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Showing posts with label Neuroses. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Neuroses. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Day My Gum Went Psycho!

I jumped in my car after a horrible, horrible day; sighed dramatically and with sudden, deep dismay realised I’d accidentally swallowed my gum. 

I could still breathe so thankfully it’d gone down the right hole BUT it felt as though it was still stuck in my throat. You know those photos on the Internet of anacondas that have greedily ingested a large sheep? That's what it felt like.

I spent the twenty-five minute drive home desperately attempting to manufacture saliva, swallowing over and over in an attempt to move it along a bit.

I drove past the hospital and almost swerved off the exit.

 ‘What if it’s irrevocably attached itself to my food pipe?’ I panicked. ‘Will I never be able to swallow anything again? Will the food I eat just keep backing up on top of the gum and I’ll just keep regurgitating it?’

As soon as I arrived home I quaffed a huge hunk of bread and chased it down with a hot cup of coffee making sure to take extra-large gulps. But I could still feel the stubborn ball firmly adhered to my delicate trachea.

I charged full speed upstairs to my trusty laptop and, all in a fluster, typed in “What happens if chewing gum gets caught in your throat?”

The answers Google afforded ranged from things like, “It can’t get stuck because of the slippery mucous membranes in your throat", "It will pass through your stomach and bowels like a corn kernel" to “You’ll be able to blow bubbles out of your clacker.”

The answer that worried me the most though was,
"The only possible complication may be if you happen to have a hairy bum” 

So… it appears there’s only one thing left to do my friend… I’m off to shave my bottom.

Unless, that is, you have another suggestion?

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Nocturnal Dreams of a Silly Old Woman

                                      The Bondi Vet

In Freudian dream analysis, content is both the manifest and latent content in a dream, that is, the dream itself as it is remembered, and the hidden meaning of the dream.

Nothing inspires my blood pressure to significantly drop triggering compulsive and rude yawning than when someone starts telling me about the dream they had the preceding night. It might be fascinating to the dreamer but is excruciatingly mind-numbing for the unfortunate addressee.

With that in mind... I’ll try to keep this brief.

There are a few recurring dreams which disturb Pinky’s beauty sleep and I love nothing more than to try to deconstruct and analyse them.

Whilst I don’t have the classic “Naked” dream I often experience its cousin; the “Wearing No Underpants” dream. In this particular nightmare I’m always wearing a t-shirt in which I walk around in public desperately and unsuccessfully attempting to cover my ‘Republic of Labia’ by stretching the garment downwards and over.

Clearly, this dream is a subconscious revelation about Pinky’s reluctance to display private facts about her secret lifestyle. Things like the fact she scrapes gravy off her plate with her little finger and licks it off or that she wears a Velcro hair roller in her fringe every morning.

In another horrible and oft repeated nightmare, I awaken trembling, sweating and gasping. It’s the one where many years ago I apparently buried scores of dead bodies under the house and the police are doing an investigation and are about to start an excavation exposing my heinous crimes.

Do I have to explain how I interpret that little gem? 

Personally I don’t think I’ve done that many things to be guilty about but according to Freud the subconscious mind never lies.

Of course, I also have that old chestnut where my front teeth fall out and I put that down to the guilt I shoulder when I’ve been too lazy to clean my teeth before bed.

However, last night’s dream was especially difficult to decipher.

I was working at a food booth at a school fete and working at another booth beside me was none other than celebrity, the “Bondi Vet”. 

The Bondi Vet kept staring at me with his unsettling blue eyes and after a while a middle-aged Sri Lankan lady (who bore a striking resemblance to my Uro-Gynaecologist) approached me and informed me quite passionately that the Bondi Vet wouldn’t stop talking about me and was indeed, completely in love with Pinky. 

I was very flattered even though I didn’t fancy him back (despite my admiration of his large chiselled jaw)... and then I woke up.

I fleetingly thought about shaking Scotto awake and regaling him with the details of my brush with fame but immediately had second thoughts. I didn’t want Scotto to be jealous of the Bondi Vet.

Why? Why? Why? Why did the Bondi Vet find me to be so alluring?

I gradually nutted the pieces of my previous day together and it all began to make sense.

