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Old 11-04-2010, 01:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Funny, Strange or Just Plain Weird Childhood Fears

I'm sure we all had at least one, those irrational fears we look back on now and laugh at but at the time messed with our heads so badly it sent us running to hide under the bed, or in my case the tiny crawl space behind the furnace. When I was really young I was terrified of manhole covers and sewer drains, I was convinced if I stepped on one I'd fall in and...well I guess get swallowed up in some abyss of childhood sadness and things that made my nightmares look like a joke. I remember being so terrified of them that I wouldn't just go around them but try to drag my parents to the other side of the street if I saw one coming...pretty silly but as a youngin' the fear was pretty real.

Another one I recall when I was very young was riding with my father in his pickup on our weekly trek to the town dump (yeah my town didn't like the idea of picking up peoples trash), I drove out with him every weekend because as a child raging tire fires and mountains of mud and garbage were pretty f'n cool. One Saturday morning while making the usual trip I recall stopping at an intersection next to a swampy area off in the woods (as I kid I loved looking at it for some reason) when I giant Moose came clompping through the water and out in front of the truck. It stopped, turned and looked right at me before running off, I completely fell apart and hid on the floor under the seat I even remember refusing to get out of the truck when we got to the dump. It was weeks before I'd dare go back out there and when I finally did I'd slip down to the floor and hide when ever we went past the old swamp. It was horrible, I had nightmares about that thing...goddamn moose.

So anybody else want to share? I'd love to hear what kind of silly things horrified you as young children, it might make for a pretty fun thread.
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Old 11-04-2010, 01:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Flying monkeys on the Wizard of Oz?

Damn movie used to scare the piss out of me as a kid. I was fine with the wicked witch. You couldn't take me to a zoo without making a long detour around the monkeys until I was 8 or 9.
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Old 11-04-2010, 01:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Oh god the flying monkeys used to mess me up as a kid too, the other movie that got me was The Neverending Story...that fucking wolf thing that pops out of the cave with the big teeth and yellow eyes, nightmare fuel.
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Old 11-04-2010, 01:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Gremlins. Those little green fuckers scared the everliving shit out of me when I was a kid.
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Old 11-04-2010, 01:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Stan, your fear reminded me of one of my childhood fears: the Wheelers from the movie Return to Oz. I think I watched that movie once but it scarred me forever.
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Old 11-04-2010, 01:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Fright Night. When the kid went in to wake up his mom and it was a vampire or whatever, and the dude melted... ugh! I still have trouble watching The Princess Bride when that actor is on there.

But, my most irrational fear from childhood stems from the noisy water heater that was downstairs under my bedroom. At night I was convinced that there were dinosaurs down there that were coming up to eat me. I still, to this day, have nightmares about once every 6 weeks about being stalked by Tyrannosauruses. It's terrifying. But, I love learning about them and I'm not afraid of them when I'm awake, normally. Come to think of it, though, it took me 3 tries to watch Jurassic Park III by myself.
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Old 11-04-2010, 03:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Water weeds. Specifically those purplish-red ones that emerge from the depths when you are in water where you can't see the bottom of the lake. Something about those slimy plants appearing from god knows how deep down, in an environment that would kill me dead if I was stuck in them . . . they seriously creeped me out and made it hard to look down into the water when boating with the family. I would shudder right into my core when I looked at them. Made me tremble, want to pee and cry and all that stuff. I would sit quietly and feel totally horrible whenever we went out and the boat passed over weed patches.

I still don't really like the look of those particular water weeds. Note - I had 2 or 3 near-drowning experiences when I was a little kid while summering at my parents cottage near Haliburton, Ontario. That may have something to do with my enduring horror of those particular weeds.
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Old 11-04-2010, 05:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Water weeds. Specifically those purplish-red ones that emerge from the depths when you are in water where you can't see the bottom of the lake. Something about those slimy plants appearing from god knows how deep down, in an environment that would kill me dead if I was stuck in them . . . they seriously creeped me out and made it hard to look down into the water when boating with the family. I would shudder right into my core when I looked at them. Made me tremble, want to pee and cry and all that stuff. I would sit quietly and feel totally horrible whenever we went out and the boat passed over weed patches.

