If you haven’t got one, you either lack imagination or lack mental health issues. The only way to get over one is to become a parent and hope that one of your children has the same phobia as you. As a parent, you have no choice but to get over it or else your little darling will scream the house down. I have no children, so my phobias are alive and kicking. I currently have 3.
Chaetophobia – fear of hair
Malus Domesticaphobia – fear of apples
Ranidaphobia – fear of frogs
My Chaetophobia mainly presents itself as a fear of stray hairs that are not attached to a head, made infinitely worse if I am unable to identify whose head they originated from. In addition, women with long frizzy brown/red hair (think Kate Bush, Bonnie Langford) need to be shaved, immediately.
My best friend has the same phobia. We have had to ask to change tables in restaurants due to a “Bush” head being seated too close to us. We have also been trapped in the corner of a packed bar due to a “Bush” head blocking our exit. Needless to say, we both have very short blonde hair. Most men out here have sensibly shaved heads or dreadlocks, which are appreciated. Excluding fat dreadlocks (which make me want to vomit) – but usually their owners have the decency to keep then in a big sack thing. Most women out here have shaved heads as well and/or wear wigs. So just the tourists and ex-pats to worry about for me.
My Malus Domesticaphobia is mild and very specific. All red apples are potentially poisonous, thank you, Snow White. In fairness, I can now just about eat a red apple, but I still can’t do it without images of the old crone with her spindly fingers offering Snow White THAT apple.
The Lack of fresh produce over here kindly takes care of the red apple issue. Actually, thinking about Snow White reminds me that I have another phobia – Achondroplasiaphobia – fear of dwarves. Imagine, if you will, a dwarf with “Bush” head hair, offering you a red apple. Terrifying.
By far my greatest problem is the Ranidaphobia, which I didn’t even realise that I had, until the day I found a frog in my bedroom. It is currently off-season for frogs, so I can think about them now without freaking out. I firmly believe that my apartment (brand new when I moved in 18 months ago), must have been built on the site of a tree frog mating ground. It is the only explanation for their obsession with my bedroom and bathroom. No one else on this freaking rock ever sees the tree frogs; it is a cruel twist of fate that they have chosen me. My next door neighbour and the Rasta Man have a full time job removing them. My neighbour sets the ‘locals’ free. However, she captures the illegal immigrant Cubans in a tupperware box and puts them in her freezer, so that she can take them to the local school for dissection. Her apartment is like Frog Gitmo.
Wikipedia has this amusing explanation for Ranidaphobia (fear of frogs):
A phobia against frogs often happens after seeing frogs die violently. One case of severe fear of frogs has been described in the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry in 1983: a woman developed an extreme fear of forgs after a traumatic incident in which her lawn mower ran over a group of frogs and killed them.
A few months back, while taking a shower, my new shower curtain kept sticking to my right leg. With a little flick of the ankle, I shook it off. Then the shower curtain stuck to my left leg. As I was about to flick my left leg, it occurred to me that my left leg was nowhere near the shower curtain. I looked down to see a dark green tree frog attached to calf. I let out a blood curdling scream and flicked my leg so violently that I skidded, throwing myself out of the bath backwards. I crashed head first into the lavatory and lay in a naked, wet, shaking mess, curled around the U-bend. The frog was on the bathroom wall, it’s heart beating so hard that it looked like it might explode out of its body. I bruised up like a peach, to the extent that people were asking, “What the hell happened to you?”.
The Rasta Man, as usual, came up with some sage advice: “Princess, you’ve been sent a plague of frogs and I can’t always come to get them. You either need to get over this childishness or you need to start believing in God.”
Want to stay connected to the Land of Coconuts?
We'll send you island mail, fresh from the tropics each week.