I always knew pineapples were sinister.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

I have two phobias.

One: Plants that grow in uncontrollable ways. Which, let's face it, is all plants. I don't mind them so much when they're sitting in neat pots, all placid and unthreatening. Some of them are actually quite attractive, if you're into that kind of thing.

But I'm not fooled by the neat pots, the innocent buds. Plants cannot be trusted. Turn your back and the next thing you know they're sprawled across entire buildings, their creepy tendrils slithering through cracks in the brick and up your nose and into your brain and then you DIE.

If there is a hell, it probably consists of a darkened room showing time-lapse footage of growing plants on a permanent loop. Green alien-like things with unpronouncable Latin names seething in the mud, sprouting hideous growths and filling the screen and oh my God it's coming to get me quick run aarghlkjadfslam.

Basically, plants are vile. And if you're not a little bit scared of them, well then there's something wrong with you.

Two: Pineapples. Specifically fresh pineapples with their skin cut off to expose their horrid, ragged flesh. I'm ok with them when they're in a tin, as long as nobody tries to force me to eat any.

The fact that I don't particularly enjoy the taste of pineapple might be part of it, but I don't particularly enjoy the taste of trout either, and trout doesn't sent me into paroxysms of disgust the way pineapple does.

I've always thought my anti-pineapple stance stemmed from when my mum had cancer the first time, 13 years ago. A friend of hers suggested eating fresh pineapple to combat the bitter aftertaste of chemo. I can vividly remember my mum standing in our kitchen, her downy head bathed in light from the window, hacking away at the hapless piece of fruit with a bread knife.

It was the first time I'd ever witnessed a fresh pineapple being derobed. The sickly yellow flesh suddenly stripped bare, pocked with brown marks where its pines had been embedded. It seemed somehow indecent, distasteful. I couldn't look at it.

And that is why pineapples give me the heebie-jeebies.


Until I discovered, thanks to a random tweet yesterday, that pineapples are not, in fact, a single fruit at all. They are a group of berries that have fused together, or "coalesced," as Wikipedia puts it. In other words, pineapples are creepy mutant plants that have grown out of control, and apparently my subconscious knew it before I did. Sinister wee bastards.

Maybe this is why I like cut flowers so much. Can't do anything to you once they're dead.

So tell me, do any of you have a phobia weirder than plants and pineapples? I for one would love to hear it. (Fin has a phobia of buttons. We make quite a pair.)

Images: Both via Pinterest and incredibly hard to chase down. I think the books were first shared via SceglierBio.com, but it's gone offline and the trail of crumbs ends there. As for the pineapple, I have no idea, but the composition makes me think it's by someone who distrusts pineapples as much as I do.

23 boats moored

  1. I don't really have that many phobias (except dinosaurs. And that's really only an issue if anyone's unwise enough to make me watch Jurassic Park) but I have one friend who is seriously, unreasonably afraid of baked beans, and another who used to get borderline hysterical at the sight or smell of bananas.

    And you're right, that creeping plant thing is giving me shivers as I think about it...

  2. I am not afraid of plants but I don't really like them in the house because they always die. And then I feel bad and guilty and I don't like that.
    We do have 2 plants, but they are entirely the responsibility of the husband, and he takes care of them. I don't consider myself involved.
    Studying botanics was hard. You had to give the latin name and all kinds of details. I am so much better when it comes to animals. Also, if your cat / dog / cow needs water, it will let you know before it dies.
    So I am with you, I share the love for cut flowers, and for the same reason. I can't kill them, they are already dead. And still they stand there ,beautiful. And then I always end up remembering one of my favorite quotes by Julio Cortazar "It was hard to deny belief in the fact that a flower could be beutiful to no end". (Weird translation, in Spanish it sounds different: "Era duro renunciar a creer que una flor pudiera ser hermosa para la nada".)

    1. Oh and worms. I totally have a phobia there. Once we were studying them, we had them on our petri dish, we were supposed to use dichotomous keys to classify them, when suddenly the ugly critter started walking out of its dish. And instead of putting it back... I walked a way. And asked a classmate to take it to its place.