1. Daughter Lulu, had come home yesterday and told me how she’d handed in six resumes to various veterinarian surgeries around town seeking a job to fill in her gap year.

2. I’d spent some time last night looking at photographs of a storm approaching Bondi Beach.

3. I’d spent 40 minutes talking to my parents on the phone about my trip to the Uro-Gynaecologist.


And as far as the Bondi Vet and I go… it would never have worked out.

Firstly I’m happily married to Scotto and secondly, if the B.V. and I went out in public, people would mistake me for his elder sister and I really couldn’t stand the snide remarks.

What about you? Do you ever have recurring dreams?

Linking up with Grace, at With Some Grace!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Are You an Attention Seeker?

When I was about eight years old, my little sister Sam caught Scarlet Fever, which you don’t hear much about these days but basically it’s a Strep infection gone silly. 

Before the discovery of antibiotics it often caused death via kidney or heart disease but because of the vivid red rash all over her body, Sam’s illness was quickly diagnosed and she received the appropriate treatment. 

I recall deeply resenting the extra attention conferred on Sam and spent a lot of time silently drifting around the house seething with jealousy.

I shared a bedroom with Sam but never developed a rash of any description so seemingly escaped infection. It didn’t stop me complaining to my mother how I felt unwell and kept getting a burning sensation all over my body, though.

Two weeks after Sam’s rash disappeared her feet and hands began to peel as a result of the high fevers. Strangely, little Pinky’s extremities began to do the same thing. A few weeks later every cut I had developed into a festering boil and eventually I was taken to the doctor who immediately ordered blood tests.

I’d had Scarlet Fever at the same time as Sam but no one knew and I’d consequently developed kidney disease. My blood was filthy; full of sediment and I was sent to hospital for three weeks of complete bed rest (not even toilet privileges), a restricted diet and medication via three injections in my pin- cushion butt every day.

I didn’t feel sick at all and I was in the children’s ward with about five other kids. It was Pinky’s dream come true having my (guilt-ridden) parents fussing over me for a change, instead of my little sister getting all the attention.

The other kids in the ward weren’t drastically ill either so they spent a lot of time on my bed playing cards and board games. One kid had a patch on her eye after having a fish hook flicked into it. Another girl’s arm had been badly broken after becoming caught in a wringer and another boy had been stung by a box jellyfish.

One day, Dad brought up the best present I’d ever received in my life; a transistor radio with earplugs and everything! 

I had a bed by the window and could see my parents crossing the road armed with grapes, toys and letters from my class whenever they diligently paid little Pinky a visit. I’d urgently shoo the other kids off my bed and assume a melancholy, despondent position with my back to door and desperately try to summon up a miserable tear or two for dramatic effect whenever I saw them coming.

                         This was the window to the children's ward.

This was my show and I had to milk the attention for all it was worth.

My theatrical ruse was discovered one day when Dad came up to talk to the matron and caught me laughing, playing and eating prohibited lollies with the fish hook kid.

Fortunately, or unfortunately for Pinky (whichever way you choose to look at it), the miraculous benefits of Penicillin cured my kidney ailment and I was sent home from hospital.

The first night home I recall my shock and outrage at being treated normally again. I feigned a headache and wouldn’t leave my bed, refusing dinner and crying non-stop. I could hear them all outside watching television and enjoying themselves while I wallowed in self-pity.

I have another vivid memory from when I was about six years old and we were at my parent’s friend’s house for dinner. Aunty Betty (as we called her) had made some delicious parfaits for dessert. Parfaits consisting of layers of cake, jelly, custard and cream and served in big glasses were very big in the sixties.

For some inexplicable reason I decided not to accept the offer of dessert. I really, really wanted it; I craved it, but enjoyed the attention I received by refusing it even more. When the adults eventually grew tired of trying to coerce me into eating it, I hid under the table to garner more of a response.

Meanwhile, little Sam sat at the table spooning the delicious dessert into her small mouth enjoying every bite as her tragic sister huddled under the table like a whiny victim of her own making.

Do the words; martyr, needy, unpleasant, and melodramatic come to mind?

I don’t know why I was such an attention-seeking brat and I sometimes question if my irritating, childhood personality flaw has disappeared or still hangs around my neurotic psyche?

