Fears are strange things.

I know it's kind of an odd thing to say; asserting that fears are strange. Of course they're strange. If they weren't strange, they wouldn't have unexplainable (or at least uncontrollable) effects on us. And that part, I know. I'm not actually speaking directly to the emotional response fear generates within us.

I'm actually speaking more to the things by which we are frightened.

Now, again, I'm not talking about the normal, everyday scary shit you think of as being scary shit. A loaded gun being pointed at you, an elevator cable snapping while you're 34 stories up, spiders, dwarves, clowns, Ellen DeGeneres... These are known quantities. They're scary things. They creep us out when we think of them. I'm actually talking about those fucked up, unexplainable, strange as hell fears that some people exhibit.

I met a guy today who has a fear - and I'm not making this up - of getting hit by passing airplanes.

Yes, I also thought the guy was just fucking with me when he ducked and hid his eyes when the second airplane passed overhead... But no. His colleages assured me, this is a real, no kidding phobia. He refuses to walk to restaurants at lunch - in fact, he just plain refuses to be outside.

The guy is literally scared a chunk of a passing 747 is going to land on him, a la Bloom County. It doesn't affect him when he's driving or indoors - only when he's outside.

And that's even more curious - why stay in Atlanta of all places if that is your fear? Why stay in the nation's most heavily-trafficed airspace? There's at least one plane in the sky at all times inside the perimeter of the city of Atlanta. There is literally never a safe moment for this man at any point of his workday. He lives in the city and he works in the city.

I guess I have a pretty wierd fear, actually. Well, honestly, I don't know if it's a fear or if it's just a thing that grosses me the hell out, but I have bad dreams featuring parasites living under my skin. Things like worms or grubs or beetles, with their hind-quarters sticking out of my skin.

The thought of fleas or ticks don't bother me. You just, you know... Pick them off or take a bath or don't be a filthy fucking pig and you're fine. It's the internal, sub-dermal ones that make me shutter. Not even a tapeworm grosses me out (no, I don't want to have one... I just don't shutter when I think of it).

It's stories like the ones you heard growing up about the lady with the bee-hive haircut who never washed her hair. One day, they found a nest of beetles living in her scalp. Not ON her scalp, but IN her scalp.

Urban legend? Yep. Gross as fucking hell? Double yep.

Give me snakes or a gun in the face anyday - I don't mind. Just don't put a damn burrowing worm anywhere near my skin, or I'll freak out and break your... Thing. That you care about a whole lot. That you got for christmas from your mom like 10 years ago.

What, you thought I would hit you? Hell no. I'd be too busy shuddering and crying like a baby.