Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Six Things That Freak Me Out

I've been thinking a lot about anxiety lately.  It's kind of a constant factor in this house.   I decided that maybe if I embrace the weirdness, it might help.  So, here are some random things that freak me out.  Thanks for participating in today's therapy session.

1.  Antique dolls.  Oh. My. God.  These things are scarier than clowns.  Because at least with clowns, you're expected them to move.  Antique dolls look sweet and innocent but then when you go to sleep?  They get all stabbity.

Most of them don't even look sweet and innocent, though.  They look like tiny crazy cat ladies.  Or puppets that have been  crafted for the sole purpose of recreating scenes in Alfred Hitchcock movies at 1/8 scale.

2.  The movie Jaws.  Dolls' Eyes.  In Jaws, that nut Quint says "the thing about a shark ... he's got lifeless eyes.  Black eyes.  Like a doll's eyes."  Yeah.  Jaws is really scary and that one underwater scene when the guy's head sort of floats at you gets me every damn time.  Even though I've seen that movie a hundred times.

I've also watched too many shark documentaries, because for the longest time we didn't have cable.  The only place we got to watch cable was once a year, at our rented vacation house on the Jersey shore.  Inevitably, we rented during TLC's Shark Week.  So we watched Jaws and shark documentaries all week and every time a piece of seaweed touched me I panicked.

But.  Still.  You know what freaks me out more than sharks?  Dolls' eyes.  In particular, the ones in antique dolls that open and shut.   That is some scary, scary stuff.

And then I found this ring, and it wasn't even on Etsy, which is normally my source for accessories that seem to be specifically designed to freak me out.

When you lift your hand or put it down, the ring opens and shuts its eye.  Thanks, gingasquid.com.  Thanks for the hipster nightmares.

3. Clowns.  Pffft.  I know.  So obvious, right?  It's obvious because clowns are freaky.  Clowns are so freaky they take freaky to a whole other dimension.  And the question you have to ask is, "Does anyone actually like clowns?"

I don't know too many people that don't hate clowns.  I might know a couple of people that are not terrified by clowns.

The only people who love clowns, are clowns.  Really.  And maybe people who just hate their day jobs and think, wouldn't it be fun to be a clown and scare the bodily fluids out of my boss?.

The only thing I like about clowns is that they're all evil marketing geniuses.  They've got a lock on that whole circus monopoly.  Their very existence fuels the perception that people, especially children, like clowns.  Thus, deluded Human Resources people hire clowns for the company picnic.  Parents hire clowns for kids' birthday parties.  And of course, there's the king clown, Ronald McDonald.

Once we stopped at a McDonald's that had a life-size statue of Ronald sitting on a bench.  The statue was chipped and worn and appeared to be looking right at me whilst I ate.

"That statue is really creepy," whispered the Peanut Butter Kid.

"Yeah," I agreed.  "It's kind of freaking me out.  I think it's watching us eat."

"You know what would be even creepier?" asked the Peanut Butter kid.  "If it had bugs crawling out of its eyes."  And then she giggled maniacally.

What. The. Hell.

4. America's Funniest Home Videos.  Sometimes it's okay.  Cute kitten popping out of a tissue box.  Baby with pureed squash coming out of his nose.  Dad getting nailed in the crotch with a tricycle.  That's all good stuff, people.  Good stuff.  But just when I've been lulled into finding the show charming, the next video is of a child falling off a swing onto her cranium.  The kid will be lying in the dirt crying, and the Parent of the Year is laughing so hard the flip cam is shaking.

You know what I do when my kids fall, get hurt, and cry?  I comfort them.  I know.  It's just crazy enough to work.  I guess I'm overprotective that way.


5. Mickey Mouse.  Gahh, I know, it's like saying I hate the American flag, right?  I'm not into Mickey Mouse.  I've never thought the cartoons are all that funny, and Mickey in person is basically a 6-foot rat.  I get why people like Mickey.  He symbolizes happy fun time and all that.  However, his voice is like nails on chalkboard.

