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confessions of a ridiculous person

If I could have my way, I would confine my encounters with post and politics to reading birthday cards and webofevil.

My aversion to the post is so extreme that one might guess I had spent a childhood as an indentured servant made to lick mountains of envelopes, or that my mailbox administered electric shocks. In truth, what terrifies me about post is the weight of expectation that it comes with: whether it's to pay another extortionate yet unexpected bill from my council, respond to urgent queries, send (and locate!) obscure haunting documents from Home Office or Institutions of Higher Learning, or deal with the haunting guilt of not responding to my pen-pals speedily enough (if at all). The postal service is as a long ode to my failure, interspersed here and there with bittersweet memories of my grandmother and the increasingly unreadable letters she wrote me when I moved to England, each of which began with "This is surely the last letter I will write to you, because I will die soon."

Post and its pushers terrify me, but it remains inescapable (down to the fact that two of my neighbours are postmen, which doesn't seem to increase the frequency of the right post actually getting delivered to my address), forcing me to engage in elaborate rituals of avoidance and confrontation, wrapped in futility and stapled with anxiety. The weight of unopened envelopes with Generally Threatening Contents is heavy on my conscience, and afixes me with its humorless malevolent eye every single time I exit the front door (to outwit it, I haven't left the house in two days).

The only thing guaranteed to raise my blood pressure higher than encounters with mail are encounters with current events. Therefore I don't watch the news, I spurn broadsheets, I immerse myself in reality television - and largely this works well for me, as I drift through the world in a state of what I would like to consider as benign ignorance.

However, despite my efforts, the real world frequently breaks through and (as last Friday) I find myself googling news sites attempting to discover why an angry mob and a Police Presence are congregated not far from my office shouting in a lively but disconcerting manner. (It was something to do with the Iranian elections, as it turned out. Although why they had picked as the focal point for the frenzy an Iranian Corner Shop I suspect I will never find out).

What is your most ridiculous phobia?


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 15th, 2009 05:16 pm (UTC)
Balloons. I will go to any lengths to avoid a balloon, especially the ones blown up by mouth and tied off as you see at parties. In fact, I took Sammy to a birthday party a few weeks ago and the host father was blowing up balloon animals. I nearly had a stroke.

I always tell someone offering the kids a balloon that "it will pop and they'll choke", but it's really me and my fear of a balloon popping.

Jun. 16th, 2009 08:16 am (UTC)
You're now officially the second person I know with that phobia.

Poor you. It's a debilitating one to have, with small children around.
Jun. 15th, 2009 08:26 pm (UTC)
I have a similar, lamentable attitude to current affairs.

My phobia, my silly phobia, is moths. They will eat your eyeballs, given the chance. Give me a moth in a confined space/combine my two biggest phobias and i will probably die...Really.
Jun. 16th, 2009 08:14 am (UTC)
Moths eat eyeballs? Good lord.
If you're ever trapped in the same room as a moth you could probably try to distract it with a sweater.
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 16th, 2009 08:17 am (UTC)
I am also completely squicked out by heart beats

Your own or other people's? (I have really restrained myself not to make any jokes about LIFELONG FEAR)
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 19th, 2009 09:46 am (UTC)
Have you considered replacing them all with robots?
Jun. 19th, 2009 03:08 pm (UTC)
Or even replacement hearts that have no beat! We can make prosthetics that work much more efficiently than this hole lub-dub pumping lark. I think that's cool.
Jun. 17th, 2009 03:28 pm (UTC)
I'm okay with normal news but can't handle anything about climate change really.

I used to be afraid of the world ending, when I was a teenager. I blame the weird Christians I was hanging out with. They tried to tell me the Rapture thing was good but it sounded hideous to me, and still does. I love the world too much to want to leave it, even if they were right about the bliss and etc. I'd be leaving it for.

I think that's a pretty irrational fear, but it's not as interesting as nuns or umbrellas -- actual things friends of mine are terribly phobic of.
Jun. 19th, 2009 09:46 am (UTC)
Yes the trumpets and the boiling oceans and the rain of fire did not sound remotely blissful to me either, ever.

A fear of umbrellas? in England that might as well qualify as agoraphobia.
Jun. 19th, 2009 03:04 pm (UTC)
Yes, lucky for that friend she's American :) She'd freak out in Manchester.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )


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