In honour of Halloween rolling at us like a pissed up witch on rollerblades, I thought I would update my list on things that scare me.
This list is in no way a reflection on my masculinity, and I remain the testosterone filled slab of man meat that all you all know and quietly admire.
Scorpions, like their cousins, the spider, are absolute bastards. Quite a bold statement, I must admit, but look at them. Armour plated, huge pincers waving around at the front of them, bastards, and behind them, a massive arse stinger filled with death, just to complete the whole “Spindly death machine” package.
My fear of scorpions started, as most fears do, from a very early age. I was about seven and watching one of David Attenborough’s amazing wildlife documentaries. If memory serves me correct, it was about when animals invade your home. So you had cameras following spiders, ants, and other assorted nasties mooching around a re-enactment of somebody’s house.
And then they focused on the scorpion.
I have to admit, it wasn’t as scary looking as the ones that I had seen before. It was a tiny little one, all orange coloured but still with a whopping great stinger at the back. The camera followed it as it trundled along someone’s bedroom floor (the whole show had actors moving around the beasties, putting mugs on top of them, and reaching in cupboards with fingertips brushing over cockroaches as they reached for the jam) and then the little shit decided to crawl into a ladies slipper.
This didn’t look good.
And then the lady, who was lying on her bed, then decided to put her slipper on.
You saw her wince in pain, pull her foot out, and then collapse on her bed convulsing.
This was on at seven in the evening while I was eating my dinner. I sat there opened mouthed with a fork full of macaroni cheese wobbling in front of it.
My tiny little mind was now warped beyond repair.
From that moment on, shoes were turned from safe, comfortable things that you wear on the end of your feet, to dark caves of death that were filled with evil bastard creatures, whom that the moment my vulnerable toes went anywhere near, they would sting like mo fo's, causing my head to swell up and I’d actually start shitting out of my ears.
I haven’t worn shoes ever since. I have tried to put it down to my free love, 60’s hippy sensibility. But in reality it’s because I know that there are scorpions living in them.
I have suffered from bad dreams since I was about 16. Now these nightmares aren’t your everyday (or night) terrors, but full blown epic horror spectaculars, complete with state of the art special effects and a plot straight out of a David Lynch film.
Now my mind is not a safe place to be during the day when I am in charge of it, when left alone at night, and with me not being in full control, it then decides to start really messing with me. I have been known to have surreal images of pure terror that wouldn’t be out of place out of one of Dante’s paintings.
And yet if told back in the warm light of day, they don’t sound that scary.
Take this one.
Now this is the scariest dream I have ever had. I was living back at my old house, which had a staircase that curved all the way down to my hallway. In my dream I was slowly creeping down it in the pitch blackness, the only light provided was some strobe lighting that was coming from something in my living room. As I crept down the stairs, I could see that my front door was open. I couldn’t see outside, as the door opened inwards, so all I could see was the back of it. As I got near the door, I knew that I didn’t want to look in the doorway.
Whatever was there was quite possibly the scariest thing I could ever imagine. It was just a presence, something evil. As I got nearer and nearer I just didn’t want to look round the door and see what was causing this feeling of terror, but I couldn’t stop myself from doing so. When I got to the door, I put my head round it to look outside, and was immediately blasted with a gale force wind and something screaming.
I don’t know what this dream means, but I’m pretty sure that it’s something to do with the fact that I might have a few issues.
These night terrors have been so bad that I have been known to wake up screaming sometimes, which always makes it a bit awkward if I ever had anyone round.
“I’m just off to bed now. There’s a chance I might wake up screaming at four in the morning. Night!”
This is probably the reason why I was probably never allowed sleepovers when I was a kid.
3) Nutter (A cat)
When I lived at my old house, for about three months I was attacked by a killer cat. Now I love all animals, but I could have quite happily toe punted this little fucker in front of an articulated lorry.
It started one winters evening, I was walking home one night after a long day at work, when I saw a raggedy looking cat sitting on a wall. Being the soft, animal loving bastard that I am, I did what I normally do whenever I see a cat; I leant over to stroke it. The cat ignored my outstretched hand and immediately leapt for my face, trying to claw out my eyes.
“OW! What the hell!” I cried, batting the cat away.
It landed on the floor, turned, and then hissed at me, and then swaggered off like an original gangsta, while I could only watch it saunter off with thin trickles of blood running down my face.
Every night for three months, this little tosser waited for me. He would hide in bushes, behind walls, under cars, and the moment he saw me, he would attack me. Now I know you think that a cat isn’t really a match for a grown man, but this wasn’t a normal cat. He had developed the taste for human blood. He was a killer. When he attacked, he would leap out, climb up my legs, and then try and claw at my vulnerable bits, which included eyes, cheeks, hands and genitals. There was never any provocation from my side, I never touched him, talked to him, and I eventually would end up avoiding eye contact with him when I saw his luminous eyes glaring at me from whatever attack point he had positioned himself on.
I used to take a different route, change over what side of the road I walked home on, but he soon wised up. I think he could smell fear. He always knew where I was.
My lowest point was actually running down the street with him chasing after me. Yes, that’s right. A man in his late 20’s was being chased down the road by a cat.
Form a queue ladies. Form a queue.
I don’t know what happened to Nutter (for this is what I christened him in the end). I sometimes think that he has followed me to my new home and is out there somewhere. Watching. Waiting.
4) Superman 3
This one scene from Superman 3 messed with my head for years afterwards. If I ever saw it on TV and knew it was coming to this bit, I would always make an excuse and go to the kitchen to make a drink.
You have to admit, for a kid’s film, it is pretty fucked up.
And that another small collection of things that I am a big girlie man about. Be curious to hear some of your fears. Drop ‘em in my comment box and let’s have a look. I bet they are not as screwed up as mine.
Happy Halloween my chumlets!