I tend to play the martyr card in many situations and it never ends well.

When I separated from my first husband I decided to stop eating for a few years. Was I subconsciously bleating for attention… “Look at how thin I am, somebody come to my rescue” or merely taking of control of the one area of my life I could; eating? Maybe a bit of both, but the day I stepped on the scales and they registered 43 kilograms I frightened myself into eating again.

When I have a fight with Scotto, the first thing I do is chuck my dinner down the insinkerator. Using food as a manipulative tool maybe?

When Lulu was rushed to hospital with a burst appendix I neglected to eat for the three days she was in hospital; self-punishment born from guilt at not getting her to a doctor sooner, perhaps?

Whatever the reasons for the use of my self-deprivation, I think I’ve finally realised it hurts no-one but myself. Time to grow up and be the first in line to ask for my just ‘dessert’ I think.

Have you clung on to any bad traits from your childhood?

Monday, February 17, 2014

Sometimes I Just Refuse to Swallow!

“Pinky! What’s this?” yelled my mother furiously, as she stood in the toilet pointing down into the bowl. 

I peered in nervously; half knowing what would be there. And sure enough there it was… a brown, multivitamin capsule bobbing around in the water like a tiny, stubborn cork.

Mum worried about how thin my sister and I were as kids and was always forcing appalling thick, dark green, iron tonics upon us. I could tolerate those by holding my nose as it slithered down, but I had a pathological fear of having to swallow a pill. 

I’d pretend to take it by hiding it in the side of my mouth then make a speedy detour into the toilet where I’d spit it out. This particular capsule had declined the invitation of a river cruise through the sewer system out to sea and I’d been sprung.

There seems to be an art in swallowing tablets without carrying on like a pork chop but I’m afraid I’ve never mastered it. 

Usually, I stand at the sink for at least three minutes with a full mouth of water and the tablet swishing around inside… daring myself to just do it. 

Eventually the swallow reflex kicks in but my throat closes up in terror causing the tablet to become stuck halfway. Panicked gagging ensues and the tablet is inevitably sicked up like a cat regurgitating a hair ball. 

It’s not a very nice thing to hear... or witness. The family’s anxious enquiries died off long ago on hearing the awful retching, recognising it’s only Pinky in the kitchen attempting to pop a Panadol.

Imagine my horror when I picked up my prescribed medication on Saturday and espied these monsters, which appear to have been designed to be ingested by some type of equine animal.

                      I put one against the car for perspective.

So far I’ve managed to get one out of six down the cake hole. The first was by crushing it up and unsuccessfully mixing it with a half glass of milk. The crunchy, bitter remnants stuck in my teeth and repeated on me for the next few hours.

I tried mixing a crushed tablet with some crunchy peanut butter in order to disguise the lumps. It was a putrid and abortive exercise.

“Maybe I could stick it down the back of your throat and hold your snout shut until you lick your nose?” suggested an unhelpful Scotto (who has the responsibility of giving the dogs their worm tablets).

I found this site How to Swallow Pills in Twelve Steps which provides swallowing strategies and I intend working my way through them all until I find a solution.

In the meantime, do any of you have any suggestions?

Friday, November 22, 2013

What Do You Search for on Google?

If you read Pinky Poinker regularly you will have noted my penchant for writing silly lists.

You know what I mean; Signs of Getting Old, Signs you spend too much time blogging, Signs of Your Cat Being an Alien… that sort of rubbish.

Well today, I was feeling a tad lazy and thought I’d nick an idea from Google to satirise.

I typed in “Signs of a” just to see what Mr Google would throw up as the most popular searches and perhaps find inspiration with which to entertain you all.

In horrified fascination I went through the entire alphabet of what the top #4 most frequent searches by the global community are when looking for 

“signs of…”

Autism, A heart attack, A stroke, Anxiety.

