My little neighbor, who is six, gave me a very stern warning over the weekend.  “My friend had a bear come up on her deck to eat from her bird feeder.  So be really careful and be sure to close your gate at night.”

I’m not sure where the friend lives, but I’m pretty sure it’s not in southwest Minneapolis.  We normally keep an eye on the gate so the dog doesn’t get out, but I will admit that I did look out the back window last night to make sure it was closed!

Any irrational fears you’ll admit to?

44 thoughts on “Arkoudaphobia”

  1. I’m afraid not.

    But I was curious about arkouda, which is Greek for bear and a word of which I was unfamiliar. I guess since phobia is Greek, it makes sense to couple it with Greek prefixes, although that doesn’t seem to be a strict rule.
    Bears are often depicted in folklore and children’s stories derived from folklore as having human qualities, which gives them a special mystical quality. Bears are imagined gathering in the woods for ursine pow-wows, dancing and making music. For some reason, bears playing the fiddle are especially common. Here’s a charming story from Albert Bigelow Paine, who was also a biographer of Mark Twain, called The Arkansaw Bear:

    I was also curious whether there ever were bears in Greece. Apparently there were, and there are numerous references to them from the ancient Greeks

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Rise and Shine, Baboons,

    I have mentioned before that I do not like heights at all, preferring my feet to be firmly planted on terra firma. My dad had this too to the point that he hated his job as a cattle herdsman because it required riding horseback and the horse was too high. He never rode on an airplane because he could not face being air bound. I have ridden horses and been on airplanes many times, but anything that require peeping out over a cliff or mountain to a distant depth really gives me a pit in my stomach accompanied by the willies and nausea.

    After this year of social isolation there are some new dislikes or fears popping up: social isolation for one. I will do just about anything to and hang out safely with other people at this point (outside). Last fall during an October cold snap we bundled up in our winter gear to sit outside sipping wine and chatting with a group of friends. It was really fun! Using Zoom does not raise an irrational fear (after doing my job for 15 months this way) but I have just had it with life online.

    tim, I did not see a response to the May 23 suggestion for Blevins. Is that on? You have great space for an outdoor gathering.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I hate driving through mountains. I really dislike heights. I think I could be ok if I went somewhere in the mountains and just stayed put somewhere. I also really suffer from altitude sickness , which makes me feel like I am having a perpetual panic attack.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am afraid of getting too close to birds. Thanks, Alfred Hitchcock. I like watching them at the feeder, but I get nervous if they swoop too close if I am in the yard.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Such coincidence. About an hour ago I was listening to Vesper Flights by Helen McDonald and she mentioned The Birds. I have always been terrified of that movie, having seen it as a young child, but did not realize that it was actually a book by Daphne du Maurier. So as soon as I was out of the car, of course, I looked it up. Seems like in the book, although everyone wasn’t dead at the end, it was clear they were going to be soon. Amazing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Interesting. I also did not know that Daphne du Maurier wrote the Birds. I saw that movie on the Channel 9 Saturday Classics and was terrified as a child. I have never watched horror pictures after that. I used to babysit for a family who had a library of du Maurier books which I would read while babysitting after the kids were in bed. They did not have “The Birds” on that shelf, I guess.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. One of my most traumatic events of childhood was sitting behind an armchair in our livingroom with our pug dog when our parakeet got out of its cage and flew behind the chair and the pug caught and ate the bird. I was about 4.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. As I recall, Wes, you have the little red finches. I have known other people with those. They were not the kind of birds portrayed in the move.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Close but I have Budgies and since budgies originate in Australia and and everyone knows Australia is populated entirely by criminals, they cannot be trusted.

          Liked by 3 people

  4. I have an irrational fear of dropping something down a storm sewer grate. Walking on a grate will make me nervous, too. There is a stairway on the Wabasha Street bridge that is open metalwork, and it always makes me nervous to be able to see what is beneath the steps.

