Posts Tagged ‘psychology’

Dear Robyn,

I had a lot of fun this week laughing at the poems Lia wrote about us. I wonder though how many people thought she was exaggerating when she wrote about what scares us. The first time you told me you were phobic of sharks I thought that sounded perfectly reasonable until you mentioned they were sharks……in SWIMMING POOLS! Hilarious! I can just imagine trying to get you to swim with me would go like this:

.

Me: “Hey Robyn, I’m going swimming, want to come?”
You: “In a pool?”
“Yes”
“I can’t swim in a pool”
“Why not?”
“There might be a shark in there”
“(WTF!) Sharks can’t go in swimming pools”
“I know”
“So what’s the problem then?”
“Well, there might still be one in there anyway”
“But if you can see there is no shark in the pool what is there to worry about?”
“Well,..It might sneak in secretly when I’m not looking!”
“Sneak in? How is it going to get in there?”
“Through the filter system”
“Eh?! What sort of size shark are we talking about? A wee baby one or something bigger?”
“A Great White”
“How the hell is a GREAT WHITE going to squeeze in through the filter system?!”
“Um.. well, it might be one of those special ones with a body evolved especially for squeezing into filter systems”
“No sharks have ever evolved to exploit swimming pools. Richard Dawkins would have mentioned it!”
“Well, they could, there’s a first time for everything!”
“Er…. do sharks drink coffee in cafes too?”
“No, don’t be silly, of course they don’t! How the hell would a shark get into a cafe?”
“It might squeeze in through the milk frother”
“Now you are just being ridiculous. There are no sharks in Cafes”
“True, let’s just go and drink coffee!”

But it gets worse. I have been petrified of the tele ever since I was 4. How ridiculous is that! And not just stuff that most people would think is supposed to be scary but also really stupid stuff like music videos, kids cartoons and 15” ads. I am not 100% sure it is really a phobia. Maybe just the result of having a nervous disposition, super hyperactive imagination and a brain that insists on thinking about everything from 50,000 different angles in lots of depth whether I want it to or not. Looking for the truth behind the truth behind the truth and coming to the final conclusion in under 0.2 of a second that “WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!” Next Tuesday actually… right after lunch.” Which is true. Eventually!

(Case in point, when I was a kid Watership Down came out. My class watched it and all the kids thought it was a great movie about cutesy bunnies – except me who thought it was about police states, tyrannical Generals, vicious and cruel bullies, escapees being mutilated and put on display by them to discourage other escapes, insidious plots, the destructiveness of mankind, being farmed for food, buried alive, shot, stuck in traps, beaten up, bullied, frightening visions, blood filled fields and war. Which it basically is. Not sure what my classmates thought was cute about a story that starts with the line “Why do you cry out thus unless at some vision of horror?” I clearly missed the plot somewhere).

So you trying to get me to watch a movie with you would go something like this:

You: “Hey Morgan, want to come to my house and watch Watership Down on tele with me?
Me: “Sorry I can’t, I have a really, really important project I have to do tonight.”
“Work?”
“No.”
“What?”
“Razor my eyeballs”
“Ew painful. Wouldn’t you rather watch the movie with me? Way more fun. I have chocolate!”
“No. I’m happy with razoring my eyeballs thanks! I’ve been looking forward to it all week.”
“Well, that won’t take you long. How about you come over after you’re done?”
“Impossible sorry”
“Impossible?”
“Well, after I’ve finished doing my eyeballs I have to drown myself in the handbasin…so it could be rather a long time before you see me.”
“Wait a second… are you saying you are scared of the little cutesy bunny wabbits?”
“Yes”
“But they are only line drawings like Bugs Bunny.”
“And your point is?”
“THEY AREN’T REAL!”
“How does that make a difference?”
“Sigh. Well, I’d really love to see you but I don’t want to miss the movie so how about you come over and I’ll watch with the sound off and lip read the bunnies and you can hide under the sofa with Kass the cat and read your book by torchlight and I’ll pass you  bits of chocolate on a long stick?”
“Sounds good. See you in half an hour.”