Breast cancer, Bipolar, Bowel cancer, Being pregnant

Cancer, Concussion, Cervical cancer, Cheating

Depression, Diabetes, Dehydration, Dementia

Early labour, Early pregnancy, Ectopic pregnancy, Emotional abuse

Food poisoning, Fatigue, Falling in love, Flirting

Gastro, Gestational diabetes, Going into labour, Gluten intolerance

Heart attack, High blood pressure, HIV, Heart problems

Iron deficiency, Internal Bleeding, Infection, Implantation

Jealousy, Judgement Day Jaundice, Jealousy in men

Kidney failure, Kidney infection, Kidney disease, Kidney stones

Labour, Lung cancer, Liver cancer, Leukemia

Miscarriage, Measles, Menopause, MS

Neglect, Nervous breakdown, Neurological dysfunction, Negative fluid balance

Ovulation, Ovarian cancer, Overtraining, Ovarian cysts

Pregnancy, Pneumonia, Prostate cancer, Parvo

Qiyamah (Day of Judgement), Qayamat (Doomsday), Q Fever, Qayamat already happened

Uti, Urinary infection, Uterine cancer, Underactive Thyroid

Vitamin D deficiency, Very early pregnancy, Vertigo, Vaginal Thrush

Worms, Whooping cough, Worms in kids, Wear

Xanax, Xanax addiction, Xanax overdose, Xylitol poisoning in dogs

Yeast infection, Your period, Your water breaking, Your first period

Zodiac, Zinc deficiency, Zinc Toxicity, Zodiac Dates

All I can say is, “Lighten the hell up, guys!”

I would have preferred to find “signs of…” 

Alcohol’s Benefits 
Beauty in the Fifth Decade 
Calories are a Myth 
Diets are Dangerous 
Ears that stick out are an indicator of intelligence 
Fairies are real and living in YOUR garden
Ghandi is alive and living in Queensland with Elvis
Hedonism is the latest trend 
Ironing is a Dying Art 
Junk Food can be good for you 
KFC is made from rodents not chickens 
Leaving things to the last minute is good for your health 

Myer's having a 90% sale within the next week 
Nits are reaching extinction levels
Old is the new young 
Paleo diet makes people grow hair on their back 
Quinoa is not actually supposed to be ingested 
Rocket scientists aren’t that smart 
Sanity is overrated 
Telstra is closing down for good 
UFOs are real 
Vampire movies and TV shows are losing their appeal 
Weather Forecasters being questioned on their credibility 
X Factor courting 50+ contestants soon 
Ying and Yang are really back to front 

and finally…

Zombie movies are about to be banned in 196 countries.

Image credit: Scotto

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Three Hints on How to Keep a Secret

So... someone dear to you has told you a big, juicy, luscious secret

Nothing bad mind you… just a little piece of hush-hush they’ve entrusted you with. 

How do you resist the temptation to reveal your delicious, clandestine parcel of succulence? Here's some advice...

1. Whatever you do, when the subject comes up in conversation with a third party do not adopt a Sergeant Schultz accent and walk off saying, 
“I know nothink, I know nothink!”

It will immediately raise suspicion.

2.  If the person who told you the secret is not in the vicinity, do not deliberately bring his/her name up in the hope that some discerning person has picked up on something odd going on, merely to feed your smug wisdom. 

It will backfire when your face automatically assumes a superior expression, giving your insider-info savvy away and you will be inundated with twenty ‘yes or no’ questions. There will be no mercy. Fingernails will be torn from your fingers in attempts to extricate information.

# Do not cough loudly and ostentatiously stare at your feet when the secret-holder’s name comes up just to draw attention to the fact that you may KNOW something. 

Even though you haven’t quite done a little jig whilst singing “I know something that YOU don’t know!” your transfixed audience will catch on and drill you relentlessly until you explode and reveal all.

In other words… never tell Pinky a secret because she won’t be able to keep it.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Pinky's Bizarre and Disturbing Inner Thoughts continued...


After yesterday’s post it has been spectacularly revealed that I am not the complete nut bag I feared I was. I have been inundated with comments from other people who also get the urge to shout out inappropriately at solemn events. Okay there were only four people and one was my husband but I’ll take that number as confirmation that I truly am not a threat to society.

One friend Briony, declared that she too felt the compulsion to scream out raucously during the more sombre moments of our conference yesterday. 

Another friend Jo, admitted to sometimes experiencing the urge to sporadically yell out at an unsuitable moment during a funeral (not that there is ever a really suitable moment). 

