Horribly Phobic
by Dan Greene

I got this thing. I got this…. hangup, this phobia, and I can’t let go of it. The older I get, the worse it seems to get. It sure as hell isn’t getting better.

It’s wasps, man. Fuckin wasps. I hate them so very much. When I was a kid I used to look forward to summer and getting out of school. Nowadays, well, I still like summer but I always look forward to the fall of the year. That’s when those fuckers start to get all logey and slow moving and dull witted, and eventually they die the fuck off and leave me alone so I can at least shovel the driveway in peace.

It usually is, but it doesn’t even have to be a wasp. If it’s flying and unidentifiable then part of me figures it’s a wasp, or worse.wasp_eye.jpg Something evil that will sting me. So I run. And my behaviour is more than a little reminiscent of a little girl, about four or five years old, running away from something that might actually be harmful. I am shamed every time I leave my house and meet a wasp. Have you ever lived in shame with yourself? Have you ever lost your shit, entirely, over a fucking bug?

I mean, don’t get me wrong but I’m not crazy macho like, say, George Bush or Hulk Hogan. At the same time I do enjoy inflicting pain on friends as well as enduring pain for my friends’ enjoyment. Like any other guy. It’s what we all do from time to time, you know; the Jackass crew just filmed that shit and got rich. Anyway, a little pain never hurt anyone, right? So why the hell do I lose my shit over a fucking bug?

It’s like this: I’ll be getting ready to leave my house, on some beautiful afternoon in July. It’s a great day, I have the day off and I have my Nerf football. I have a few friends to meet and I have a few in the cooler. And a few rolled. All is right in the world. I tell myself that everything is going to be fine. I tell myself that I’ll just be calm and rational if I run into a wasp. I leave the house feeling great.

And I notice them everywhere I go. If there’s a wasp within twenty feet of me, I’ll notice it because that fucker is obviously out to get me. If it flies away, then he must be off to tell his friends. I’ll cross the street if I see a wasp on the sidewalk, twenty feet ahead of me. And I’ll feel lucky to have escaped it.

So, you know. I’ve been working hard to work through this. Trying to reduce my fear and increase my tolerance. And things were going okay, until my wife ate her lunch outside last summer. Fuck’s sake… she went and bought one of those submarine sandwiches from one of those submarine sandwich stores, and decided to eat it in the park, all peaceful and harmonious with nature and shit. But nature wasn’t harmonious with her and wanted her sub. And she brushed nature away and nature retaliated with its poisonous ass.

I don’t have any pictures but I wish you could look at that shit. It was swollen for a couple of weeks. That doesn’t fucking help me at all.spider2.JPG

I grew up next to the ocean, and although I have a healthy respect for it, I don’t fear water. Not at all. My brother is a pilot and I’ve flown in several types of planes, big and small. I love that stuff. My other brother is a fireman, and I’ve worked with explosives myself (legitimately) quite a bit over the years. That shit doesn’t scare me a bit. Water, heights, flying, all of these are pretty cool to me. I’m not scared of the dark or walking alone. Needles don't scare me and the dentist is my friend. I'm not even afraid of commitment. But I’m scared shitless of a little bug with a pointy ass.

My wife gets sick to her stomach if you talk about eyeballs in detail. You know that scene in A Clockwork Orange, with the guy watching the movies? She can’t just close her eyes when that comes on, she has to leave the room. She can’t even be close to the idea of having metal prongs holding here eyelids open.

My brother in law is scared to death of spiders. 240 pounds, used to be a bouncer at a nightclub, shits himself at the sight of a spider. He lived with me for a couple of years and it worked out pretty well. I killed the spiders and he killed the wasps.

So what about you? What are you afraid of? Speak up, don't be afraid.

Dan wears a skirt in the summertime, just in case.



I have a weird phobia with spiders. They scare the shit out of me and fascinate me at the same time. Like with that picture you bastards put up there? It gives me chills and makes me want to scream, but I can't stop staring at it.

As for wasps, you would HATE living at my house Dan. Every summer, those fuckers get in the attic and make a nest. We end up with wasps flying out of our AC vents. We poisoned, done about everything we can, and they just keep coming back. Good thing I'm not allergic.


I dont know if it's a phobia but I don't like anything touching the soles of my feet. I never go barefoot ever. I used to barefoot water-ski and one time I was barefoot water-skiing and I ran over a fish that was swimming near the surface of the water. I had to have it's spine surgically removed from my foot. That sucked. Feet are very sensitive. So. There you go.


Phobias, let's see....I'm claustrophobic, arachniphobic and I hate airplanes(don't know the proper term for this). I can't even go to an airport without shaking in fear.


What a coincidence. The next hour on the Diane Reams show is dedicated to phobias. Check it out on NPR.


If you want to see me drive into a bar-ditch, say "Dave, there's a spider on your shoulder dude".

Hang on, cause we're goin in.


If you want to see me drive into a bar-ditch, say "Dave, there's a spider on your shoulder dude".

When I was four, my mom played and April Fool's "prank" on me by saying that. I went absolutely nuts. I still mess with her about it.


Last time I got stung by a wasp I was driving to work with the window open, and one flew in and got stuck between my shirt collar and my neck.

I went ape-shit. 60mph down a two lane country road, trying not to hit oncoming cars or a tree.

Little fucker was buzzin mad. I finally reached in and grabbed him, and just before I threw him out the window, he stung my finger.

Little bastard.


I don't like bugs but I'm not afraid of them. I quite enjoy squishing spiders. I have been often startled by snakes but I could hold one if it's not poisonous.

As for phobias. I am terrified to speak in public or have even have everyone looking at me. I used to be phobic about escalators but got over by doing it. Driving used to terrify me but after 30 years I'm pretty much ok now.
I think you just have to act like you are not afraid and do whatever, say shit if you get stung - if you don't die then eventually you'll get over it.


I'm terrified of both closed spaces and wide open spaces.

I fear open water or deep water.

I'm scared of driving over supsension bridges.

I have a fear of heights.

I'm afraid of sudden, loud noises (for instance, you know those air pressur cans of biscuit dough, the ones you have to pop open? I can't open them because I'm afraid of the pop).

Pins or sharp things pointed at me. Not knives or anything like that. Thumbtacks, straight pins...you come near me with a point like that at me and I will run screaming.

The dark.

Being in a crowd of strangers.

I'll stop there.


In my defence, I have never actually shit myself at the sight of a spider...it was just a lumpy fart. Thanks for the mention!


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