I still don't really like the look of those particular water weeds. Note - I had 2 or 3 near-drowning experiences when I was a little kid while summering at my parents cottage near Haliburton, Ontario. That may have something to do with my enduring horror of those particular weeds.
I just never liked how they felt like hands grabbing at your feet. :shudder:

I avoid swimming in lakes with weeds to this day.
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Old 11-04-2010, 07:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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My sister was scared of the movie Time Bandits. There was a Sesame Street record I once checked out from the library that I swore talked to me by name. I saw it hundreds of times afterwards in the library and would shudder whenever I walked by. I knew it was insane, but could not bring myself to check it out and listen again.
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Old 11-04-2010, 07:49 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I used to have nightmares about our furnace turning into some kind of monster. I would be next to it in the furnace/laundry room and would yell at it to stay away and it would come to life and roar back at me. I think it's because I was used to hearing the thing switch on and off, since the room I shared with my brother was in the basement across the hall from it. It's all kind of weird because my dad to this day is a furnace repair/installation mechanic (my brother is now too).

I'd also have nightmares of construction machinery getting a life of their own and chasing me, like something out of Maximum Overdrive. At around the time the movie came out (1986), I was ten years old and living in a new subdivision, and so I was used to seeing dump trucks, dozers, and excavators rumbling around the neighbourhood. In the dream, I would be riding my bike and they'd come to life and chase me.
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Old 11-04-2010, 08:31 PM   #11 (permalink)
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In my childhood home there is a room adjacent to the basement/playroom where the hot water heater and AC stuff is located. It is also full of dirt which was left when the house was built. When you open the cupboard type doors in the wall between the basement and this room the first thing you see is this huge mountain of dirt. This room terrified me as a child and still scares me today. I have never been in this room, and I will never go in there. My brothers and I are preparing to sell this house, and this fear will go along with it, I hope.
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Old 11-04-2010, 09:17 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Good stuff folks, its amazing how many childhood fears end up carrying over in some shape or form to adulthood no matter how ridiculous or silly. Still to this day manholes make me... well not really nervous I'm not sure I can explain it. Sure I don't avoid them or feel over come by fear but there is always that weird twinge of...something when ever I walk over one. Strange.

I thought of another on my walk home this evening. When I was a real youngin' (these are some of my earliest memories) my Mom had some 8 track that she played all the time. I can't for the life of me remember what it was but one of the songs had some sort of deep laughter or something to that effect that scarred the ever loving crap right out of me. If I heard the song before it playing I'd run as fast as could and hide anywhere that would block out the sound, I actually remember having dreams about it where I was sitting in the living and the song came on and I couldn't get away in time. I still sometimes wonder if I could track down a copy of whatever album it was and have a listen just for curiosity sake...

...and seriously what the hell was wrong with my Mom that she played it anyway knowing how much it freaked me out...wtf mom?
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Old 11-04-2010, 11:18 PM   #13 (permalink)
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When I was around 6 or 7 I was scared of walking by windows at night, convinced I'd see ghosts or something looking in at me. Freaked me out.

When I was a little older, we lived in a trailer park about a half mile from a Walmart and movie theater, on the other side of the woods.
There was a trail through the woods from the trailer park to the store/theater. We kids had to walk the trail if we ever wanted to go to the movies on the weekend and no one's parents would take us.
Usually there were a group of us walking the trail, but occasionally I walked alone.
I had never been afraid of the dark before then, but something about walking in those woods at night was scary. (they weren't dense woods, or too dark)
The only way I got through it was by whistling.
I went to see Poltergeist by myself and made my mom come pick me up afterward.
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Old 11-05-2010, 03:13 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I saw the original movie "The Fly" when I was 6 or something. Had to sleep with a night light on. Thought I would turn into a fly. Pretty dumb when I think about it.
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Old 11-05-2010, 06:18 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I was absolutely terrified of dogs as a child; I don't view this as strange or silly, but plenty of other people do - man's best friend and all of that. It didn't matter if the dog was a Chihuahua or a Great Dane - they all scared the everloving shit out of me. People would try to make me "outgrow" my fear by purposefully exposing me to their dogs. All it did was make me feel animosity that person - I still have an intense dislike for one of my dad's sisters...well, she's a bitch anyway.

