Thursday, April 12, 2012

Things That Scared Me As A Child

I'm 34 years old, and as such, most of my fears are understandable.  I'm afraid for the safety of my family.  I'm afraid of my high blood pressure.  I'm afraid of Mitt Romney.  Even my "irrational" fears make some sort of sense.  Last summer, for instance, I discovered that bee stings hurt as much as I had always feared.  I don't often get scared by things I see in various entertainment media.  Horror movies and books don't scare me.  (Fun fact: my spell checker didn't recognize the word "movies."  I guess it wants me to say "motion pictures.")

As a child, my fears were much simpler, but much more interesting at the same time.  Here is a list of some of the things that scared little hyperferrianism:

Even Vincent Price is uneasy around him
I was born in 1978, so I watched the Muppet Show at a very young age.  I loved it.  Every kid loved it.  And what's not to love?  It was a bunch of fuzzy, colourful puppets doing kid-friendly sketch comedy.  There was just one problem for me, though, and that was the life-size muppets.  These ones were full-grown adults inside of costumes rather than the traditional hand-up-the-ass puppets.  They all made me uneasy, but Sweetums was by far the scariest.  I knew what the muppets were.  I knew that there was a hand inside making the mouth move.  Sweetums was a six-and-a-half foot tall ogre who was clearly walking around under his own power.  I was just waiting for him to up and eat Kermit.

The Clown From Poltergeist
If I had Photoshop, I'd replace the kid's face with my own.
Being the fifth kid of seven came with some interesting side effects.  One of those was being raised on R-rated movies.  Poltergeist came out in 1982, and my family got a VCR in maybe 1984 or 1985.  My oldest brother would have been 13 in 1985.  Watching a horror movie like this at the age of 13 isn't a big deal.  I, on the other hand, would have been 7.  As a whole, I did okay.  The guy pulling his own face off over the sink freaked me out a little, but what really did me in was that awful, awful clown doll.  I was unsettled by it early on in the movie, and when it came to life and tried to kill the little boy, I was filled with an unholy dread that made me forever hate clowns.  Seriously, screw clowns.

Daddy Longlegs
One of my earliest memories
There was a period of time in my early life when I would play with insects.  (That time, by the way, is long over.)  David Jones and I would catch grasshoppers and caterpillars and keep them as pets.  But even during that time, I stayed the hell away from spiders.  All spiders were off limits, but none more than the daddy longlegs.  One of my earliest memories (if not the earliest) is of one of these gangly monstrosities.  I was playing outside in Prince George, British Columbia, and I really needed to pee.  I started to head inside, but between me and the door was a daddy longlegs.  I froze.  What was I going to do?  I needed to pee so bad that it was actually starting to leak out already and wet the front of my shorts (I was two years old at the time), but this creature was barring my way.  I stood there squeezing my legs together until my mother noticed me and came to see what my problem was.  (I don't remember exactly, but there may have been a "poor fool" lovingly thrown my way.)

The Deep End
I loved playing in water when I was young.  Still do, actually.  Some of my fondest childhood memories took place in a pool.  The shallow end of a pool.  I've been playing in water for as long as I can remember.  Pools, lakes, oceans, anything.  I learned how to actually swim when I was in the third grade.  I didn't venture into the deep end of the pool until my nemesis, Jake Heninger, shamed me into it when I was 13.  I've always been slightly claustrophobic, and suffocation is probably one of the worst ways I can imagine dying, so drowning is also high up on the list.  It was so bad that I was terrified of my own baptism when I was eight years old.  Today, I love swimming, and I'm disappointed whenever the pool's deep end is anything less than eight feet deep.  In the '80s, though, the deep end looked like nothing less than a watery grave.

I've never seen one of these in western Canada, but they were all over Nova Scotia.  Do I even need to explain why these things terrified me?  Hell, I'm still terrified of them!  Look at those pincers!  And it's called an earwig!  I've seen Star Trek II, and you can't tell me that this thing isn't waiting to crawl into my ear and burrow into my brain until I lose my free will.

Dead Woman From The Shining
I censored this one myself.  You're Welcome.
Much like Poltergeist, The Shining is another one of those movies I watched with the whole family in the early '80s.  The sight of this corpse cackling and shambling towards the camera fills me with terror to this very day.  No wonder Danny was catatonic after he went in room 237.

So there's my list of childhood fears.  It is by no means conclusive.  I didn't even mention Vera being swallowed up by the super computer and coming out a cyborg in Superman III.

1 comment:

  1. Earwigs are uber scary. Their name really doesn't help.

    Whitewitch from bolt would agree with you about the daddylonglegs.

    Incidently Whitewitch aka Ashleigh is my girlfriend and has been for 7 years come October.

    Puella x


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