I am a manly man. Hairy, virile and so testosterone filled that I can make things explode just by looking at them with one arched eyebrow.
But even this perfect specimen of human evolution has phobias and fears. It doesn't make me any less of a man, more like when those sculptors in those olden times used to knick the plaster of their creations because they couldn’t handle all that perfection staring them back in the face. The flaws made them better in their eyes and that's more or less the same with me.
That's what I tell myself anyway.
Here are my fears.
This all stemmed from walking through Covent Garden at the age of about six with my parents. Now in Covent Garden you always get street performers doing their, frankly shit, act whilst being surrounded by crowds of tourists at any given opportunity. On this particular time there happened to be a creepy looking clown juggling. So of course, the moment he saw me wandering by, he had to pull me out of the crowd and make me part of his act, the absolute bastard.
So what did he make me do?
He made me dance for the crowd.
That's right, the creepy clown made me dance on the spot for the baying masses. I don’t know what exactly I was dancing too, but dancing away I was. This was my first taste of abject humiliation and has kind of mapped out my entire life since then. Even now I have reoccurring dreams of lots of people clapping their hands and urging me to dance faster and it all stems from that fucking clown. Or I might have got it mixed up in my head from the time I got drunk at Spearmint Rhino strip club and ended up half naked on stage gyrating to Aerosmith's Love In An Elevator.
Either way, clowns freak me out.
But the big tossers, those with fangs, a million eyes, and long legs that are made for wrapping round your head while you sleep so it can plant its eggs in your brain, I hate them.
I used to love spiders as a kid. I would collect them and make homes for them in shoeboxes. I had a house spider called Dave for about seven months. He was my friend. I made him the coolest condo ever. It had a bottle cap filled with water for when he wanted a drink, a little compartment where he would live, and the rest of his box for his web, which he filled in about three days.
Dave was brilliant.
The he escaped and I never saw him again.
I won’t lie to you. I was very cut up.
But I don’t think my fear of spiders has come from some sort of arachnid abandonment issues. I mean, it’s not like I go into dank garages, peering into dark corners whispering “Dave?”. No, the fear just seemed to spring up overnight. Suddenly spiders freaked me out. I would get the shivers and shakes every time I saw one in real life or on the TV.
Last year I was in Florida, wandering around the Animal Kingdom at Disney, when I saw a nice looking lady with a Perspex box standing idly by and it pricked my curiosity.
“Hello, “ I said, wandering over. “What do you hav- JESUS CHRIST?”
i suddenly found myself pulling a ninja stance in front of the startled lady due to the fact that she had the biggest fucking tarantula ever sitting in the box that was staring evilly back at me.
“Its….it’s a Goliath tarantula.” she stammered back, more afraid of me than the fact that she had the Devils very own pet in her hands.
“You should warn people what's in there before they come over,” I replied crossly. “Standing there all innocently with a box. Bad woman. BAD WOMAN!”
And still pointing at her, I walked away.
I don’t like spiders.
My one biggest fear is that during the take off, fuelled by adrenaline and fear, I force my way into the cockpit to find a six foot brown recluse spider flying the plane with a pilots hat perched jauntily on its head.
Now that would probably finish me off, truth be told.
4) Claustrophobia and Vertigo.
“Ah mate, it looks great, doesn’t it?” my friend Mark said, looking around for me. “Dan? DAN?”
“Yep, its brilliant mate,” I replied from the floor where I was spread-eagled, hugging the metal with my cheek pressed firmly into its cool surface. “Can we go down now?”
I can laugh about it now.
Actually I can’t.
It was fucking horrible.
5) Tidal Waves.
Huge mile high bodies of water, towering over you with no escape.
Are you telling me you wouldn’t be scared of that?
Now I don’t know if you have ever been ganged up on by 50 chickens, but at the age of nine, it’s terrifying. They knew I had food. They knew I was venerable. Chickens can sense fear. They began pecking at my ankles, getting in my face and clucking. I panicked and just threw the feed up in the air.
The coop exploded in a mass of feathers, clucks, and one screaming boy.
I staggered out of the coop covered in bird shit, feathers and with tiny pin pricks of blood all over my body from their beaks.
Did I mention that my favourite food is chicken?
Yeah, peck me now bitch.
I will stop there with my fears, there are many more, like my fear of older women with gold handbags and matching shoes, sideburns, tuna, ABBA, and the colour beige, but to list all of them would surely make me seem like the world’s biggest wimp.
And I’m definitely not that.