5.06.2013

Things That Go Bump in the Night

Recently, +Jim Herrin wrote of things which scared him as a child. This was egged on by our 6 and 7 year old girls watching movies that were, questionable. He said that our oldest is more like him in that images bother her while the youngest is more like me and is far more creeped out by the real world.

What movies scared me as a child? Yes, the Wicked Witch of the West was bothersome, but the monkeys were far more creepy. Whenever someone says the phrase "when monkeys fly out of my butt" I picture those monkeys. The creepy child stealer in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was and is beyond disturbing. As was the clown lamp in the bedroom I shared with my sister. I know full well that clown lamped instigated devilry whilst I slept. Fortunately, sheets can protect you from most bedroom furnishings.

A friend told me the story of how his dad took him and his brother to see JAWS. I believe he was around 5 at the time. He's still not a fan of going into the ocean. Sure, it's funny now. But I would imagine that was more than disturbing seen through the eyes of a child. Oh, yeah, I watched it with Jenna when she was around 5, but there was fast-forwarding and then I thought, you know, funny and fake as it looks to me when Quint gets eaten, I don't know if letting her watch it would be an act of good parenting. So I turned it off. JAWS, to the adult mind, most likely haunts you because of what is not seen. Being caught by surprise, unless cake is involved, is never good.I

I remember there was talk that my nephew had seen Jurassic Park at too young an age. He has not developed a fear of dinosaurs or theme parks to my knowledge. But everyone is just wired differently.

It's true, I won't park anywhere near a panel van. I will also not drive behind trucks carrying logs. Deliverance stayed with me more than Poltergeist did. Because of it I have an irrational fear of banjoess--and pretty mouths, on a city boy. I was raised in the suburbs of Washington, DC. There was a point when I realized that if a bomb was launched at our country, and it was aimed at DC, ducking and covering would be to no avail. Instead I remember a McDonald's shooting in the mid '80's. Sitting in the back row was always within my comfort zone.

Sometime between only sitting in the back row at church (family of six, easier to control the children) and this incidenct, I developed a distinct need to always sit in the back and/or in the position where I could see who was coming in, and could make an exit strategy. Every classroom, every restaurant, all the time, that's what I'm thinking. Perhaps I just took it for granted that my world was a target so I always expect the worst case scenario. I really do have a blanket, a candle, and every type of emergency situation stuff in my car, and I always have. I walk to the car with my keys in my hand and one key pointing out. Always. If I see one more victim in a movie drop their keys or, heaven forbid, just begin to look for them in a dark alley, well, quite frankly, she's an idiot.

Movies that are a bit more real, I won't watch. Saving Private Ryan is, from the bits I've seen, is a superb movie. But it's too real. My dad was in that war. Lot's of people had dads in that war. I don't want to watch it. It's too well made. I prefer the beheading of Orcs to a really real movie. Sci/fi fantasy is my world. Shower me with musicals (Glitter aside)and I'll be happy.

My boyfriend in college cajoled me into watching Nightare on Elm Street. I remembered putting up quite the resistance. However, I acquiesed and watch it I did. You know, Nightmare on Elm Street really isn't a movie for someone who has night terrors already. It took about ten years for that crawling on the ceiling business to fade away from my mind. If only Freddy Kreuger had used jazz hands then I wouldn't even be telling you this now.

They say that public speaking is what most people fear. Pffftttt. That scares me not. Flop sweat when you're dying out there, even that's not scary. Me, failing, is actually pretty funny stuff. That's why I do it so often. I used to think not having a job would scare me. Four years after being laid off, I'm not scared, I'm not pining for the fjords, and I'm not looking back. You see the only thing I am truly scared of is a life of regrets. It may sound trite, but it's true. I live my life as an adventure. But without all the skydiving because, seriously man, you're just baiting fate with that.