Now I must admit that both of these ladies have been extremely encouraging towards me during my journey of writing this blog which may indicate that they're merely tarred with the same kooky brush as I am; but nevertheless, I will take validation where ever I can find it.

Perhaps humans have some primeval instinct to do the opposite of what is sociably acceptable. 

I thought I might do some research on the subject and Googled, ‘inappropriate shouting at funerals’ but all I found was a list of symptoms for Dementia and a catalogue of 26 (tempting) but inappropriate songs to play at a funeral including; Queen’s ‘Another One Bites the Dust’ and Peggy Lee’s ‘Is that all there is?’.

Since I seem to be in the mood for revelations I must admit other inappropriate thoughts enter my head on occasion. For instance I’m terrified of heights but it’s not because I’m scared of falling. It’s more that I’m worried my brain will misfire and compel me to jump off the edge.

A similar feeling comes over me sometimes when I’m driving very fast on a highway and a semi-trailer is approaching from the other direction. I become paranoid that just as I’m about to pass the huge truck, the evil side of my brain will take over and force me to swerve in front of it and I’ll be smashed to smithereens. 

I’ve never mentioned this frightening train of thought to my passengers mind you; I don’t think they’d like it very much. 

If someone hands me a delicate, fragile item I’m always afraid that a malevolent brain snap will induce me to drop it deliberately on the ground. The more precious the item is to the donor the more likely I am to have this compulsion. What is wrong with me?

Apparently (according to my research on a few dodgy sites) it’s a bit like people who smile when they’re delivering bad news. I investigated all of these weird notions and evidently they’re a universal phenomenon. So Pinky is relatively normal after all.

While I was discussing all of this nonsense with my friend Jo today, she divulged a family quirk concerning her ‘sister-in-law’ (yeah I bet!) who apparently suffers the same affliction as I do when cruising through bookshops. No longer can she frequent a bookshop to browse the empty hours away because not only does she get the overwhelming urge to pass wind, she goes one step further and needs to find a toilet sooner rather than later, if you get my drift.

Did I bother to research this strange singularity which Jo’s ‘sister-in-law’ and I seem to share? You bet I did.

I composed my intriguing and captivating question as eloquently as I could and typed it into Google search, 

Why do I always need to f*rt in the library?’ 

... and sure enough, at the top of the page was the site I was looking for. 

According to the judicious, Jo’s ‘sister-in-law’ and I must have both been looking for “Gone with the Wind”.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Pinky Attends a Conference.


Phew! I just finished a two day conference with 1 999 other school teachers and let me tell you it was exhausting sitting on my bottom for seven hours straight each day.

On the first morning I car pooled with my colleague and friend, twenty-three old Ash. We drove into the venue’s car park and were abruptly stopped by a man in an official turquoise T-shirt.

“Are you teachers or Principals?” he rattled off in a somewhat jaded voice for so early in the morning.

Assuming that all the empty spaces were being reserved for conference delegates we confidently replied, “Oh we’re teachers.”

“Sorry girls,” he said, “but these spaces are reserved for principals and clergy. You’ll need to drive down there, turn left and park over in the far lot.”

“What’s a clergy?” asked Ash innocently.

“A priest or a nun,” I replied wondering why the principals were deemed so important.

The attendant had pointed to an adjacent car park that seemed quite an unreasonable distance away considering the unseasonal and teeming rain.

Swearing in an extremely bad role model-like mode I drove my young colleague around and around the completely chock- a- block full car park.

“Look Ash,” I spluttered belligerently, “there’s nothing left in this car park so I’m going to sneak back in to the principal’s car park and hope that bloke doesn’t spot us. Bloody principals, who do they think they are anyway?”

Now if you have read this post…here  you will be aware of the fact that my car is as bright yellow as a jaundiced custard pie and very difficult to forget, let alone camouflage.

We were triumphantly parked and undoing our seatbelts when Turquoise man’s flushed and annoyed face appeared at the car window.

“Girls, girls, girls… I said this is for principals only.”

“Oooh,” I feigned stupidity, “I thought you said ‘teachers and principals’. Sorreeee!”

