy at all, or his fear of snails. I do remember the beekeeping book though- best $1 garage sale find I ever made. There is a box of my stuff in storage that still has one of your little ceramic owls in it. I managed to keep it to prove you wrong, but I had to tie a ribbon over its eyes to protect me from their beadiness.... eugh!

Kelli, I'm not much of a fan of spiders, but snakes I am fine with... except for the 3 meter long green and orange python that lived under my house in Nepal- that thing was the size of a boa constrictor, but it was considered a goddess of rain by the locals so I couldn't get rid of it! It's body was thicker than my thigh! EUGH!

Carbi Yarker said...

Actually... I had to tie the ribbon over it's eyes before you would even look at it!

Karen said...

I'm a new reader of your blog and I'm always shy and never comment but I'll add in my strange phobia here. I'm terrifed of pipes, like plumbing pipes. I hate basements or anywhere that has exposed pipes. I guess I think they'll burn me or something but I can't stand looking at them.

Louise said...

Hi Karen,

So glad you came out of hiding! Don't be shy, we're all friends here :)

I must admit I've never heard of the pipes phobia, that's a good one. Thanks for sharing!

Jessica said...

Anybody for squeaky, sqeaky,high pitched rubbing together of..........STYRAFOAM???????hehehe

HHD said...

What about Huntsman Spiders???

Carbi Yarker said...

Or what about technology? I had to post that for Dad! lol - not quite a phobia I know.

Dad also appears to have a phobia of blood glucose level tests. :-)

Mia said...

My two best friends have clown phobias. And me being the joker that I am...well let's say there's been times the circus has been in town and I have purposely taken them by there hoping to bump into a clown.

My other friend has a fear of puppets, marionettes specifically...lmao When the movie "Team America" came out the one that was entirely acted out by marionettes I took her to see it. Good grief I'm an awful person.

Louise said...

Ok Jess- yes My name is Lou and I have a morbid fear of the sound of styrofoam pagaging being rubbed together. But seriously the sound makes me gag.

HHD- Huntsman spiders are your phobia- I always thought you were being the dependable brave aussie man when you would kill them, but in later years I realised that you are just so terrified of them that you have to kill them at all costs. Where as mum catches them and takes them outside (so that they can run back inside at the first oportunity.... shudder!)

Technophobia I get, though I am slowly getting over my own (hey, I'm blogging!), and I don't know about the blood glucose level tests but if they are anything like the iron tests I'm on Dad's side. That little jabby finger pricker is worse than a full-blown syringe in a vein.

Mia, great to see you here again, and happy you got over your accident ok (I was stalking your blog for news of you- you had me worried young lady!). I would totally have behaved the same as you with your friends- evidenced by the bee presents I give to my sister even though she is fatally allergic to bees.... hehehehe...

Mignon said...

Turtles. But only in fresh water. Apparently there are none in the state of Montana, but the thought of them keeps me from swimming in our gorgeous and refreshing rivers.

I went snorkeling in Hawaii once and came face to face with an enormous sea turtle and wasn't the slightest bit disturbed, but I have a recurring nightmare/memory of a snapping turtles latching on to a stick I was teasing it with when I was in grade school.

But owls I like a lot. I think they're neat. Except the furry pellets they poo.

Mia said...

Thank you. It's great to be among the living and the IV free again. I'm just going to try to avoid drunk drivers from now on...lol

Carbi Yarker said...

Blood glucose tests are nowhere near as bad as the iron ones. James has a nice finger pricker which doesn't go at far in, is thinner and is 'softer' (doesn't shoot out as hard I think). So it's not really that bad... I think his problem is what the result might say.

Dad apparently has the styrofoam phobia - but if you rub it when he isn't looking at it he doesn't notice!

Louise said...

Mignon- Turtles of the fresh water variety: now there's a new one. I wonder what that phobia is called?

They sell the cutest little turtles in the pet market here in Shanghai, smaller than the palm of your hand and all "painted" with orange and green stripes on your shells. Perhaps a little baby turtle would push you past the phobia? (Although a little baby owl could never cure me of mine so I am a total hippocrite for suggesting it... carry on as you were!)

HHD said...

HHD - I am not adverse to technology... I spell it differently ...LUDDITE!

'er said...

Is there anyone out there who actually likes leeches? Wouldn't every sane person hate them?

Carbi Yarker said...

Yeah, but Mum, there is a different between hate and a phobia

Louise said...

I wonder if leeches have a salt phobia?

Anonymous said...

Oh my god, I just read about the girl who has a fear of spots and that describes me to a T! They make me feel so itchy. I went on hols a few weeks ago and my bedspread was dotty. I had to swap it!