BY SOPHIA WENGIER
While discussing my childhood with a friend, I came to the realization that many of this generation grew with the same or similar irrational fears and thoughts as one another. Although everyone knows about the standard boogeyman, monster under the bed, and clown fears, there are many worries and concerns from the good old days that one just might not remember. Here are a few strange and irrational fears that many identify with.
- Getting Lost in the Supermarket: Almost anyone can understand that panicked feeling of turning around while shopping at Publix and realizing your mother isn’t there, even now. However, losing one’s mother in a supermarket as a child was a whole new level of fear. While Publix became an endless labyrinth of food aisles, one’s only hope was to find their mother alive again. Why this was such a terrifying moment is beyond me but not many can say they don’t remember this feeling from their childhood.
- The Bermuda Triangle: For some reason, many are able to recall being afraid of disappearing in the Bermuda Triangle. Although most children probably don’t understand what or where the bermuda triangle is, the possibility of one day being swallowed up by this mysterious part of our earth seemed like a very real possibility at the time. Whether the source of this fear came from cartoons or the discovery channel, the Bermuda Triangle somehow managed to add itself to the many agitations of being a kid.
- “Cooties”: This mysterious “cooties” epidemic was a terrifyingly contagious disease, somehow acquired from touching someone of the other gender, or even from touching someone who touched someone of the other gender. It’s a complicated disease but one that’s familiar to anyone who spent time at a playground or public school. Although this sickness had absolutely no symptoms besides a possible loss of friends, it was certainly something to be afraid of.
- Quicksand: Growing up made me realize that quicksand is not as big of a problem in the real world as I expected it to be. This is hardly my fault, however, as TV shows always made it seem like quicksand was something that could be lurking at every corner, ready to pull in any unsuspecting child. I know I’m not alone when I say I spent too much of my childhood worrying about how I would get out of quicksand- if it ever came to that.
- Piranhas: This fear seems to come from the writers of cartoons whose favorite way to add conflict to their shows was by throwing crocodiles or piranhas in the picture. While crocodiles are a relatively normal fear, a whole generation of children growing up scared of piranhas is a phenomenon that can only be explained by the TV everyone was watching. What makes this fear irrational is the fact that one rarely comes across a situation in which they’re faced with piranhas in their life, especially as a child.