So we were forced to park in some desolate area across the road and my carefully fashioned blow dry went to hell in a handbag.

Now while listening to seven hours of non- stop lectures all day I came to realise why my students develop that glazed look on their faces after listening to me pontificate for a measly ten minutes. 

Don’t get me wrong, we were blessed with some outstanding and knowledgeable speakers but even when I was listening to a particularly talented orator I would feel my mind begin to wander.

What can I cook for dinner tonight that will involve the least amount of physical labour? Do we need milk? Or more importantly, did I pop a bottle of wine in the fridge for tonight? I wonder how the dogs are going locked in the laundry together? I hope the Fox Terrier hasn’t finally snapped and eaten the Chihuahua. What will I write my blog post about tonight? Where on earth did that girl sitting in front of me buy her shirt from? I love it! Is that cellophane rustling? Has someone brought a packet of lollies? Ooooh, I hope they’re Fantales. How long until lunch? What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I concentrate for more than ten minutes at a time? Maybe it’s finally the menopause striking? I wonder what is for lunch?

Then there were the serious moments in the seminars when the entire auditorium went deathly silent. 

You could hear a pin drop. 

During those hushed and reverent moments I would invariably feel an irresistible urge to pass wind. 

(This is something that happens to me whenever I visit a library or strangely a video shop and I don’t know why.) 

I could never be anti-social enough to actually release the painfully trapped gas mind you, and I can’t think of anything more humiliating, but it means I have to sit at those times with my buttocks firmly clenched until the feeling passes or the ambient noise starts up again. 

The other weird thing that happens during those soundless moments is that I occasionally get an urge to scream out like a crazed Tourette’s sufferer. 

Of course, again, I would never do it, but I get the compulsion just the same. Am I alone in experiencing this strange impulse? 

Yes, I probably am and this will no doubt be the last time any of you read my blog. 

“That confirms it!” You will be thinking right now. “Pinky has either run out of things to write about or she has really lost it. I’m not going to read her silly rubbish anymore!”

But I had to ask…

Monday, February 11, 2013

Is the End of the World Nigh?

With the current NASA reports that an asteroid will zoom within spitting distance of Earth on Saturday, memories of the beat up revolving around the prediction of Armageddon on December 21, 2012 spring to mind. 

I was on holidays in the lead up to the ill-omened day. 

The Mayans had documented the end of their calendar and certain speculators took this to be a prophecy of world annihilation. 

With spare time on my hands (despite the fact that I had not done an iota of Christmas shopping; I mean what was the point if we were going to be wiped out?), I decided to read a few doomsday books to get myself in the mood. 

Scotto and I feasted on a myriad of movies of the same genre, scaring ourselves silly in the process.

On the actual day my sister Sam, jokingly sent me a text saying,

“Hope the end of the world treats you well today xo”

Ha ha, I laughed to myself nervously. 

I’d begun to psych myself into a lather of uneasy doubt with the huge volume of disaster porn I’d been consuming.

Jumping at every abnormal vibration in the house; thinking it might be the beginning an earthquake, a tsunami or the four horsemen of the Apocalypse galloping down my street, I decided to leg it up to the shopping centre so that I wouldn't have to spend the ‘Day of Reckoning’ alone.

“It must be the apocalypse. There are so many zombies here at Kmart.” I texted my sister.

Sam replied, 

“Omg- big, smelly ones that walk really slowly three abreast and too brain dead to care that someone behind them wants to get past? I know them well.”

(Now I know the pair of us sound condescending and snobby but I assure you the sleepwalkers had really crawled out of their graves on this particular day. I won’t go into detail, but let me just say that inter-family marriages were flourishing in this suburb by the look of the little Anferny and Antwonet trailing behind their rat-tailed Mum and Dad.)

Anyway I got the giggles when I read my sister’s reply. I wandered through the aisles bursting into spontaneous loud cackling. 

This attracted a few suspicious stares as I was by myself and must have looked like a nutty bag lady having a conversation with herself. 

I guess this was fair payback for the mean assessments of my fellow shoppers.

I hate shopping centres but unfortunately I have to frequent these annoying establishments pretty much every day. 

