Irrational Fears

I live in a place right now with incredibly high ceilings.  17 feet, to be exact.  The ceiling is made of wood planks.  I’ve seen one spider in the entire time I’ve been here and yet…



Every night right before I’m about to fall asleep, I get into position and then I do one last thing.  I take the hair on the side of my head and I sweep it over my ear.  I cover the opening to my ear drum.  I cover all holes.  My theory is that the hair swept over my ear will act as some kind of spider-guard for the gazillion arachnids that take flight in our bedroom at night.  I know the minute the lights go out these guys are doing their very own version of Cirque de Soleil.  One of them is going to do a flip too many and land right in my ear-hole.  He’ll get disoriented.  Instead of crawling out, he’ll crawl in.  With each step going further and further until he reaches my brain.  Where, of course, he makes a sandwich out of my grey matter.


I have an irrational bug-in-the-ear fear.  I don’t know where this started, but the thought does remind me of one of those medical programs I’m always torturing myself with.  It was “Emergency Blah, Blah, Blah” and the story goes – a girl, a waitress, falls asleep in her car while on break.  While she’s asleep, a june bug crawls into her ear.  A june bug!


june bug in ear


The girl, having been asleep, has no idea what has happened to her.  She only knows that she is now going crazy.  There is an incredibly loud helicopter sound in her ear and the side of her head is bleeding.  She runs around like a woman placed under a 5150.  Finally, someone takes her to the hospital.


5150 nic cage's son

Famous 5150: Nic Cage’s son…

jason rossell mental breakdown

Kony campaign’s Jason Russell – famous, 5150.


All I can think is, “What fresh hell is this?”  Not an original thought, but the one I have -repeatedly- every time I think of the june bug.


When I used to live alone, I’d have irrational, “someone’s in my feckin’ house” type fears.  I knew it was just me, but still I’d go, “Nope, someone’s in the shower.”  It would take me all night, but eventually I’d run into the bathroom like “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and throw a high kick as I ripped open the shower curtains.  No one was ever there, but my heart pounded like someone was.


karate, crouching tiger


Back in New York, the rats could make you insane.  There are something like 3 rats per person in New York city (or more).  So, you would see them all the time.  At night, the garbage bags would move.  Whenever I saw this -and I saw it often- I would run so fast, you would think a rocket launcher had been propelled directly up my ass.


My brother decided to tell me one day that rats could swim up your toilet.  From that point on, I always looked down into the pool of water before taking my place on the throne.  The last thing I needed in my life was to get gently tapped from behind -literally- by the furry nose of pestilence.  No.  The horror that would have ensued if my lady bits had ever come into contact with ratsy parts, well, it’s more then I can put into words.  But, let’s say the worst slasher film combined with all of my internal organs racing up into my throat – that’s the feeling that comes to mind.


There was a man who had a slight itch on his head.  The itch turned into a bump.  But, the bump didn’t hurt.  So, the man went out to watch the San Francisco Giants game with his friend, as he often did.  Somewhere around the 5th inning, the side of the man’s head exploded.   Near the bump, there was a skin rupture, and a creature of some kind flew out of it.  Yes.  This happened.  The man had gone abroad and a foreign-ish buggy thing had burrowed itself under his skin and became a grotesque stowaway.


Every now and again, as I’m driving my car alongside a body of water I think, “This is it.  This is the day some maniac drives his car into my lane and I have to go off the bridge into the sea to avoid a head on collision.”  My mind goes further.  Will I be able to break the window before my car sinks?  What should I break it with?  How long until I become hypothermic?  I don’t want to go out like that.


I roll down the window and the strong, crisp, winter wind hits my face.  I’m back.  Normal.  Present.  Shaking my head and going, “Now, that was silly.”


But, still, I cover my ears at night.



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Sid & Mary, Part 1



Photo creds:

june bug, karate, jason-kony, nic-cage-son



43 thoughts on “Irrational Fears

  1. We all have them, momma. I am convinced that if I raise my blinds for any reason at night, I’m going to see the face of a man staring in at me. I’m always certain someone will be in my backseat. And, I too, covered all openings as a child in fear of spiders which my house seemed to produce exponentially!

    All the best…

    1. it’s crazy what our brains do. i’m not sure if it’s the product of an overactive imagination or literally a self-protection mechanism. either way, the mind is the weirdest thing ever. loool. much love to you, tinsy, much love. sm

    1. no. and i am afraid of the very idea of an earwig in even a mention in this comment. if i find out what you are talking about, i may have to wear ear muffs to bed… ahhhhhhh. sm

      1. I actually laughed out loud at work–aaaaaaratsyparts!

        I’m smiling right now and they’re probably wondering if I drank or smoked something funny.

        Earned yourself a new follower my friend! 🙂

  2. Will it make you feel any better if I tell you I’ve looked in lots and lots of ears over the past couple decades, and I’ve only seen a bug twice, and this is when the patient knew about it, and that’s why he/she came? So sleep well. I think those spiders have better places to go. (And I don’t mean in your body…)

  3. Oh, there’s nothing irrational about the fear of disease carrying rats. Yeah, I can handle, spiders, snakes, things that go bump in the night, but rats, even baby ones, forget about climbing on the table, squealing like a cartoon character. No Way!!! I am out the door.
    After Hurricane Sandy, someone posted a bunch of photos of dead rats on a photography blog I follow that usually features beautiful shots of kayaking on the Hudson with silhouettes of the NYC skyline. I couldn’t click off their blog fast enough. A dead rat is a good rat, but I don’t want to see photos of them! GAAAAAAAH!

