Are you suffering from savantophobia, the fear of looking stupid? Tomorrow is Friday the 13th, a national day of obsession over phobias. You know your friends are not going to be impressed if you ask them for the 40th time if they suffer from triskaidekaphobia, fear of the number 13, or ailurophobia, fear of black cats. So, how are you going to impress them this year? Here at Dallas Comedy House, we want you to look and feel intelligent. So, we have assembled a list of obscure phobias that your friends have never heard of, unless they read this blog.
It’s been a great year for clowns, so lots of folks have heard of coulrophobia, fear of clowns. But, how many people have heard of kohlrabiphobia, fear of root vegetables that look like cabbage and taste like broccoli? This is sure to impress your culinary friends or that hot produce guy at Whole Foods. Beanophobia, is the fear of passing wind after eating a burrito while on a date with a hot Latina woman who might otherwise agree to spend the night with you. And, somnambonachophobia is the fear of midnight snacking while sleepwalking causing you to run out of food during Sunday night football.
For the wine snob in your life, there’s vinophobia, fear of appearing like a pseudo-intellectual elitist reading Flaubert at a vineyard while sipping Pinot Gris. And, for folks living in Napa Valley, there’s bordeauxphobia—fear of not appreciating expensive French wine and having your neighbors find out you drink box wine from Target.
Not to be confused with merlotphobia, fear of merlot, there’s merylophobia, fear of a Twitter war when Meryl Streep calls you out at the Golden Globes for mocking disabled people. Ectophobia is the fear of drowning in ectoplasm while starring with Sigourney Weaver in a movie about aliens. And, brangelinophobia is the dual fear that Brad and Angelina may actually get divorced or may never get divorced, making for poor tabloid reading the next time you’re prepping for a colonoscopy.
Speaking of medical conditions, psychologists are seeing an increase in the incidence of GoTophobia, fear of facing life after Game of Thrones even though you own all the seasons on Amazon Prime and could watch them in a continuous loop for at least a decade. For fans of 1970s TV shows, you may be at risk for minnowphobia, fear of going on a three-hour tour and being shipwrecked on a small desert island with three beautiful blondes but no one remembered beer or condoms.
If you live in the tropics, the CDC is monitoring a rise in hotashellophobia, fear of global warming getting so bad that tourists abandon Belize for aptly named Greenland. The new folks at EPA are predicting a rise in palinophobia, fear that Sarah Palin will get more kudos as a climate change denier than Scott Pruitt who will head the EPA.
Which brings us to politicophobia, the fear of never reading happy news again, unless you count the random articles about firemen rescuing kittens. Federal workers need to be on the lookout for automatonophobia, fear of ventriloquist's dummies and anything that falsely represents a sentient being, like conservative pollsters who give lip service to the truth. Looming over the oval office is moscowphobia, fear that a foreign head of state may have information that could cause you to be impeached or perhaps even convicted of treason.
Men in power don’t just own prime real estate, they are the sole victims of solomortophobia, the fear of being found dead in a cheap motel after a night with a hooker, blindfolded, handcuffed, and wearing ladies panties. Evangelicals, known for monogamy, dread hormonophobia, fear of hitting a midlife crisis and being tempted by your son’s girlfriend when your wife hits menopause simultaneous to your daughter(s) entering puberty.
Women have their phobias, too. Brides often suffer from solophobia, the fear of drinking from a Solo cup and spilling Kool-Aid on your white pants when you meet the in-laws for the first time. And, heliodermophobia, fear of having your dermatologist yell at you for getting sunburned at a nude beach on spring break, increasing your risk of skin cancer that might disfigure you and ruin your chances of marrying a millionaire. Lubribruisophobia is the fear of excessive lubrication during coitus causing one or both partners to slip off the bed, bruising themselves on the nightstand and having a lot of explaining to do at Bible study Wednesday night.
And, finally, there’s phobiaphobia, the fear of having phobias. And, nophobiaphobia, the fear of not having phobias.
So, there you have it! Go and impress the hell out of your friends. It’s a scary world out there. Just make sure you don’t overdo the fear factor and turn one of your friends into a wholeshebangophobe, someone who is afraid of everything!
Gretchen Martens is a DCH graduate who performs with Been There Done That and Brain Wearing Pants. When she’s not working as an executive coach and trainer, she writes satire for her blog www.PotatoNationUSA.com. She is finishing her first play, sanINity, an irreverent look at losing a loved one to mental illness.
(Image: jacme31/Creative Commons)