I am afraid


My cat was also deformed in a couple ways and couldn’t jump. Never met a better cat, or friend.


Was the cat from Seattle? I know that for some unknown (to me anyway) strange reason polydactal strays are super common up there. One of my best friends has one named Zelda. One of the most talkative and human hating cats I’ve ever met.


I’m afraid I won’t finish the things I have decided to get done before I die. Other than that I can’t think of anything.


Scottsdale. Which is kinda crazy, cuz they are supposed to be boat cats. Seattle would have made way more sense.

@penguinchris that is a damn beautiful cat.


It started well before, definitely in undergrad but possibly even before that (perhaps in a different form). It stems from another more general fear, of not doing things I’m supposed to be doing without realizing it (classic academia fears - like the common exam week dream where you realize you are registered in a class but forgot about it and never went, which extends into waking life and you get this nagging fear that you actually forgot about a class). I have also just always been awkward interacting with people, so it was a deadly combination.

Then in grad school, I ended up with a terrible adviser who never offered any help or support or even general guidance as to what I should have been doing, and who would then berate or criticize me for not doing things right. He blamed me, and refused to write letters of recommendation when I tried applying to other programs, scuttling my academic career.

I learned a couple years later that in ~25 years as a professor at that school, he’s never had a grad student who actually graduated.

(the real lesson is not to not go to grad school, but to do your research before you do)


You need an Apocalypse Club - a consortium of friends and acquaintances who Know How to Do Things. Make sure you have a good number of guns in your club, because you’ll be defending your abilities from those useless fukwits who holed up in luxury bunkers.

I’m afraid of tornadoes because I grew up in tornado country and the criteria for setting off the siren was “funnel spotted.” That siren seemed to go off in every thunderstorm in May and June.

When I was little, I was terrified by peacocks. One chased me at an alligator farm in Florida. I mostly got over it, but still look at the males sideways.


The alligators probably paid them to herd the young humans to the alligator pens. You’re lucky to be alive


Mine are about scissors, and tongues.
never lick scissors around me I will FREAK the fuck out


Gee, thanks for that one.


Other childhood fears: Quicksand and bottomless pits


Wait, hold on.

You were chased by a peacock to an alligator?
You realize Mel Brooks could make a movie about this?


I once read that vertigo is not the fear of falling but rather the fear of jumping. It’s frightening how much sense that makes to me. In an enclosed space heights make me dizzy, a condition I jokingly refer to as “verdigris”, but really don’t frighten me.

Standing at the edge of a precipice, though–well, honestly, I can’t stand at the edge of a precipice. A few months ago I visited a waterfall and could not get more than ten feet from the edge. Even thinking about it unnerves me.


With me, it’s an “all of the above” situation. If I get into a situation where falling from a height is a possibility, my mind starts coming up with ways that could happen: jumping, slipping, being knocked, losing balance, a stray misstep, leaning too far, a trail giving way… It’s not just a fear of falling, nor of jumping.


My one hot air balloon flight had a fellow passenger who was afraid of heights (he was also a commercial airline pilot) – he just never left the center of the basket.

I’m afraid that I don’t have enough sense to be afraid of the things that I should be afraid of – family and friends kindly describe it as “not having enough sense to come in out of the rain” or less kindly as “that boy ain’t right”.


Anecdotally, from playing with them, the fuse would usually get extinguished if we tossed it in the water, but if we timed it right and the firework ignited before hitting the water it worked – perhaps if we had coated the fuse with wax or something it would have been fine.


Snappers were a major fear as a kid (when swimming in a pond/etc). Was never afraid of any other wildlife, just hidden snappers.

Even as a kid, I moved relatively large ones off of the road. My buddy almost lost his nose while trying to move a smaller one out of his yard – tried squeezing through a fence while carrying the snapper and wasn’t paying attention (it’s jaws closed millimeters from his face).

Edit: I should add that these were the common snapping turtle, not those super-duper long-necked alligator snappers.


Makes sense. Looks like there’s hardly any fuse on that one under the ice.


I’m afraid of hearing somebody in our house at night.


Oh, I’ve always wanted to go up in one!


I moved one last summer out of the road.

Fortunately for the turtle I did not recognize him as a snapper before I had him by the shell with his beak pointed away from me.

Now, I treat every turtle as if it was a snapper