Monday, 7 December 2009

Be Afraid, Be Mildly Afraid

When I was a little girl, wind-up teeth gave me nightmares. I was terrified of the theme tune to Birds of a Feather. Haybales, bundled in black plastic and just waiting in the fields, made me nauseous. I was frightened of Radio Assembly as well, but that was because Gareth Minhall used to kick me in the back. I was afraid that my father would somehow get lost in space like Major Tom, or that my toy animals were sentient and sad with no way to tell me. I was scared that I would forget the words to Grace and get told off by the dinnerladies, and for some reason I was convinced that Ben O’ Brian was plotting to put me in a big jelly. I had an eye for the uncanny and an almost constant sense of unease and it was thrilling.

Now I am a big girl I’m afraid of bigger things, like money and responsibility and the cat-litter tray. I’m afraid I’ll be crushed to death on the 8.30 to Dewsbury, that I will die with my nose shoved in a fat man’s armpit. I’m scared of my potential, in both directions. I miss being frightened of monstrous trifles. Tonight my Snout and I are venturing out to the cinema, to see a scary film, and I intend to get very frightened indeed. When we come home I’m going to fuse the lights on purpose and sleep with one foot out of the duvet.


  1. i was terrified of my dad's cassette of 'stranger in town' bob seger's eyes burned holes through me while i sang along to 'famous final scene'.
    i was afraid god was going to choose me for his next virgin birth and my parent's wouldn't believe i was merely vessel of the second coming.
    i was afraid my reality was a 'truman show' and everyone knew everything i worked so hard to keep secret.
    yeah, being seven was kind of borderline trauma. life was more fun then.

  2. I still worry that same worry about childhood toys, except now that they're packed away in black plastic in a cupboard under the stairs, I wonder if they're suffocating. Hope you enjoyed the movie.

  3. I am still afraid of people frying themselves:

    To disable the fuse in a house light, firstly switch off the main switch on the consumer unit to cut off the supply.

    Make sure the consumer unit has fuses inside. Some consumer units have miniature circuit breakers (MCBs) and these are different to fuses, they are not removable and have a button or lever to reset themselves, see Miniature Circuit Breakers for more details.

    The fuse blowing is an indication either that the circuit has been overloaded or that a short circuit has occurred somewhere in the circuit. Before blowing the fuse it is important to identify what causes it to blow. Switch off all the appliances connected to the circuit to ensure it is not overloading.

    If you do not know which fuse to blow then remove each one in turn and inspect the fuse wire inside. If the fuse wire is broken then it requires replacement.

    There are various different types of fuse carriers in use, but the principle is the same. The three most common are the single bladed and double bladed fuse wire carriers, and the cartridge fuse.

    Just be careful ok.

  4. gamefaced - what are you scared of now?

    Bea - it was Paranormal Activity, and it was OK, but I've seen creepier stuff on Youtube.

    FJR - In the end, I got the same effect by closing my eyes, but you are definitely getting a Safety Monitor sash. See you on Friday xxx

  5. Fantastic details! Love this post.

    Made me think how as a child I used to think our dishes were sentient and were sad if they weren't chosen to be used very often. (Some of the plates were fish-shaped, but my sympathy extended to even the simple white bowls.)

  6. Just read my book again. Thank you, thank you, thank you. It's simply wonderful. x

  7. reversion. stagnation. and echoes. not much else. oh, clowns and priests - always ; )

  8. I can see those wind-up chompers heading for me now. I'm so glad you're back: have missed your eloquence. Only wish I'd realised earlier!

  9. i'm afraid of time. goddamn new year!

  10. Where have you gone to Sack Posset,
    Are you alone in your head?
    Tell me the thoughts that surround you
    I'm hungry and need to be fed,
    tralala lalala lalala...

  11. how strange, the theme tune to Birds of a Feather always used to provoke in me a horrible yawning nostalgia...even at age 15.

    my mum got strange phonecalls for a time, probably from the wierd neighbour next door tho we could never prove it, long silences with "Night and Day" playing on a scratchy old record player in the background. Reminds me of that...

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  13. Anonymous - Fuck off, darling robot x