And speaking of rats...

6. Pet Rats.  These are so disturbing that I'm sparing you any illustration.  I figure the Mickey photo should just about cover it anyway.  We all know what a rat looks like.

I'm not a huge fan of rodents of any type as pets, but of course my kids adore checking them out at the pet store.   We go to the pet store a lot, because it is right near Target, and because it is cheaper and quicker than the zoo.  We refer to PetSmart as the Short Attention Span Zoo.  (If I had more energy, I'd rearrange those words to somehow make the acronym of SPAZ, but I simply can't do it tonight.)

The other day I took the Peanut Butter Kid on a special one-on-one trip to PetSmart.  We had worked on classifying things in her home science class, so it seemed like a great place to go and see how PetSmart sorts its different critters.  All good.

Then we went to look at the rodents.  And I saw something I had never noticed before.  As many times as I had been to PetSmart with my kids, I never really took the time to observe the rats.

They have extremely large testicles.

Seriously.  There is so much going on down there, I thought one of the rats was giving birth.  And I was about to be all, look, the miracle of disgusting rat life, but then I realized they were giant rat testicles.  So I thought, oh my God, that rat has a serious prostate problem and probably needs one of those medicines they advertise on ESPN.  But then I checked out the other rats' junk and decided it was some kind of rampant infection.  Perhaps all the rats at this particular PetSmart had the clap or something.  (What?  I don't know.  They're all in there in the cage together.  All it takes is one bad apple to spoil the bunch, as they say.)

Obviously, when I got home I had to Google it.  Obviously.  Because what is Google for if not typing in "rats large testicles" and seeing what you can find out?  Here is what I found out: rats have extremely large testicles.  Also, I found out that on YouTube there is a Chipmunk version of AC/DC's "Big Balls."

Again, I will refrain from embedding that video here because I love you and I realize you're just trying to drink your coffee in peace.  (On the other hand, if you think that kind of thing is hilarious, then click here.  It's wrong on so many levels.)

42 comments:

  1. AFV turns my stomach for the same reason. The one that did it for me is when someone gives a kid a trick gift at Christmas. He's a preschooler, maybe a toddler. Kid is scared out of his mind. Not like a funny startle, or even a real fright, and then laughter. No, he's hysterical. And they just keep filming while he's looking around the room for someone to comfort him.

    Made me ill.

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  2. Antique dolls freak me out too! My grandmother had a whole room of them and when she passed several of them were left to me. I had my mom wrap them up and put them in storage.

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  3. Clowns, dolls and doll eyes all together in the same post - *shudders*

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  4. our family's favorite pizza place has a clown doing flips over a bar... up on top of the fireplace, watching you and doing these creepy jerky flips the whole time you're trying to eat... I do anything I can to put him behind me! Otherwise, I can't help but keep an eye on that damn clown.

    RE: Mickey Mouse... you know on MMCH, where Mickey says, "Do you want to see my clubhouse?" My daughter (16 mos) always responds, "No!" Thatta girl...

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  5. short span of attention zoo... it came to mind while reading! love your stuff and it makes my mornings and all day seem a little less bleak

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  6. "Antique dolls look sweet and innocent but then when you go to sleep? They get all stabbity."

    My grandmother-in-law has a collection. I will never sleep in that house.

    And the same with pet rats. Really folks? They spread disease. The plague. Why? I just don't get the pet rat thing.

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  7. the doll ring is pretty strange....and i couldnt resist the chipmunk version of big balls...yes,it can be wrong if you have little kids listening to it..but,man, i couldnt help but laugh!...thanks for being here for me to enjoy daily and sometimes being my only laugh for the day!....
    shannon

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  8. Wow - your post was hysterical! Thanks for the morning laughs!

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  9. Rat testicle thing...the whole thing...I just spit tea out my nose in my classroom while my juniors are working in small groups. OHMYGOD. You made my day!

