A Fear of Fears

Posted: June 12, 2013 in Family, Humour
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Fears. We’ve all got them. Some are afraid of spiders. Others are afraid of heights. My own personal phobia is called ‘ichthyophobia’, which an irrational fear of fish. No kidding. You may laugh, but when I go fishing with my son Mackie, I break out into a cold sweat. And when I see those damned ‘Marineland’ commercials with their beluga whales……let me tell you, NOT everyone loves Marineland!!

This, of course, all stems from a program Mackie and I were watching on Discovery last week. It was the ‘Top 10 fears humans face’ show, and of course, there was much debate amongst psychologists as to their ranking. However, this show had them in this order, ‘fear of flying, public speaking, heights, fear of the dark, intimacy, death, failure, rejection, spiders, and finally, fear of commitment’. I find it particularly intriguing that ‘fear of death’ was 6th, way behind public speaking. The rationale behind this is that these are the most common fears, not the most ‘deep’ fears. I’m sure the fear of death would scooch up a few notches were that the case.

So, now you know about my fear of fish. Go ahead, laugh away!! When the person taking the information down for my fishing license found this out, they did a double take. ‘That don’t exist, mister!’, he said through his tooth. I can imagine him telling his family at supper how this rube bought him a fishing license and he’s a –feared of fishies!! Whatever! I have survived the ribbing just fine (to date), but I don’t think it’s a good idea to push a fish into my face, because you might end up wearing it!

All this is building to something. You know it is. You’re sitting there, reading this, sipping on your coffee or tea, crunching on your toast, and thinking ‘Just where is he heading with all this, anyways?’, as your spouse or significant other looks at your scowling face and surmises that you’re reading another one of those ‘damned-fool stories’ again. Be patient. It’s coming.

I will take a moment here to describe my youngest son, Mackie. He’s as good a kid as I’ve ever seen, and I know, I’m a little biased on that subject. He’s turning 14, and boy, he’s a curious boy. While Alex and I tend to read fiction, Mackie is reading books about Einstein, Darwin, How the Universe Works, that kind of stuff. He watches shows like Storage Wars, 1000 Ways To Die, Cosmos, Mega World, anything, really, that’s about anything. He’s a sponge. He asks me questions that stump me, and if it weren’t for the internet and my own thirst for knowledge since I was a child, he’d have left me behind long ago. Both sets of his grandparents know this intimately and constantly feed his need with small weird gifts and books. He loves this.

This said, he of course loved this show about fear, and laughed so much about my fear of fish. And so, I asked him, out of the blue, what his biggest fear was. I wasn’t expecting the answer I got, that’s for sure. I expected something like heights (nope), spiders (uh-uh), even death (not even close). He’s a bit of a germ-a-phobe, so I thought perhaps this would be it. Not even on the list!

Which leads us, my friends, to where this is all leading us. Mackie, like 99% of kids that I’ve known, is a little forgetful of where he puts his gloves and mitts. So much so that, at the beginning of the season for such things, we find some gloves that he likes, and promptly buy 20 pairs while they’re still available. Without fail, by March, they’re all but gone. Every single one of them. He’s got more ½ pairs than I can count. But this is not his fear. Mackie’s fear runs deeper than this.

I once, long ago, threatened Mackie about his habit. Parents throw out threats to their children much like Kings of old used to. ‘Sire’, the page says, ‘This person stole a pig from the royal pig-pen. What should you want with him?’ ‘Off with his head!!’ he’d exclaim, them take a bite of a turkey drumstick. ‘Your highness…this person farted in church…’. ‘Off with his head!!’ ‘But it’s your own mother, Sire!’ ‘Off with her head, then!!’ You get the drift. Threats just come out naturally. We may not carry them out, but they come off us like playing cards from a dealer. Apparently, this threat stuck.

‘If you lose another pair of gloves, I will personally put a long piece of yarn through your sleeves and tie your gloves to them!’ I said, then promptly forgot about this. Mackie didn’t. Upon reflection, that year was a banner year for gloves: he barely lost any. And, he has lived in fear that I would actually do this. Me and a big ball of pink yarn, doing this to all his coats. As if I would do this!!

And now, I find it totally unfortunate, at least for Mackie, that he reminded me of this. Winter will come again. Yarn is cheap. Moouuuuuhahahahahahahahah!

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