The last time we visited Joel's family in Vermont the conversation turned to potential places we'd all like to move. This is something Joel and I think about an awful lot, as we'd like to make an exodus from the Mid-Atlantic some day. Someone suggested Kansas, which Joel's mom shot down immediately. "Too many tornadoes" was her reasoning. The rest of the family thought this was a silly reason to not like an otherwise fine place -- I mean, how many people DIE in Kansas tornadoes? Probably fewer than perish in Vermont blizzards every year, right? -- but I understand what she means completely.
Tornadoes don't scare me. That's not to say I wouldn't run shrieking to the nearest cement-fortified bomb shelter if I was ever in the immediate vicinity of a tornado; I assure you, I would. But I don't get nervous just thinking about tornadoes. Alligators, now that's a different story. I am terrified of alligators and I will never consent to live anywhere in the real south for fear of someday coming across one. Even though I know, rationally, that the likelihood of my ever being killed or maimed personally by an alligator is pretty low, I just can't even think about it. I hate alligators. I can't live where they live.
Nor will I ever be able to live in a deserty climate: too many snakes. I could never put the possibility of seeing a snake, poisonous or not, out of my head. And don't even get me started on scorpions. The one and only time I was in Arizona, I hardly slept for fear that I hadn't checked the sheets well enough for scorpions. I developed a minor case of OCD over checking and re-checking my shoes before I'd put them on my feet.
So, no Southwest and no Everglades for us. And apparently, no New Zealand. My little brother is on his latest adventure there and posted some pictures on Facebook earlier this week. Among stunning mountain vistas and idyllic country roads was this photo:
It's a little hard to see what's going on here at first, but the caption is "Feeding Freshwater Eels".
EELS, YOU GUYS.
And then there's THIS...
I commented on this photo, writing that I was going to have nightmares; to which he responded: "Jerry kept saying, "don't worry they don't have teeth," but he was bleeding after one bit him so maybe they do."
Well! There's one less place to consider for our next vacation!
I'm curious if other people have certain things that just freak them out completely. I'm not scared of animals, or even of legitimately dangerous animals. Here's a photo I took of a bear on our honeymoon. And here's a moose. I want to kidnap these baby tigers from Chile and keep them in my living room. But alligators, snakes and water-borne critters, in general, scare the daylights out of me. Oh, and parasites. I get squicked out just thinking of a hostile organism living in my body, without me even knowing, chewing away -- ahem. So what about you? Irrational fear of frogs? Two-toed sloths? Ocean riptides? What else should I be afraid of?