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  10. #3: PBK is my kid of girl!
    #4: The stuff we *don't* mention to the kids. (but sometimes at least one mine go there anyway, usually the younger one)

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  11. Eels, I hate eels. Just sitting there, opening and closing thier mouths *shudder*

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  12. I'm with you on the pet rats (and ferrets, which are like long, hairy rats but are supposed to be cuter?). However, my friend had a pet rat that she named Fink, and that's so full of win that it almost makes me want a rat that I can give a clever gangster tattle tale allusion name to (to who I can give...? nevermind). And by "almost," I mean when Hell freezes over, but doesn't-it-sound-like-a-cool-idea.

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  13. "The only people who love clowns, are clowns." So, so true! Yet isn't that so weird? Clowns need to only entertain other clowns. Period.

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  14. I owned a small pet rat once (I don't remember a whole lot about its testicles so maybe it was a girl rat, because at 15 I had never seen real testicles so they would surely have been of interest?) But I carried it on my person, all the time. There was nothing my Mother hated more than seeing that thing pop its head out of my non existent cleavage at dinner time.
    One day I went to see a movie after school, and half way thro a little boy halfway down the row started bouncing around in his seat and his Mom hauled him outside. A minute or so later, I realised my 'pet' was missing. I raced out to the foyer just in time to witness the Mom fling his sweater to the floor with all her might. There was no funeral for my poor rodent, and no apologies to the young man. I was 15 years old, and that Mom frightened the crap out of me, thought it might have been my funeral had I fessed up ... now as a Mom I think I would have lost my freakin' mind to find a rodent running over my child in a theater, back then I thought she was an unfeeling uncaring old person! :)

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  15. LOL -- I'm particularly amused because I'm in the process of getting my first ever pet RATS! And I'm so excited. Part of the fun will be creeping out my friends.

    Totally agree on dolls and AFV. I like clowns...

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  16. I totally love PBK's comment about Ronald LOL I'm one of those don't love, don't hate, don't care about clowns. Eh. I think I'm just twisted - I watched Stephen King's It as a kid and went home and went to bed. Yeah, I'm definitely just twisted.

    Oh and thanks for the Chipmunk's video - I love that song!

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  17. OMG, I'm not the only person in the world who hates Mickey Mouse. Thank you!!

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  18. @By Word of Mouth -- Um, yeah. That poor kid and his mom are probably STILL in therapy.

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  19. @Anonymous -- So, you like clowns. And pet rats. ::Never coming to your house::

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  20. That is the freakiest doll I have ever seen, great, thanks, now I'm scared!

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  21. What freaks me out...those massive Texas sized roaches that come up the drains. You can't get rid of them because they live in the damn sewers. The bastards are huge and they fly. As a non Native Texan...I say this to all you Native Texans. It will never make me feel better that your refer to giant prehistoric flying roaches as water bugs. They are roaches, they are disgusting and their poop is as large as mouse poop. I do not like them and if anyone knows how to keep them from my house, please let me know. I have tried EVERYTHING!

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  22. My great aunt, Ginny, had a massive collection of antique dolls. And in her guest room, my great uncle had built a huge shelf near the ceiling that went all of the way around the room. And that shelf was just completely lined with dolls. I stayed the night at their house once, and I was put to bed in the guest room. My uncle found me sound asleep in the bath tub in the middle of the night. With the door to the guest bedroom closed and locked. I was probably 5 years old.

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  23. (the clown liking, soon to be rat owning "anonymous" says) Yeah, well its not like I have clowns (or pictures of them, or anything) AT my house. And my pet rats will be girls, so no over sized testies. But anyway, since I don't know you and you don't know me, I guess you're not coming for a visit anyway! Oh -- and I do own one old fashioned doll, but she's not too creepy. We'll just save ourselves the trouble and I won't invite you for a visit, heh?

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  24. @Erin -- totally with you on the roaches. I lived in Hawaii and they are affectionately (NOT!) known as the "Hawaii State Bird." Worst things ever! I'll sleep in a room full of antique dolls and clown pictures and whatever else if you'll just keep those creatures away!

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  25. You know who spoiled clowns for the rest of life on earth?