    1. ok, that is such a horror show, especially because you expected to see such sweet pictures on that site and then rattttsssssssssss! no. i used to tell my friends that if a rat every touched me, both of us would have to die. the rat would be killed by me and then i’d off myself for touching the rat. i’m a little rat insane. it’s tooooooo muccccccch! he, he, who, who…. xoxo, sm

  4. Oh, I want to be a good Mom and not say it… but it this post just screams: But spider prefer your mouth! The numbers vary, but swallowing spiders while you sleep is the thing that freaks me out, because I know it really happens. Ears, well cock roaches prefer ears. Carrie Rubin? No cockroaches when you were practicing in the city… that I heard about plenty of times. Sorry mama, how could I not say it?

  5. HAHAHA!! I’m at work trying not to laugh too loudly! Hahaha! I love your descriptions. So I have two funny/scary stories to share with you. I’m sure it won’t help matters but I’m going to press on…

    1. I was just telling another blogger that one time when I was little, I remember waking up because my mom was putting my laundry away in my drawers. And as I blinked my sleepy little eyes open, I noticed a big ass fucking spider sitting on my chest just chilling. Needless to say, I jumped up screaming and slapping my chest like a demon child. To this day, I have no idea where the hell that asshole of a spider went…

    2. When I was little, my mom used to warn me (ok so this is two things within itself) that if I sat on the toilet for too long, don’t only would my asshole turn itself inside out but a snake would also come up and bite me in the ass. I still sometimes have trouble coaxing myself to pee. Thank you, mother.

    1. she-sus christ, vy (like jesus, but a lady) this comment has got to go in the comment hall of fame bc it’s amazing…. good gawd. and ur mom may be just as crazy as mine. lawd, lawd. and the spider thing is hilarious!!!!!!

      1. HAHAHAHA! I’m gonna start using that from now on!! She-sus tittie-fecking christ!! 😀

        Yesssss! Hall of Fame for meeee,

        Hahaha! Hilarious but I think I peed my pants at the time and couldn’t go back to sleep after.

  6. Last year I was bitten by a brown recluse – probably a stow away in a car or office – I didn’t feel it bite me. My face doubled in size and the skin inside my elbow fell off – thank goodness it didn’t get into my ear and bite me in the brain.

  7. It is comforting to know that you are as cray cray as me and apparently so is Tin Woman. I have the face in a window, a mouse eating me, the spider crawling in my ear and driving into water thing all the time. I know I won’t to sleep tonight now.

  8. I used to drive for long stretches in Florida. It’s a big, long, flat state. I’d get hypnotized by the road. Once I saw giant ants on the side of the road. I mean, GIANT, bigger than trees. I knew it was a hallucination, though. Another time, my dashboard started shrinking, then growing, then shrinking, then growing. I knew it was a hallucination. But another time, I was stopped at a stop light after driving for 9 hours, and suddenly, a hand grabbed my ankle from beneath my seat. I screamed bloody blue murder. I screamed so loud, my throat hurt for days afterwards. I screamed like I was dying. Then I yanked my foot away and looked in the backseat. Where no one looked back at me, of course. I cleared my throat and looked around at the cars waiting at the light on either side of me. Nobody had noticed anything.

    This still bothers me. I could scream bloody blue murder as some backseat murderer grabs my ankle, but as long as I’m in Florida, my fellow drivers are too hard-of-hearing to save me or even to notice and dial 911.

    I’m afraid of Florida.

  9. We have a lot of spiders and bugs in Australia, I’ll give you a hint, if ever something crawls in your ear put a light at your ear and the bug or spider will come out to see what’s going on. Unless it’s a cockroach. Um, I’m not helping, am I?
    Portia x

  10. I love you, sweet mama. You made my week. The bug in the ear thing freaks me out. I saw pictures, so it must happen. I am still worried a scary beastie is under my bed reduce yo grab me. So I get a running head start and jump. Sometimes I miss. Ouch. But he hasn’t grabbed yet. Idea! I am going to get my husband with this. Yes!

  11. I have a stupid irrational fear of spiders. I mean I’m way bigger than they are and I could stomp them into oblivon, but I can’t even get near them to do that because I’m afraid of them. Good thing I’m practicing my aim of throwing things for when Spring comes around.

  12. I can handle small spiders – not literally of course – but I really have a problem with the large, hairy huntsman spiders we get here. They can bite but they’re not really dangerous. It’s just….they’re big, and hairy, and quick… and I can’t bear to have them in the house.

    Killing them though is a major drama production. First they get sprayed with a bug spray to disorient them. Then, when they’re down, they get mashed with the business end of a broom. And then I need a stiff drink to calm my nerves. 😦

  13. I must be odd, these things simply do not bother me. Maybe it is the Texas in me, we have such big bugs and snakes here. I simply ignore them, call exterminators when necessary and carry on.

    I do not like tunnels though.

  14. hahahaha….so funny…Sweet Mom i think my dog thinks im crazy laughing alone at night …i am usually unable to sleep if i realize i have seen a house lizard…i cant sleep …thought bug in the ear thing scares me too but nothing like house lizards… :p

  15. I still get creeped out by the “Star Trek: Wrath of Khan” scene where the worm squeezes into the guy’s ear. That’s a scene not easily forgotten!
    I would not like a rat to swim up my drain pipe and poke me with his pesky whiskers. No thank you!

  16. Should I tell you about the friend from grad school who did fieldwork in Africa, and some nasty bug took up residence in her ear, with the intent of raising a family? No? A twig heated in the fire and then held to her ear apparently solved the problem….

  17. We’re the same person, except you’re cuter.

    “The good writing of any age has always been the product of someone’s neurosis.” – William Styron

    Bodes well for us 😉

  18. It’s like you crawled inside my head and extracted my thoughts. I’m going to start covering my ears with my hair at night so you can’t do it anymore. Actually it was gratifying to hear that I’m not the only person in the world with this particular brand of crazy.

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