My Irrational Fears #4

This is probably the fourth My Irrational Fears post, but I may have lost count. I’m not sure and I don’t particularly care.

I strongly dislike walking into gymnasiums because I am afraid that I will be hit by falling basketballs.

This fear is not entirely unfounded. I have been hit on the head by falling basketballs about a fourth of the times that I decide to visit various gymnasiums.

This fear has been useful to me before. Once, my friend asked me to come to the gymnasium with her, but I refused because I was afraid that I would be hit by a falling basketball. She was hit in the face by a basketball and broke her tooth.

(Told you so.)

And plus, basketballs are red-orange. This isn’t a reason I’m afraid of them, it’s just a fact that they are red-orange.

To clarify, I am not afraid of basketballs when they stay still, only when someone throws one and I happen to be standing directly in the line of the parabola. Then I am afraid on my teeth’s behalf.

My Irrational Fears #3

I am very afraid of getting hit by opening doors.

Whenever I walk in hallways, I am always very alert, listening hard for the sound of a turning knob or shuffling feet on the other side of the door.

If a knob ever turns, I flinch away. This has saved me multiple times from potential death-by-door.

Recently, I have been visiting a new facility that has discovered a way to avoid death-by-door. Their doors are all set in alcoves so they wouldn’t hit people in the hallway. The same cannot be said of people in the alcove.

But I still flinch when the knob turns.

My Irrational Fears #2

Aside from escalators, I am also incredibly afraid of worms. I am afraid of worms even more so that I am afraid of escalators.

When confronted by an escalator, I panic, but I panic on the inside. When confronted by a worm, I scream on the outside.

I am more afraid of worms than I am afraid of snakes. (But note that I have only been confronted with garter snakes, not cobras or vipers or anything. So to clarify, I am more afraid of worms than I am afraid of garter snakes.)

If a worm stays still (otherwise known as dead), I am perfectly fine. I will calmly walk around the worm (giving it a wide berth, of course. Four feet tends to work well for me). The thing that is most frightening about worms is the way they move. I don’t know why. It just is.

When I was little, my mother had to iron all my socks flat, because if there was a wrinkle in my sock, I was convinced that there was a worm in my shoe.

Once, when I was in kindergarten, we went on a field trip. It is not important where we went, the only thing that you, dear nonexistent reader, need to know is that it was raining. And that worms prefer to come out of their underground homes when it is raining, not when it is hot and dry and sunny.

So we were walking from the bus to the school. Oh, about twenty, maybe thirty, yards of sidewalk. A wet sidewalk. A wet sidewalk riddled with worms.

I stepped from the bus onto the sidewalk, puddles splashing a bit, my tennis shoes soaked through. The path that led back to the dry safety of my school lay before me, infinitely long. I began the trek, following the children in front of me. I stepped delicately around the wriggling worms, stifling my screams.

Every time I gingerly took a step forward, the sidewalk grew tenfold.

But I was succeeding. My progress was slow, but I was overcoming the dangerous worms in front of me. I relaxed as much as I could under the circumstances.

Until the King of Worms appeared.

It was lying across the entire width of the sidewalk, as thick as a sturdy rope, its body rippling slightly as it inched forward.

I stood stock-still and a bloodcurdling scream pierced the air. It took me a moment to realize that the scream was coming from me.

One of the volunteers for the field trip had to carry me the rest of the way. I screamed the entire time.


My Irrational Fears #1

Like everyone else, I have fears that are completely irrational, which means they make absolutely no sense. This will be a series of posts as I have quite a few irrational fears and stories that go along with them.


I used to love escalators. I would go to a certain place just to ride on the escalator over and over and over. But then, once, I didn’t step perfectly between the lines while it was flat and my heel caught on the edge of the step behind me as it began to rise and while I didn’t nearly fall, or actually fall, it frightened me. This one mishap wasn’t enough to completely eradicate my lifelong love of escalators, but when it happened again, my lifelong love of escalators was completely eradicated.

Once, we were trying to go down an escalator, as most people tend to try with escalators. My father was holding my and my brother’s hands. This was before I realized that I was afraid of escalators.

As we approached the escalators, I began to hyperventilate and generally freak out.

My brother stepped onto the deadly moving staircase first, followed by my father, but my legs had locked into place and they would not move.

The arm that was locked in my father’s hand began to stretch as they moved further down the deathtrap and my father attempted to urge me to come.

My brother nearly fell down the escalator.


Another time, we were visiting somewhere or the other. Niagra Falls or something, I believe. By this time, I had overcome my fear of escalators that traveled in an upward direction, but escalators that traveled in a downward direction still frightened me as much as they had before.

We had gone up to a viewing platform on the second floor using an escalator. I was very proud of having boarded the death trap. But I was stuck on the second floor. I could not get down using the elevator.

The rest of my family had already gone to the lower floor, but once again, my legs refused to walk to the escalator. They were urging from the bottom for me to be brave, to face my fears.

A friendly stranger tried to help me down as well. He held my hand as we prepared to step onto the escalator, but once more, the stranger went down and I remained up… somehow.

My father had to come back up and find an elevator.


Once, after the first story, but before the second, I was forced to face yet another escalator. This was before I had gotten over my fear of escalators that travel in an upward direction.

We were in an airport and a horrifying escalator was looming before me, waiting to pounce.

A nice couple (who were also strangers) attempted to help me up the deadly staircase, but I predictably did not step foot onto the escalator and they went upstairs without me. We once again had to search for an elevator.


I have conquered my fear of escalators that go in an upward direction, but I have yet to completely vanquish escalators that go in a downward direction. I sometimes am able to go on them when I am in a particularly daring mood, which is not often.

If at all possible, I will take the stairs or an elevator.