    John Wayne Gacy. Before that, I think they were just a funny little slice of weirdness. Now, they're a scary little slice of pedophilia-serial killer.

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  26. I am so with you on the old dolls and the clowns. My wife thinks it's funny that a doll could reduce a 300 pound, shaved head, tattoo covered man to a sobbing baby. But we all have our achilles heal.

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  27. A group of us at a Halloween party some years back. (I'm the clown with green hair and a shotgun.) http://cat2.kjsl.com/~juphoff/pix/clown.jpg :)

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  28. @Jeff -- That's still better than the Juggalos.

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  29. I.HATE.MICKEY.MOUSE. And I live in Florida, where we have "palmetto bugs", which are still just giant cockroaches. I don't mind clowns and I used to have a pet rat, rescued from my college's psychology lab after we were done with our operant conditioning studies. Eyes definitely skeeze me, though - they're all jellyish and squirty. Ick.

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  30. I googled "rats giant testicles" this morning, & this very blog post was on the first page of my results!! (well, I didn't actually google it, I used a different search engine) but there you were...you should be proud!
    Thanks for the great laughs!

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  31. @Laura -- Ahahahahahaha that's yet another proud moment for my father, I'm sure.

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  32. SAPZ works too though...

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  33. I agree with everything on your list, but would add in cotton balls. I Can. Not. Stand. cotton balls or cotton batting or anything that is basically a stretched out cotton ball. Gives me goose bumps and heebie-jeebies and panic attacks and the whole 9 yards. Yuck and yuck. My MIL once thought she'd be funny and wrap up a box of loose cotton balls. Yeah, well, I turned into the boy mentioned above on AFV, crying and searching the room for someone to comfort me.

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  34. Do you know how hard it is to read your blog in a university library? I can't make any noise, and I'm laughing so hard I look like I'm having a seizure. A quiet seizure. A librarian came to offer assistance and left disgusted. Thanks a lot. :)

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  35. I'm glad I could contribute in some small way to your irrational anxieties. i'll reserve the beach house for you next year during shark week. tb

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  36. was reading about Black Death (plague) just yesterday online and some schools of thought are that the rats didn't carry plague. THis is coz the theory is the fleas on the rats carried the plague, and only started biting humans when all the rats had died out. But there is no recordings of a mass die out of rats, which would be needed for this theory to hold true.

    just so you know....maybe they aren't all that bad and diesase infested.
    I'm still not a fan of rats enough to have them in my house tho

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  37. Our Target is also next to a pet store and we also go there with our kids for the same reason! Ha!

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  38. I am brand new to your wonderful blog and am also a 5 year retired psych nurse. Like who cares, right? Except when you talk about anxiety it reminds me of my husband's family on his Mom's side who have anxiety up the ying yang. Jim was the first one to be treated for it after his first apparent panic attack (not true). He's on an anti-depressant that hits the anxiety right in the butt. He is amazingly different when he flies travels and just lives. To think he was the VP of Information systems at a major international department store all those years and didn't go bonkers is amazing!! His Mom before she died and his sister and brother are now on the drug now and doing much better in their day to day lives. There is a strong genetic component here just like in my family you are either a drunk, depressed or both back at least three generation after they came from England. The girls got the depression. The boys pass out in the garden.

    If you haven't considered this, you might want to check it out. The drug is Zoloft and it is now generic. It has strong anti Anxiety properties and works well without being addicting.

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  39. I feel the exact same way about America's Funniest Home Videos. Why is that funny? That poor kid is laying there probably paralyzed. And then I start freaking out about if that happened to my kid. Then I lock them in their rooms until there 35 for their own safety!

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  40. Just found your blog through a FB link a friend shared about the lovely tee-shirts they are marketing to our girls.

    I have one thing to say-- you.crack.me.up!! Thank you! I can't wait to read through your archives-- your blog will be my morning coffee break for some time to come---

    And, yes, rat testicles are frightfully large, dolls like that are just wrong, and AFV? It amazes me none of those people get turned in to child protective!

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