I've outgrown my fear somewhat - I can tolerate most dogs, but certain breeds and aggressive dogs of any size still scare me and I don't view dogs as cute or cuddly or friendly or awesome or whatever you think your dog is. I am thankful for friends and family who understand my feelings and put their dogs in the yard or garage when I come over. Yeah, yeah, their your family or kids or whatever the hell, but I'm not going to hang at your place if your stinkbeast is jumping or slobbering on me.
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Old 11-05-2010, 07:23 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Another one I thought of this morning: my mom's Chatty Cathy doll.


When I was a very small child, Mom brought out her childhood doll, excited to introduce me to Chatty Cathy. Unfortunately for Cathy, she'd been thrown across the room when my mom was a kid, and so when I pulled the cord to make her talk, all that came out was this demonic-sounding gobbledygook. I started screaming and crying. After that, my mom kept her hidden in her closet. I'm now over that fear. We laugh about it, and agree that my mom probably should have thought about the noises Cathy made before bringing her out
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Old 11-05-2010, 08:57 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I thought of another one as well. I always shared a bunk bed with a sibling right up until we moved to a big old house when I was 11. Sometimes I would get up in the night to pee. Actually now that I think of it sometimes I wouldn't get out of bed to pee just because it was so scary. I was a bedwetter In the dim light that would be available through the bedroom window at night my brother's face would be a blurred mass of shadows. And I would see his face transform into a monster right before my eyes. Wolfman, Frankenstein, Count Dracula - or quite often alien, bizarre faces that made no sense except that I could see them very clearly. You name a distressing shape of any sort of fearful beast and I would see his face actually crawl into that configuration. The closer I peered up at him in the dark, the worse the details would be. Sometimes I could actually see a shifting of eyes or a mouth quiver - freaked the sh*t out of me. I draw closer and my brother's face would reappear. Draw back, and monster would drift back, reforming over his features and appear as solid as ever. I tell you, it was hard to get close enough to see my brother again, and very hard to climb back into the bottom bunk. I would lie in bed, knowing that above me was this transformed monster that was supposed to be my brother but wasn't, and it was waiting for me to fall asleep before doing whatever monsters do to little kids when they fall asleep. The tricks that low-level light play on someone with a vivid imagination like mine can sometimes be a real bitch.
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Old 11-05-2010, 02:51 PM   #18 (permalink)
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the milky bar kid off the adverts for milky bars. gave me nightmares all the time, used to strongly believe that kid was out to get me.

the dark

news programmes (no idea why, just scared me so much)
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Old 11-05-2010, 04:06 PM   #19 (permalink)
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The Bumble (a.k.a. the Abominable Snow Monster of the North) from the stop-motion, animated Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer TV Special.

His crazy eyes and fangs would freak me out.
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Old 11-05-2010, 04:20 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I remember watching the old black and white movies as a child... The Tingler with Vincent Price scared me to bits.
I swear that thing looked like an earwig- they still give me the creeps when I see one.
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Old 11-05-2010, 06:32 PM   #21 (permalink)
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The sheer terror or what might happen if I were to simulatenously ingest Pop Rocks and Coke scared the hell out of me. The fear of the unknown was terrifying, however it did not deter us from playing with fire, regularly. My friends and I mixed condiment cocktails and dared each other to drink up, never considering the potential severity of what might occur had somebody been ruthless enough to slip a Pop Rock into an unsuspecting friend's soda can. I had never known anyone who had actually succumbed to this particular accidental tragedy, but believed, wholeheatedly ,in the urban legend.
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Old 11-05-2010, 07:43 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Am I the only one who didn't have any childhood fears? I was never afraid of the dark or any of that stuff. My older brother was, so it was great fun to torment him.