Anyway, since we have such silly phobias I thought we should at least have the courtesy to invent some Greek names for them since there don’t seem to be any yet. That will be because no one else is stupid enough to have phobias like this. Also I found out you have to do this in Greek apparently otherwise “fear-of-some-thingummywhatsit” doesn’t sound impressive and scientific enough. So far I got:

Selachophobia = fear of sharks.

Kinimatografophobia = fear of  films (but not being Greek theoretically speaking I could be saying anything. Fear of nostril hair for instance).

And just as I was feeling proud of myself for figuring out that lot I came across this impressive gem:

Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia = fear of the number 666

Damn it! If I am going to have a phobia I at least want one with a decent sized name. Hmm how about:
Kinimatografohexakosioihexekontahexaphobia = fear of films with the number 666 in! (or if I am wrong, I’ve just said fear of films with 666 nostril hairs!)

A few days ago you hit a record number of comments to something you said on your Facebook page and it evolved into this topic and a couple of people joked that you and I should take our collective phobias to Waiwera Hot Pools where they have a Movie Pool and watch Jaws together! They have a sick sense of humour but I think we could do it. How’s this for a plan?

You bring the sexy guys Lia was talking about in her poem (I’m liking this already). Kass the cat and I will come kitted out in full scuba diving gear with a water proof book (anyone who knows where I can have scuba gear made for a burmese cat please contact me….) This way the two sexy guys can patrol the waters and keep imaginary sharks at bay with imaginary spear guns.  And Kass and I will be able to hide under the water in the scary bits and read (or check the filter system for stray Whites). There could be a slight complication where Kass and I overheat and die before the end of the movie but that’s just a minor shortcoming in my opinion. Done! See you there next weekend.

Cue shark music:
Doo….Dom…. Doo….Dom… Doo Dom Doo Dom DOO DOM DOO DOM DOODOMDOODOM

Morgan 🙂

Dear Robyn,

OK real real short one. What do you make of this? (video at end of post – if anyone needs captions I can make some but the donkey is the only one with an sort of intelligence and he doesn’t really say much…)

This morning on the Breakfast programme news they ran a story about an animal cruelty investigation in Russia where some beach hooligans strapped a donkey to a parasail and power boat and sent it for a fly around the beach (just like the tourists do). They are now likely to get two years in jail for this thoughtless act and good job too! Cruelty to animals is a horrible thing.

Hosts, Pippa and Paul Henry’s reactions to this were classic. Pippa of course thought it was mean and didn’t find it funny at all but predictably Paul cracked up completely in hysterics and I confess to replaying the article a few times just to watch him lose it! And I am ashamed to say that despite my (sometimes overly) kindhearted nature with these sorts of things, a hurtling donkey in space does look pretty hilarious and I joined the “rofling” party with a disturbing lack of restraint…  (rofl = rolling on floor laughing)

But it got me thinking that it’s interesting how we perceive things. It’s easy to agree with Pippa that the beach goers’ actions were cruel since the experience for the donkey would no doubt have been pretty stressful. But would sending it for a fly have earned those “hooligans” the same cruelty charge if the situation had been very different? What say there had been some sort of natural disaster and it was stranded on the beach and likely to drown if someone didn’t act? What if those same guys saw it’s predicament, harnessed it to a helicopter and sent it into the air in order to rescue it? Perhaps risked their own lives to do it? The donkey would still have been scared witless but  those guys would now be getting media attention for their kindness instead and we’d be calling them heroes not hooligans!

The bottom line though is donkeys were not built for flying. It’s pretty mean to send them into space for no good reason. Sheep and cattle were not designed to be hurtled down a motorway at 100 kph, crammed into a rattling, dusty truck full of manure and other nervous, frightened animals for hours on end either but we do this sort of thing to them every day in the name of dinner without batting an eyelid. We don’t care. It’s called farming. On the other hand, if  “hooligans” were to do the same thing by borrowing a sheep from a paddock, stuffing it into the back seat of their souped up Nissan Sylvia and go for a jaunt around the block for half an hour before returning it, that would easily grab the SPCA’s attention and get everyone fired up with cruelty accusations!

Kind of weird how things look to us in different contexts huh?

Morgan 🙂

Here is the video for anyone who wants to test their cruelty <–> hilarity meter… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0x1G_e_0GIw or here…