    There is a store in downtown St. Paul that I go to sometimes, and there is a designated parking spot where you can pull over for fifteen minutes. It’s a one-way street, and the spot is on the left. If you’re lucky enough to get that spot, you’re right at the door of the store, but there is a large storm sewer grate right next to you as you open your car door. I always grip my keys really tightly and check to see that my earrings are secure, and leave my phone in the car.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. I volunteer doing a meal delivery on every other Friday. I am so afraid that I am going to forget sometimes – I write it on several calendars, make Husband aware of it… Not sure at this point if it is irrational or rational, considering my memory these days.

    And as I sign up for more things that are starting to open up, I have a similar niggling anxiety that I’ll commit to something and forget it.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. All the worries you’re mentioning seem pretty rational to me.

    I worry about finding a parking space. I’ll arrive to an event an hour early so I can find a place to park. And you know, I’ve never missed an event because I couldn’t find a place to park. Somewhere, forgotten in my memory, there must have been some traumatic event involving parking.
    I don’t like spiders. I have been known to shriek like a little kid upon seeing one. And yet, if needed, I’ll bravely drop the JCPenny catalog on one with barely a squeal. It’s harder when they’re on the ceiling.

    Spinning blades; I’m sure someday I’m going to cut a finger off while slicing a pizza. Tables saws and miter saw, no problem. But the blender? Pizza cutter? They’re just waiting to pull my finger in.

    My mom one day got the sewing machine needle stuck in her finger and she came rushing to my room. Seems like it was just on the edge… not through the bone, but I don’t remember. I did have to use my pliers to pull it out. I should ask her if she remembers that.
    I don’t know how one could do that; there’s not that much room to get your finger in there.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Stop. Even though I fell backwards off of the stage in high school and had a nail go all the way through my foot, this talk about sewing machine needles and fingers is giving me the creeps. Or the willies.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I had a brother in law who was a carpenter. One day, on a roof, he shot a nail through his foot with a nail gun.
          That year for Christmas, someone gave him a silver framed nail with the Inscription “To Jim, who will never fall off a roof”

          Liked by 3 people

        1. Hasn’t everyone dropped a JCPenny catalog on a spider at some point in their lives??


        2. The J. C. Penney catalog is a capricious and arbitrary scourge. It matters not whether you have been a good spider or a bad spider.

          Liked by 3 people

    1. I set up a supervisor with a nail through finger ring. A small version of arrow through the head. Working nailing carpet trackstrip to concrete subfloor.
      Me: (BANG) “Damn!
      Sup: “Ha! Hit your finger!”
      Me: (Showing fake nail) “Take me to the hospital!”
      Sup: “OMG! (Turned white)
      Fellow in on it: “We’ve got to take it out!”
      Me: “No! Take me to the hospital!”
      Fellow in on it: “No. It’s got to come out. I’ve got my pliers. Hold him! I can’t do it. (Hands pliers to Sup) You do it and I’ll hold him ”
      Sup: “This is gonna kill him! (Fishes around the nail for a hold)
      Me: screaming in pain. “Hurry”
      Sup: grasping pulling. “Expletives deleted “

      Liked by 3 people

  7. Spiders don’t bother me so much unless they are the size of a Daddy longlegs (which I guess isn’t actually an arachnid). But don’t get me close to a snake – not even a small harmless garter snake!! As a child I had an irrational fear of tornadoes – used to have nightmares about them even though I had never been in one or even seen one. Maybe it was all those viewings of “The Wizard of Oz”. Now I just have a healthy respect for threatening weather. “The Birds” was a creepy movie but I was probably more traumatized by “Psycho”. For a long time after seeing that movie I was uneasy taking a shower. No fear of heights for this gal. I love looking out from an airplane when there is a good view. And I probably gave my folks a good scare when looking out over the edge of a tall building observation deck. Being a driver or passenger in a vehicle on the outer edge of a mountain road doesn’t bother me either.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. When I was a kid I knew how to pick up a daddy long legs. You had to pick it up by its two longest legs, which I think were the rear ones. Picking it up by its shorter legs would fail because that meant it could reach your fingers with its longer legs and scramble for purchase. But if you got the longest legs at the very tip and held them together, it would simply hang there and wait till you gently put it down again.

    Liked by 6 people

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