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Friday, March 17, 2017

I've been scared of gorillas for some time now.

Call it silly but    I am  gorilla-phobic.

Yeah, I know... a silly thing. Gorillas are kind and sweet and love their babies and live as families and can beat Godzilla and are highly misunderstood and their breath stinks and when they growl they rattle bones and they can crush you with one hand and tear you to pieces and ... wait! I am sweating profusely, sobbing emotionally and curling into a fetal position. I am scared of gorillas.

Shows you what bad King Kong and Mighty Joe Young movies can do to a young child's mind. (FYI: There have actually been 18 King Kong movies, counting animation, starting in 1933 to the current King Kong: Skull Island. For fun and comparison, here's that 1933 trailer with a caveat--you may have to watch a 15 second movie promo first) Oh, I'm not nuts about Godzilla either.

Phobias are funny. What terrifies one of us causes others to ask if we are joking. Scared of heights? Who is scared of heights? Snakes? Spiders? Flying? Germs? Birds? Water (unless your feet are set in cement by the mob)? Gorillas?

"Are you kidding me?" you brave ones might say. But an accepted theory says that if you can just face your fears--with help, steely nerve and guts or sometimes even by accident--you have a fighting chance to overcome them.

True story: Years ago, my company had an annual celebration of autumn for employees and their
Obviously fake gorilla
families... 3-legged races, balloon animals (but not gorlllas), snow cones, cotton candy, picnic food, goofy prizes for the kids, etc. It was always a welcomed success. But one year I thought it would be fun to rent an an animated mechanical gorilla holding a sign that said PICNIC, THIS WAY with an arrow pointing toward our picnic area. It was a good sight gag that everyone enjoyed.

After the picnic was over and everyone had gone home, I loaded the life-size faux gorilla in my station wagon and drove it to the office where it would be safe until its return the following Monday.

So I had this misguided brainstorm... what if I positioned the gorilla just inside the entry door so the first person arriving on Monday would see it as soon as he/she walked in. Great gag, right? I thought so at the time.

Immediately after putting the gorilla where it would most scare someone walking in, I proceeded to my car, parked just 50 feet from the office door. Then, remembering something that I left on my desk, I went back to get it.

Not 30-seconds after I placed the gorilla, I opened the door and REALLY, ALMOST SCARED MYSELF TO DEATH. I once reached to tighten a spark plug under the hood of a running car (not recommended) and it literally knocked me backward against the garage wall. Lucky that's all it did. Well, this gorilla thing was worse than that. Honest. Just think how much worse it could have been if I had left it plugged in looking even more menacing.

And yes, lest I be responsible for a heart attack, I moved the monster to my office area, laid it flat and covered it with a rug. I left a second time, still shaking. So now you know my gorilla story.

(An even better ending though, would have been if, on Monday, I noticed the gorilla was gone, the office torn apart,  slippery banana peels laying everywhere and I slipped and fell on my you-know-what just as a custard pie, thrown from the kitchen by a wooley beast hit me in the face. But that didn't happen, ruining what might have been a terrific movie sequence making the Three Stooges and Soupy Sales happy in their graves.)

I do, however, have a tip for you if  you are trying to stop being frightened by certain things. Here is a real How-to-guide for knocking those fears in the head (unless you have a hit-in-the-head-phobia).

Ed Note: Yeah, this is a lame post but when you haven't blogged for a few weeks, you just have to jump back into the pool to jump-start the process in your mind. (Did I say jump back in the pool? I'm really not scared of gorillas except for the one at the office but I do have a respectable fear of the water being an ashamed non--swimmer who has foolishly tried to water ski and have actually dived from a low board mysteriously failing to come up like they do on television. Not much grace in wildly flailing your arms to a cheering crowd. See, it didn't work for me either.)

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