As an adult I am afraid of being trapped in an oven and having it turn on. I do not like escalators as I am clumsy, and porcelain dolls are just creepy no matter at what age.
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Old 11-05-2010, 09:47 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Nothing particularly visual, but I was always afraid of things coming up behind me in the dark until I was 20.
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Old 11-05-2010, 11:29 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I never really feared something happening or a specific object when I was a kid, but I suffered from AIWS (Alice in Wonderland Syndrome) from when I was 5 to 16 years old. I've thankfully outgrown it, because it was always a terrifying experience.

Basically, I'd wake up and experience extreme distortion of my visual perception. The far wall of my room would look like it were 50 feet away, and the ceiling would look to be 30 feet tall. My hands and arms seemed to be bowed and elongated. The hallway outside my room was huge and loomed over me. My perception of time was often skewed, also-What felt like a half an hour was really only 5 minutes, and on rare occasions 20-30 minutes would go by in what felt like minutes.
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Old 11-06-2010, 02:05 AM   #25 (permalink)
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I never saw the movie Monkey Shines, but my grandfather had one of those things and it scare the shite out of me. He knew it and tortured me with it.

That, and Chuckie. I was only able to watch part of the movie as an adult. I was afraid that my dolls would come alive at night and kill me. Especially my friend's My Buddy doll. At the time, it was pretty much big enough to take me out, if possessed by evil spirits.
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Old 11-06-2010, 03:41 AM   #26 (permalink)
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As an adult I am afraid of being trapped in an oven and having it turn on.
Just a guess, but that is how Hansel and Gretel were going to be killed in the fairy tale. Maybe you heard this story when you were a child.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hansel_and_Gretel
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Old 11-06-2010, 09:53 AM   #27 (permalink)
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I'm told I was afraid of balloons and icecream as a child but I don't remember it
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Old 11-06-2010, 10:54 AM   #28 (permalink)
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I never really feared something happening or a specific object when I was a kid, but I suffered from AIWS (link to syndrome removed because apparently I need 15 posts) from when I was 5 to 16 years old. I've thankfully outgrown it, because it was always a terrifying experience.

Basically, I'd wake up and experience extreme distortion of my visual perception. The far wall of my room would look like it were 50 feet away, and the ceiling would look to be 30 feet tall. My hands and arms seemed to be bowed and elongated. The hallway outside my room was huge and loomed over me. My perception of time was often skewed, also-What felt like a half an hour was really only 5 minutes, and on rare occasions 20-30 minutes would go by in what felt like minutes.
Wait... This is an actual documented childhood syndrome? Seriously? Holy crap that is awesome I am not crazy. Or at least I wasn't as a child.

My brother and I often discussed this horrible side effect of childhood, especially (though not exclusively) when we were sick. Things would appear far away and incredibly close. Time was eternal. Everything was painfully loud and painfully quiet at the same time. Urgh. Horrible. I also used to close my eyes and feel like the darkness was an eternal void that I was falling into forever.

Basically, I was fucked up. But it's a syndrome, so it's all good now, right? TOTALLY.

As for childhood fears, my worst one was Tim Curry in a clown suit hiding behind shower curtains. Peeing at night was a freaking adventure.

I also avoided mirrors for several years. Not because I feared my own reflection due to being hideous between the ages of 10 and 14 (though I was), but because I was terrified I'd one day look in the mirror and it WOULDN'T BE ME LOOKING BACK OH NO WHAT IF IT'S TIM CURRY INSTEAD.
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Old 11-06-2010, 10:18 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Yeah, I pretty much just lived with it when I was a kid, but one day in later years when I was all growed up and everything I happened upon an article detailing this syndrome. I was ecstatic, to say the least. I wonder how many people don't realize it's an actual syndrome, and not necessarily indicative of insanity or something of the like.
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Old 11-06-2010, 10:50 PM   #30 (permalink)
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INDEED. My dad, who spent some time working in medicine, was fairly certain I was showing signs of schizophrenia, when really it was just a normal kid thing! Sort of! THANKS, DAD, FOR NOT PREMATURELY PUTTING ME ON ANTI-PSYCHOTICS.
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Old 11-07-2010, 06:22 AM   #31 (permalink)
 
