I can’t say I know anybody who likes spiders. I suppose there are some nature fiends out there who do weird things like make clothes out of weeds and eat crickets that probably like spiders.
But for most of us, spiders are an absolute “no thank you.”
Supposedly, the fear of spiders, or “arachnophobia”, is the most common fear amongst humans. Which is kind of weird when you think about it, considering dying is also on the list of things we could be afraid of. But then again, we always hear people joke about dying.
I don’t think I’ve ever heard anybody say, “wow dude. Studying for finals really sucks. I just wish I were laying in a bathtub covered in spiders.” The truth of the matter is that spiders are scary shit for all, but for some more than others. Most of us will see a spider and jump a bit, but then kill it and go on with our day. But some people would rather die than see a spider.
Something out there exists that is more terrifying than spiders. 7.2 billion people on God’s green Earth and this event will promise to incite pure terror in all of us.
Venture back to your childhood days, and picture yourself at the supermarket with your mother. You’re standing in the check-out line with her, candy bar in hand, when she says those 8, life-changing words:
“Stay here. I’ll be back in a second.”
FORGET IT. THAT’S IT. LIFE AS WE KNOW IT IS DONE. GAME OVER.
You know this feeling, and you know why it’s worse than death.
Stay? You want me to stay? Am I a dog? No I’m not. Because a dog wouldn’t understand how mortifying this situation is. Literally anything could go wrong.
Here? In this line with all the grown ups? I’m just a kid! I am not nearly old enough to have all this responsibility. YOU WANT ME TO STAY HERE ALONE. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! I’D RATHER BATHE IN SPIDERS FOR CRYING OUT LOUD.
“Stay here. I’ll be back.”
Look mom. I know you aren’t coming back. You expect me to pay for this myself, with the imaginary money that I don’t have. I see how it is. This is the end. Say goodbye. Write the obituary. It’s been real, Earth, but it’s my time to go.
“Stay here. I’ll be back in a second.”
This is when children learn the Theory of Relativity. As Albert Einstein once said, “Relativity is simple. One second seems like a millisecond when you’re doing something you love, but one second seems like a day when you’re standing in line at the grocery store without your mother. That’s relativity.” He was a smart man, but any level of intelligence is not enough to rationalize this situation. It is pure terror. No bigger lie has ever been told than “just a second”.
I could be kidnapped and my mom would never know about it, because she’s busy going to look for the parsley that she forgot. Parsley. My mother is more concerned about a tasteless garnish than she is for my life. What happens if I get to the front of the line, and I have to say the cashier, “Sorry I can’t pay. My mom has the money and she isn’t here right now.” I would look like such a jackass! Or even worse, what if someone else tries to talk to me?
“How about that multiplication you’re learning there in the third grade? Pretty tough isn’t it?”
I wouldn’t be able to muster up an answer. I would stand there in agonizing pain, thinking “yes multiplication is hard” while slowly throwing up on the cash register over the idea of being so alone.
I see my mom around the corner. “Thank God” I think to myself, dabbing the sweat off my forehead. “I found the parsley” she says.
“I DON’T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT YOUR STUPID PARSLEY. I ALMOST DIED,” I think to myself while quietly smiling to my mother.
The day goes on, but the situation doesn’t get better. I lie in my bed at night thinking about standing alone in that god-forsaken line, and how close I was to dying that day.
Nothing — spiders, thunderstorms, dying, or anything else – is worse than standing alone in the grocery line. It’s truly agonizing.
Growing out of this fear will not happen. I realized this the other day. There I was, a 20 year old, 6’4” male, standing in line at Wal-Mart with my roommate, when he said, “hey I forgot the eggs. I’ll be right back.” And walked away.
The contents of my stomach turned to liquid.
When you get older and have kids, you might think leaving them alone in line at Wal-Mart is a good lesson for them, but I guarantee you that they will learn nothing. Fear is not meant to be messed with.
If Hitler wanted to take over the world, he could have just taken everyone to the grocery store and said, “hey guys I’ll be right back. I have to go get the cake mix.”
Take this as a lesson on parenting. Save a child, stay in line.