Monday, November 2, 2009

Fear Factor - Part 1

This weekend was Halloween. I spent the evening relaxing at home with my oldest daughter. We watched two movies while my wife took the other two children to wander the cold, dark streets collecting candy for me. They did good. We're all candied up until, at least, Christmas.

For me, Halloween usually comes and goes without a whole lot of fanfare, but when you write a's hard to ignore such an event.

On Friday, I wrote about the scariest thing I experienced this Halloween (see Halloween Cheer...), and it got me thinking. What things scare me, in general? After discussing it over with my wife, here are the Top Five things that give me the Willies...or, at the very least, bring about a substantial gag reflex.



Public Washrooms

I avoid public washrooms, whenever humanly possible...and for good reason. I think that using the public facilities is very comparable to the moods of a menopausal woman. Unpredictably frightening!

As a result, I have often travelled home, from a public location, while experiencing intense cramping with the real possibility of needing a change of clothes when I arrive. But for's always worth the risk.

If you've ever used a public washroom then, guaranteed, you'll understand the following scary scenarios:

A) The door lock doesn't work. This leaves a person to sit with one leg (or arm) stretched, to the max, holding the door closed, while doing their thing. In those larger washrooms, only a NBA Center with the flexibility of a Yoga Master, can actually accomplish the task. Under those conditions, people like me just pray and hope for the best.

B) The toilet doesn't flush...or keeps filling up. I think public toilets get stressed when too many people are around, because these failures always seem to happen when someone is waiting in line. When found in that situation, I quickly open the door - avoiding eye contact with the next user -!

C) There is no toilet paper. Strangely, there is always paper...except for that ONE time that you didn't check BEFORE you did your thing.

I just can't risk going through that...again. Scary? Absolutely!



Trix are for kids. Clowns are not. Who decided that clowns were entertainment? Probably the same people who give out toothbrushes to "Trick or Treaters".

Apparently, I'm a Coulrophobic. This is a person who, according to one definition, has an "extreme fear of clowns". Now, I don't like the word "extreme", because it makes it sound like I curl up into the fetal position, whenever I see over-sized shoes.

C'mon! When I see a clown, I may wail uncontrollably, drool and wet my pants...but I don't act like a baby.

Wikipedia defines it as "an abnormal or exaggerated fear of clowns". Really? Being afraid of clowns is abnormal? Obviously, this entry was edited by a clown.

I would think that a grown man calling himself "Bobo" is abnormal...and to be rightfully feared.

Wikipedia goes on to say, "(Coulrophobia) is acquired after having a bad experience...or seeing a sinister portrayal (of a clown)." Doesn't that describe every clown encounter? Bad and sinister.

Let's be honest. Clowns are, flat out, creepy. I've been weirded out by clowns for as long as I can remember. Even now, as an adult, if a clown approaches me, to show me something amusing, I'll keep him (or her) at arms length and inform them to have both hands visible, at all times. I simply don't trust someone who needs to paint a smile on their face.

Hey, thanks for the balloon's cute. You? Not so much. Please leave...before I call the cops.

Well, I know what you're thinking. "There is no way anything is more terrifying than public washrooms and clowns!" Oh, believe me, there are.

To find out the top three things that cause my skin to crawl, go to Part 2 here.

Have a good one,



  1. I hate public washrooms as well. But only when I have to take a dump. Because i dont want people to hear my farting. So, interestingly, I would rather be in a large, high traffic public washroom, than in my own bathroom, when company is over, and close enough to possibly hear me.
    I have actually twice taken a dump at union station, which was gross, but quite relieving!
    where does a washroom in a friends house fit into the equation?

  2. Well, Mr. United...

    First of all, thank you so much for the graphic response. It really allows the reader to put themselves right there with you. Are you an English major by chance?

    You make some very good points.

    Let's compare the Public Washroom (PW) with the Friend's House (FH).

    Cleanliness: Edge FH
    Working door lock: Edge FH
    Full TP stock: Edge FH
    Reliable Flushing: Even
    Chance of Farting going unnoticed: PW

    Let's call it a 1A, 1B situation. Just remember: There's no place like home.


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