If I did a bulk weekly shop like most mothers the food would disappear in two days. I have secret hiding places for certain non-perishable items such as packets of chips for school lunches. 

My friends are often entertained when I pull out a bottle of coke and chocolate biscuits from the dishwasher. 

That’s one place I know the kids never look.

I’d heard via the telly that the cataclysm was scheduled for about ten o'clock in the morning Australian time. 

By ten thirty I resigned myself to the fact that the end of the world was not going to occur on December 21 after all. 

Crap! I thought. Now I have a sh#tload of Christmas shopping to catch up on.

Friday, February 1, 2013

One person's snake is someone else's sock puppet.


I sometimes wonder if the unsavory things we parents inflict on our kids is what spawns irrational phobias. When I was about five years old I had an illogical fear about taking a bath. My mother would casually mention that it was nearly tub time and I would be consumed with terror, wailing and running away to hide in a cupboard. 

I eventually got over it but I put it down to an earlier incident when my sister and I were in the bath. 

Wayward child that I was, I left the tap running to create a swimming pool effect allowing the run-off to slosh all over the floor. There was so much water it leaked through the floorboards onto my mother hanging the washing out on the floor below. 

She rushed upstairs and screamed blue murder alerting my father. Now Dad is a gentle soul but on this day he lost it and smacked me (lightly) on the face, as that was the only discernable flesh above the tide line. 

I reckon that’s what put me off the bath thing.

My hubby Scotto, is afraid of balloons. I didn’t believe him when he told me but he seriously won’t blow them up or go anywhere near them. The mind boggles as to what that stems from.

Frogs, bugs, thunder, snakes, dogs… pish! They don’t worry me at all. 

Show me a spider though and I’d leave Usain Bolt standing at the starting line whilst I pushed several old ladies to the ground on the way through.

When I was first married to my ex-husband we stayed at an old house at the beach. One day as I stepped into the shower recess, and pulled the shower curtain across, I spied an enormous hairy huntsman perched on the inside of the curtain, its defiant bulgy eyes staring into mine. 
I didn’t dare flutter an eyelash. 

“Come and kill this f$%king spider!” I shrieked to my then husband. 

He sauntered in and perceiving the silhouette of the belligerent bastard through the back of the curtain slapped it hard with his hand. 

And what do imagine happened? 

Like a hirsute missile the huntsman propelled forward directly onto my shoulder. 

We had to buy a new shower curtain with all the wild, stark-naked flagellation that ensued and I didn’t get my voice back for three days from all the screaming.

I might add that not all the screaming was directed at the spider.

Lulu had an intense fear of giant rabbits. Whenever they’d appear on the telly in Kmart ads or whatever she would squeal and hide her face in a cushion. I attributed this irrational fear to an oversight by her pre-school teachers. 

One Easter, whilst all the midgets were out playing on the swings at lunchtime, their kindly teachers painted gigantic rabbit footprints all over the classroom floor. 

On the kiddies return there was purported chaos with terrified infants clinging to the legs of the teachers, high-pitched screeching and petrified four year olds feverishly pointing at the ominous and malevolent tracks.

Now I may be guilty of inflicting a phobia on my own kids. 

All mothers know about the ‘witching hour’ between six o’clock and seven, just before bedtime. When Thaddeus, Jonah and Hagar were all between seven and five, they utilized this time to torment, brutalise and obliterate anything in sight. 

I would be trying to cook dinner and keep an eye on Padraic and the newborn Lulu. Meanwhile the feral trio would be recreating one of the pig killing scenes in “Lord of the Flies”. 

There was only one threat that worked every time.

“Do you want me to lock you outside so the bitey bats with sharp teeth and pointy claws can get you?” I would intimidate in a witch-like voice.

We had a lot of mango trees around our house complimented with an extensive colony of loud and evil-sounding flying foxes that conveniently and regularly descended at dusk. 

I only ever actually locked them out a few times and only for a couple of minutes as the threat was usually sufficient. 

By the third time I locked Thaddeus out he had figured out that the ‘bitey bats’ weren’t anywhere in his vicinity and took himself off to visit the neighbour’s house for dessert. 

But... Hagar at nineteen, still won't go outside in the dark if there are "bitey" bats about.

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