13 Dumb Fears That Are Not Made-Up
There is nothing to fear but fear itself and bears.
Phobias are irrational fears, as any psychiatrist will tell you for $200 an hour. But the following fears are so absurdly irrational, they seem made-up by a greedy shrink exploiting a wealthy, and deeply neurotic, patient.
Here's a short list of reasonable things to be afraid of: bears, airplanes exploding midflight, the dark, being buried alive in a coffin by a tribe of mutant rednecks, the dark (especially if it's dark and you can hear bears growling.) Even classic fears, like agoraphobia, can have practical applications. For instance: being afraid to leave your house can work to your benefit if the outside world is full of the walking dead.
I don't mean to be insensitive to paranoid fruit loops, but if you suffer from any of the following fears, you might just want to try to get over it. Each of these actual phobias are real and totally dumb.
Fear of chickens (Alektorophobia)
Chickens are delicious, not terrifying. Why would anyone be afraid of a bird that humans breed en masse, dismember, deep fry and serve in buckets? It has been hypothesized that chickens are descended from dinosaurs. A genetically engineered Tyrannosaurus Rex on a rampage is something to be afraid of, if they existed. But they don't. Chickens exist, and they're just giant flightless nuggets.
Fear of dolls (Pediophobia)
Yes, dolls can resemble dead children. Creepy! Some dolls are so spooky, they look like they're possessed by ghosts or demons! Creepy redux! If you are genuinely afraid of dolls, allow me to attempt to indulge your mental problems. Okay. Here it goes: you should only be afraid of dolls if they are human-sized. Because then, if a dark god takes control of the doll and it suddenly snaps to life, then you have to fight an animated inanimate object that is your size. This could be trouble. But dolls are tiny. You can just kick them. I mean, let's say a small army of dolls started marching towards you. All you'd really need to defend yourself is a shovel. Is this helping? How about this: dolls are plastic toys for children.
Fear of the Pope (Papaphobia)
The Pope is the head of the Roman Catholic Church and its approximately one billion followers. According to the non-fiction book The Da Vinci Code, he controls ancient secrets and can command Albino assassins to kill anyone who dares defy his word. The Pope is also an elderly man with a fondness for frocks who lives in a golden castle in Italy. This creepy-looking geezer is someone who is really easy to avoid. Don't visit Vatican City. Done.
Fear of vegetables (Lachanophobia)
Eat your vegetables. Seriously. Eat them. Claiming you're afraid of vegetables is, possibly, the lamest way to avoid broccoli and green beans. Grow up. Don't hide behind a barely-believable phobia. You don't like Brussels sprouts? How about you just belly-up to the big kids table and eat a couple because A.) they're good for you and B.) shut up and eat them. Did you watch your parents die in a freak vegetable avalanche? Oh, so, you have no reason to be afraid of vegetables. That's settled! Steamed asparagus?
Fear of clowns (Coulrophobia)
Clowns are not scary. It's kind of a popular cultural trope that they are, but this has no basis in fact. Clowns are men or women who wear makeup, talk in funny voices and wear oversized shoes. Their only job is to act like an outrageous jackass in order to make children laugh. Some clowns go home afterwards and sob in their fourth-floor efficiency. Other clowns take off their makeup and then wait tables at night. Still other clowns, on their days off, do laundry and go to dinner with friends. There is nothing scary about clowns.
Fear of gravity (Barophobia)
A fear of heights is, really, a fear of falling. Nobody wants to fall from great heights and splatter on the sidewalk. But gravity is nothing to fear. Gravity is something to be very thankful for. Without gravity, you'd spin off of this rock into the cold, empty vacuum of space where your blood will boil as you suffocate to death. Say it with me, "THANKS FOR BEING THERE FOR US, GRAVITY."
Fear of flutes (Aulophobia)
Flutes are something to hate. They're what I imagine fairy farts sound like. Tiny, playful, annoying. But how can they inspire fear? I suppose a magic flute could be a horrifying weapon in the wrong hands, which would be anyone who actually plays the flute. But then there is the small matter that there is no such thing as magic.
Fear of garlic (Alliumphobia)
Vampires should fear garlic. Those completely fictional bloodsuckers also fear sunlight and wooden stakes. But vampires don't exist. Right? We can agree on that? Sure, there are plenty of goth kids on a mission from hell to piss off their wealthy parents by acting like vampires. But, seriously, if they ate garlic, what is the worst that could happen? Diarrhea? The best thing that could happen, however, would be tasty pasta. If you're allergic to garlic, then be vigilant! Make sure your food doesn't come with any! But if you're scared of garlic, then follow this prescription: eat a loaf of garlic bread. How do you feel now?
Fear of laughter (Geliophobia)
Maybe a fear of laughter is the result of being a joyless jerk? A humorless prig who thinks the world is laughing at him, because he is incapable of laughing with them? This is just a theory, people. I'm just trying to make sense of something so perfectly senseless. According to some science studies, laughter is a form of aggression in primates. So maybe the one person out there with geliophobia is some kind of freak monkey-man from the future who went to a comedy club and thought, "Great Ape, these humans are all trying to kill me!" Yes. Yes, that's it. A freak monkey-man from the future.
Fear of poetry (Metrophobia)
How is metrophobia an actual phobia? What hack brain doctor diagnosed this crap? Did someone walk into his or her office trembling, and weep about how Shell Silverstein gave them bed-wetting nightmares? Would it be possible to incapacitate this person with fright by chasing them and reading out loud from the collected works of Emily Dickinson? Would this person sell out all the people he or she loves if they were strapped to a chair and forced to listen to Shakespeare's sonnets?
Fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth (Arachibutyrophobia)
I don't understand this fear at all. It makes me angry, actually. Peanut butter is a wholesome staple of the American diet. If you're afraid of it, then don't eat it. But I'm not totally without empathy or imagination. Maybe a fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof your mouth is actually a fear of choking? This is something that can be scary, especially if you're actually choking. Maybe a fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth is based in a primal fear of evil, sentient slime monsters? I don't know.
Fear of being tickled with feathers (Pteronophobia)
Whenever my older brother held me down and tickled me, it wasn't fear that I felt. It was wild, simmering rage. Which is why, once he stopped torturing me, I would recover and take garden shears to the heads of his action figures. Tickling isn't something to fear. It is a reason for revenge. While we're on the topic, how often does the threat of being tickled with feathers happen in an adult's life? If this is your personal fear, stop going to freaky, swinger fetish parties.
Fear of the number 13 (Triskaidekaphobia)
I actually know some people who are sketched out by the number 13. I tell them, regularly, that they are dumb. Numbers are just numbers — they have no more bearing on your fate than the stars. Now, a little superstition never hurt anyone. But when that metastasizes into a full-blown fear, then you have to ask yourself an important question. That question is, "Am I being a total weirdo?" Yes. Yes, you are. Also: this is the 13th fear in this list of 13 fears that have to be made up. Congratulations, you've overcome your mental spazz out!