Being a grown up comes with a fears checklist: Cancer fear? Death of someone you love fear? Clowns (once funny and now so disturbing you can’t quite work out why anyone ever invented them)? Running out of money/time/road/fucks? Tick tick tick. So far, so normal. But then there are the irrational ones. The ones that make no sense. Still scary though. Like…
Ever had that thought, when you are crossing a road, that if you whipped your head round, the last thing you would see was a tram rattling towards you about to crush you and spread you all over the road, even though you live in a city with no trams? Obviously, you would die – horribly – on impact. ‘Incredibly young-looking woman killed in freak tram accident,’ the papers would say.
Bravo if you can select an egg from the pile and – just before you crack it – not have this panic. ‘I wonder if today is the today that I will crack this open and find a partially-formed embryo and never be able to have scrambled eggs again?’ Nevertheless, you persist with the egg. So brave.
Hands up who has lit a match and, as it fizzes and cracks, ducked to avoid a Bruce Willis film size fireball explosion caused by the gas that has been secretly leaking for ages (due to the fact that this time you DID actually leave it on)?
Maybe you don’t go to the theatre because you are too tired, too broke, too annoyed by the timings and the small ice cream spoons. Or is it that every time you go, you are gripped with the terror as you sidle into your seat that you are going to tumble over the balcony screaming into the stalls below? If you are in said stalls you cannot concentrate because you know that there is going to be a tumbler AT ANY MOMENT. So dramatic.
It is impossible to climb or descend an escalator without wondering at least once whether you will get sucked in – and mangled.
Forget Virginia Woolf, Edward Albee should have written, ‘Who’s afraid of the out of control vehicle that is going to mount the pavement and kill you to pieces?’
Picture the scene. You have arrived on holiday in an exotic location for a holiday that you really, really deserve and can in no way afford. Within minutes you are arrested in a case of catastrophic identity confusion and thrown in a terrible jail and never released. “But it’s not me,” you say on repeat until you die of dysentery.
Love a walk in the woods. So dark and mysterious and atmospheric. The trees are our friends. We must recycle more. But wait are you lost? Have you seen that bush before? Are you about to emerge into a haunted clearing where you will be sacrificed by the forest demon and his foresty friends in a revolting ritual? Of course you are.
We all secretly know that one day we are going to zip up a dress or one of those back-zipped jumpsuits and be stuck there forever, wriggling and weeping. Unable to exit with any dignity. Possibly slightly wetting ourselves in the process. We’ll call it Zipxit.