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AIWS, eh? I had no idea, either, that this had been documented.
I recall many episodes that would leave me terrified.
It felt like my body was as big as a house & very very dense & heavy.
Wow.
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Old 11-07-2010, 07:53 AM   #32 (permalink)
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crickets

the bathroom i had to use as a kid was underground and the shower didn't exactly have a cieling on it. if you looked up mid-lather you'd see the foundations of the house and plumbing pipes. well i was taking a piss in the toilet adjacent to the sketchy shower when a cricket decided to jump from the upper-shower house parts and right into the toilet to which i was exposed. at that point i shut the lid, and flushed twice. i've been scared of them ever since
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Old 11-07-2010, 08:07 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Just a guess, but that is how Hansel and Gretel were going to be killed in the fairy tale. Maybe you heard this story when you were a child.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hansel_and_Gretel
I did hear this story as a child, but I never gave it a second thought. I thought the kids were stupid right up until they pushed the old hag in. No, I'm pretty sure this slight fear came from seeing a movie with the guy being trapped in one coupled with the knowledge of my own clumsiness.
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Old 11-08-2010, 01:01 AM   #34 (permalink)
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There are some good ones here. And for the record I didn't consider any of my fears to be funny, strange, weird or irrational. They are all perfectly rational and serious.

Really I only had (2) that lingered for more than a day or two. Both, introduced to me, by my parents.......I may have to have a conversation with them.

First: Jaws! That movie scared the shit out me. I was 7 or 8 the first time I saw it. We lived in Utah, but I was sure that son-of-a-bitch was gonna come up through the drain and get me. I flat out refused to bathe for a week. When the parents decided that was long enough, I took my first shower (all baths before that). But only because they spent 2hrs convincing me he couldn't fit through the shower head and I was allowed to take my pocket knife with me. I don't know what good it would have done, but I wasn't going in unarmed. No way! I'm sure I set shower speed records for the next couple of months. Then Summer rolled around. The heat and our local pond conspired to overcome my fear. Although, to this day, if anything I can't see, touches me while I'm in the water. The jumbo can of Whoop-Ass that pops open is a sight to see. Apparently my 'fight or flight' reflex melted together at some point. I can simultaneously run on water while throwing punches and kicks. I'm told it's truly a sight to behold. Maybe that's why I'm with a woman who can's swim.

Second: We had a cat that would pull on the screen behind the couch when it wanted in. My parents, being the loving human beings that they are, found this to be a convenient way to have a little fun with me. So, we're up late one night, I'm about 9 or 10, watching Salem's Lot (I still hate that movie). Engrossed in the movie, I failed to notice my Stepdad had left the room. As I'm clinging to the edge of the couch during a particularly scary scene, I hear the cat on the screen behind me. I turn to see the cat and instead see a pale face with red eyes and fangs. After the laughter died down and they pealed me off of the ceiling, I walked around for months jumping every time I saw a reflection in a dark window. Prick. I'm still a little freaked out when I catch and image in a dark window out of the corner of my eye. Bastards.
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Old 11-08-2010, 03:27 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Adolescents. (They are pretty silly..)
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Old 11-09-2010, 12:35 AM   #36 (permalink)
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Location: Tennessee
I love the cat story Rogue, when I was growing up those friggin things used to jump out of the darkness when I was out in the barn and nearly send me through the roof...it got even worse when I got older and used it as a quiet place to toke up and drink behind my parents back.

Just picture it 15 years old, high as a kite and peering out the cracks in the wall towards the house when I hear a rustling behind me I turn around thinking my Dad or somebody is coming in from the other direction. I pitch the roach, duck down behind the wall and a black, ornery looking cat jumps off the shelf behind me, hisses and runs out the door. Those things sneaking up on me probably shaved a good 30 years off my life.
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“My god I must have missed it...its hell down here!”
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childhood, fears, funny, plain, strange, weird

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