1. Vomit

My fear of vomit is so well-documented that there is barely need to mention it. However, for those who are not yet aware: I don’t *do* vomit. I don’t want to see it, I don’t want to hear about it, I don’t want to talk about it, I don’t want to know about it. I certainly don’t want to smell it. I promise you, I will run screaming, even if the vomit only appears on a TV or movie screen. I will not hold your hair back while you do it. I will not clean it up. I will not even talk to you on the phone if you have a vomit-bug, because I will obviously catch it. It is, I am certain, my maniacal aversion to upchuck that has prevented me from becoming a dreadful, slobbering drunk or peyote-smoking berserker – such revelry results all-too often in the blowing of chunks. I have barfed exactly twice since the age of ten – both times from tunafish – and have no plans to do it again, ever. I think we’re done here.

2. Self-Checkout Lanes

Who *isn’t* afraid of these atrocious grocery Dementors? They lure you in with the promise of a quick, line-free escape and total freedom to purchase your embarrassing personal products in perfect anonymity – away from the prying eyes of unctuous checkout harpies (who totally think you’re a slut) and pimply teen clerks (who totally HOPE you’re a slut) – just to hurl you headlong under the Shame Train that only rattles by when the goddamn laser-thingy fails to scan your Yeast-B-Gone, requiring clamorous assistance from the very-same pimply teens and unctuous harpies you wanted so to avoid. You win, fuckers.

3. Umbrellas

It’s the terrible little teeth and ruthless pinching places. Opening is fine – pleasant, even. Makes you feel like you’ve accomplished something. Click! But closing? It’s a goddamn deathtrap. Hence my lusty embrace of foul-weather – hair, suede and sequins be damned. I’d rather be sodden and woebegone than dry and bleeding out.*

*Please see All You Can Eat Crab Legs Buffet for obvious exception. If you aren’t bleeding, you’re doing it wrong.

4. Squiggly Text Tests

You know, those twisty, illegible letters on the computer that you are supposed to somehow decipher and re-type into a tiny box to prove…what? That you are a wizard with magical eyesight, obviously. Debilitating typing terror? Check. Inevitable failure to reproduce said nonsense letters? Check. Self-loathing tailspin? Check. Enjoy your revenge, you geek bastards.

5. Pull-down Ladders

High atop my list of Personal Horrors and/or Universal Abominations sit these Agents of Certain and Excruciating Demise. Rigged precisely to PLUMMET VIOLENTLY DOWN FROM DIRECTLY ABOVE YOUR HEAD, there is simply no escaping decapitation if you choose to take this death-bait. And if by some miracle you survive the pulling-down portion of the horror-show, just try pushing it up again. Let’s just say the Reaper doesn’t miss twice. If you’re OK with that, knock yourself out. Me? I’m just gonna clear some space in the garage.

6. Steely Dan

I have no explanation. All I have is this creeping dread in my soul every time I hear the awful strains of Doom’s Own Minstrels drifting though the ether. “Hey Nineteen,” in particular, inspires in me a terror akin to bobbing alone in shark infested seas with a bloody stump where my foot used to be. A million miles from shore, in the black of night, and no one’s coming for me. Actually, now that I spell it out? That sounds like a much better way to go than dying of Steely Dan.

7. Albuquerque

Not the place – before you get all indignant and “New Mexicans are people, too!” on me. Trying to spell it is what scares me. My fear mounts exponentially with every failed attempt to write it properly, and inevitably I just end up putting something like “Abba-Kacky!” so it appears as though I am kicky and convivial. I am neither. I just hate that shit-sucking word – with the fire of a thousand suns, I hate it. “Eighth” is no picnic either, if I’m being honest.

8. Remote Controls*

Since when does everyone have, like, 7 remotes for one goddamned screen? And how does ANYONE figure out which goes to what gadget, and what combination of buttons and handhelds will magically find me my Vampire Diaries? And what about when you totally cock it up and everything goes black or staticky and you have no idea what you did so you have no idea how to undo it and the noise from the static is making you feel like you need to hide, or kill someone, and all you can do is cry because at this point you don’t even know how to turn it off? Then what? Huh?!

*This particular terror pretty much applies to all technology. And anything with wires. Or buttons. And what the fuck is a USB cord? Actually, don’t tell me. Whatever it is, I’m certain that I’m not prepared to handle it.

9. Skin Suits and the People Who Make Them

So yeah. When I hear the incessant, rhythmic squeaking of the swings from the playground next door I do not assume that neighborhood children are out for a joyful morning romp. I naturally ascertain that I have awakened to the Zombie End Times, and my entire town has been made into a giant flesh tuxedo by axe-wielding survivalists and that perhaps my supple hide is simply being saved for a jazzy ascot. Is that weird?

10. Too-Long Naps

Taking a nap is scary enough, obviously – I’m not doing work! I’m a ne’er-do-well! Why am I so tired? Am I dying? Ohmigod, I’m totally dying – but when it lasts longer than intended, it’s downright terrifying. Especially if you wake up and it’s DARK. Holy crap? It’s nighttime – did I sleep through my whole life? Did I just Rip Van Winkle that shit? Did I miss DINNER? Do I have to go to bed again soon? What day is it? Fuck, I am in SOOOOO much trouble. PLEASE DO NOT TELL MY MOTHER.

Please, friends, feel free to share your deepest fears with me below – it will totally make me feel superior and, I’m guessing? Relatively sane in comparison. Hit it, bitches!