Fear and Frothing In Las Vegas – My Rant On Phobias by
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Prompted By Fears and Phobias

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Alright, settle down everyone, I am here to dismantle the dramatics of our everyday anxieties. We all have fears, that much is a given. From the perfectly reasonable (stepping off a skyscraper) to the downright debilitating (spontaneous human combustion, a fear of mine, I haven’t slept well with since I first dreamed about it back during the almost Y2K non-catastrophe.) But somewhere between the healthy dose of caution and waking up screaming because the crack on your ceiling looks a bit like an arachnid lies the land of phobias.

Now, phobias are a funny bunch. You’ve got your run-of-the-mill arachnophobes like me, who would run away from a surprise spider. Then there’s the claustrophobics who are convinced a trip in an elevator is basically a one-way ticket to purgatory.

Don’t even get me started on the germaphobes – a bunch of walking anti-bacterial wipes who think a handshake is a biohazard suit malfunction. (Becoming Mister Monk is a personal fear of mine.)

Look, I get it. Some fears are primal. The fear of heights? Makes sense, gravity’s a bitch. But the fear of clowns? Come on, clowns are just sadistic and mean spirited children wearing face paint. And don’t even try to tell me you’re scared of flying. It’s statistically the safest mode of transport (unless, of course, you’re sharing a plane with a germaphobe dressed as a clown carrying a spider).

Now, some of you will argue that you’ve tried to overcome these phobias. You booked that therapy session with Dr. Feelgood, the one whose office overlooks a 40-story drop. Or you signed up for that skydiving course, only to spend the entire time composing your funeral eulogy in your head. Here’s the thing, folks – sometimes these phobias have more entertainment value than any actual hindrance. Imagine the story you’ll have at the next work function! “Oh yeah, I can’t go to the office picnic because there might be a rogue butterfly.” Hilarious.

But hey, if you’re genuinely petrified of pigeons or public speaking, then by all means seek help but there’s a difference between a healthy dose of caution and letting the fear win every single time. Just a word of advice – if your therapist’s treatment involves exposure therapy and a trip to the zoo, politely decline and find a new shrink. No one needs that kind of emotional scarring.

Look, at the end of the day, fears and phobias are a part of life. They’re what make us human, what makes us buy ten bottles of Pine-sol and twelve bottles of Pinot Noir every year. But I suggest you do not let any fear or fears be the punchline of your own existence.

I suggest you embrace the absurdity, write a self-help book titled “How to Stop Being Scared of Your Own Shadow” and maybe, just maybe, you’ll find yourself laughing all the way back into therapy? Or at least laughing until you cry, which, by the way, is a wonderful and healthy start!




Profile photo of Kevin Driscoll Kevin Driscoll
(Mostly) Vegetarian, Politically Progressive, Daily Runner, Spiritual, Helpful, Friendly, Kind, Warm Hearted and Forgiving. Resident of Braintree MA.

Characterizations: funny


  1. Thanx Kevin for your always clever take on the prompt!

    I don’t have any phobias I can think of save maybe a fear that a dozen bottles of Pinot Noir won’t last a year.

  2. Khati Hendry says:

    Ah, if only phobias responded to rational thinking!

  3. Kevin: a clever take on the phobia of phobias.
    I do take exeption bout the zoo example. In my zoology classes, some students were afraid of the hairy spiders with long legs. My professor tried to assuage this fea by pointing out that Russian wolf hounds had similar features but only magnified. A petting zoo is a great educational experience.

  4. Hi Kevin,
    Nice piece. I absolutely love the idea of writing a self help book for one’s self- genius! You go!

    Hi from Boston- we’re nearly neighbors!
    best, carol

  5. Laurie Levy says:

    Actually, exposure therapy is a legitimate way to overcome a severe phobia.

  6. Hey, I’m still trying to get the point of the Pine-Sol and the Pinot Noir, but aesthetically and alliteratively, I do love the pairing of those two! Thanks for this romp!

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