Everyone’s afraid of something. There is at least one thing and probably more in each one of our lives that give us the heebie-jeebies. Arachnophobia (fear of spiders) and Ophidiophobia (fear of snakes) are probably the most frequently used examples of fear regarding creepy crawlies. It’s easy to imagine being afraid of these monsters, often appearing as the harbinger of doom in old sci-fi movies. Even now, they star as the main event because of the severe damage or even death brought about by the creature’s toxins, not to mention, the enormous amount of fodder to fuel sci-fi and fantasy novels. Just the appearance of the mottled serpent or the fur-like surface covering the hand-sized, eight-legged menace can unnerve the heart of the most stoic individuals.
Case in point: As a young man on the water in a john boat fishing, myself and two friends tied up to a small tree. This tree was probably twenty feet from the bank of a hundred foot wide river. (What I have failed to mention is one of the men was fairly good sized and terrified of snakes.) As the day progressed, much to my pleasure our catch increased. I happened to glance to my left and noticed a copperhead in the branches directly over where we sat in the boat happily casting away. Now a poisonous snake is not something I would invite into my bed; however, I was more afraid of my friend trying to get out of the boat than I was a couple glands full of venom emptying themselves into my leg. Thankfully, I was able to divert his attention and remove this snake with an oar.
Fortunately, spiders and snakes do not bother me in general. I’ll hold a tarantula, smash a wolf spider with my hand and in past years, catch non-poisonous snakes, allowing my young son to touch them and avoid fearing the scaly serpents when he became older.
I suppose the most common phobias (of which I too succumb) are claustrophobia (the fear of closed in spaces) and acrophobia (the fear of heights).
Other than hitting the ground at an abnormal rate of speed, air travel, including the heights, doesn’t bother me. On the other hand, standing on more than a half dozen stories of scaffolding on the outside of a building could push my fingerprints forever into the metal uprights of the scaffolding bucks.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, have you ever had an MRI?
Well, allow me to briefly tell you about the occurance. Imagine being pushed into a metal cylinder with your shoulders touching each side to fulfill the claustrophobic part of this event. Then, three men commence to wailing the cylinder with sledge hammers for the next forty-five minutes. Congratulations, you have experienced your first MRI.