By on October 26, 2016

Happy Halloween (and how I got to be afraid of just about everything).

Years ago this young man waited at the Old Faithful Inn to meet the Midnight Ghost. He did, and except for a grease spot by the front  door, no one has seen him since.

Years ago this young man waited at the Old Faithful Inn to meet the Midnight Ghost. He did, and except for a grease spot by the front  door, no one has seen him since.

JACKSON HOLE, WY – This is supposed to be the scariest time of the year, but I think the whole year has been scary. I judge everything by the Ick Factor and this year has had it.

For instance, I was in the grocery store looking at prepared food when I saw a whole fish, all cooked and covered in breadcrumbs. It had beady eyes and was smiling at me. “It’s Dory,” I said. “They found her and cooked her for lunch.” I told the counter man I didn’t want to be acquainted with my food and he offered to cut its head off. Poor Dory, I’ll bet she was delicious.

I am one of those wimpy people so disgusted by some of the things people eat that I can’t even think about it.  When you see those hideous skinny crab legs at the seafood counter, can you imagine them running after you? They are spiders, you know.  Every see a coconut crab?  They are the size of a garbage can and can crack coconuts.  Now that’s a lot of Crab Louis.

By the way, lobster lovers, did you know that the lobster is a nasty, vile cannibal that never stops growing and just gets more ugly?  It is also an insect, and the last thing I want on my plate is something with boiled eyes and feelers looking at me. All the tartar sauce in the world won’t help.

Since early childhood I have been a natural weenie. I remember hiding under the bed when we had company and hiding under the seat at the movies. (Today I seldom hide under the bed anymore when company comes, but I have considered it.) The first movie that compelled me to hide was Snow White. The evil queen scared me witless. She did bear a close resemblance to Verna Flitch, our junior high principal. We all knew that Miss Verna had a closet full of medieval torture instruments and that she kept her poor old mother tied up in the basement. We also knew that the cops had taken away the rubber hose she used on recalcitrant pupils. I would like to say she was really a lovely person, but she wasn’t. When she pointed a boney finger at you, you were toast.

Phobias are extreme fears and there is one for almost everything. We all know about the fears of spiders, snakes, heights, water, etc., but there are others. There is zitaphobia, the fear that a large red glob the size of a third eye will appear on your forehead on picture day. There also is the fear of relativity—the unrelenting fear of your in-laws, especially your mother in-law and sister in-law alone, or together. Bigger even and more horrifying, is blobaphobia, the horrendous agony of having to try on a bathing suit. The realization the awful jiggaly rubbery creature in the mirror could be you is soul destroying, it has to be the poor lighting? Did you know there is a feet phobia? And a fear of bananas? Olaf Crumm in my hometown had both. I have seen his feet and know why. If Olaf stepped on a banana would he be doubly terrified?

I admit that I am icked out by a lot of things and while this has caused an occasional problem, I have managed.  I realize that while I am a wuss, I can inflict wussiness on others. I was a world-class lunch room lady and there is a whole generation out there who still thinks I am the scariest they ever saw. And well, they should.  PJH

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