  3. I don't know if I can ever look at evil mutated pineaples in the same way again.

    I have a severe phobia of sponges, whihc gets worse as I get older. I can't touch a sponge, be near anyone else who is touching one or even watch a TV advert where someone is wiping down a kitchen surface with a sponge. The cleaning aisle in the supermarket is my nemesis. They put sponges all over the place, just waiting to fill me with terror. Nor can I be in the same room as someone sneakily using a sponge because it makes a horrible, squeaky spongey noise that makes all the hairs on my body stand on end. Eurgh.

    I once humiliated myself on a team building day by crying when someone poked my arm with a sponge microphone. Actual tears. I feel a little sick just thinking about it.

    Do you feel better about your plant/mutant fruit phobia now?

    And how does Fin manage to get dressed with a button phobia? Zipped clothes only?

    1. It's more of a textural thing, he doesn't like the feel of them. So he can wear a button-up shirt as long as he's got a tie or a jumper covering those hard, plastic, unpleasant-feeling buttons.


  4. Zombies, Vampires and Cannibalism. Genuinely properly scared. Insanely scared.

    We had to read Dracula as part of my BA and it terrified me. Once two independent people made reference to zombie apocolypse on my twitter feed and I had to check it was safe to leave the house. If it had not been for lots of reassurances I might have done something truly drastic. Genuinely. I am that very scared of it. Get upset by man eating plants too (but not animals as much for some reason).

    M is really into films with zombies and vampires and cannibals and I genuinely just can't do it. His fears are needles, blood, heights and spiders. I'm good with all those things.

    OH OH OH NEW FEAR. Moths. Creepy nasty moths and more specifically thier bastard offspirng moth caterpillars. We had an infestation and it was grim and boy can those things move.

    Oh and my final weird fear (tied to the above) eating anything living (so no spiders in my bedroom and the hideous fear of the moths that were LIVING IN OUR KITCHEN and my desire to find out the provenance of my food so I know it is unlikely to be human).

    Weirdly for all that one of my favourite songs is about the inevitabilty of a zombie apocolypse.


    (sorry I need to get better at linking)

    1. Moths seem to be a common one! They are pretty gross. I know people say they're like butterflies, but butterflies don't live in your house and eat your carpets.

    2. They got in the flour and dried apricots and sugar.
      Ick ick ick ick ick ick

  5. Love this post. I'll join you with the plants and my others, in no particular order are tea spoons, bananas and Tony Hadley - I actually can't be in the room when that man is on TV-shudder!

  6. Spiders, needles (although I'm getting better with them), and those horrible yellow smiley faces, not the emoticon ones necessarily but the 90s rave ones with their horrible sinister eyes.

  7. My sister in law has a phobia of balloons. Ross has a strong dislike of wooden sticks and forks. I don't think you'd call it a phobia but it does influence his choice of ice lolly and I would class anything that stops you eating a Twister as serious.

    I hate the sound of other people brushing their teeth, it makes me go all shivery, yuk!

  8. I greatly dislike revolving doors. Don't know if I'd classify it as a phobia, but they do freak me out a bit and I go out of my way to find other entrances or exists. Although, I'm forced to deal with them because I live in Chicago and so many places have them.

    I can't really let myself think about the act of using them. I just have to do it. Otherwise I'll psych myself out.

    This all may stem from playing on the local pool's revolving door as a child and getting stuck between the wall of bars that prevented a person from entering the locker room and the revolving door part.

    1. Yikes! Did you hear about the dachshund at a fashion magazine that was killed by a revolving door recently? It breaks my heart to even think about it. I think you're perfectly justified with this one.

  9. Daddy Long Legs (creepy), crushed velvet (texture) and adult babies. I have such a fear of the latter (and not just of the perverse talk show kind but of stags in fancy dress and, to an extent, grown ups wearing onesies in public) that I visibly boak and have to run away.

  10. COAT HANGERS!! Especially the horrid, spiky metal ones. They mesh together of their own accord in the wardrobe so when you try and take out just one, a whole clattery, scratchy ball of them come out together. My husband thinks its funny to put them under my pillow, under my bit of the duvet etc as he thinks my fear is irrational. I've got slightly sweaty palms just thinking about those hooks of hell.....

  11. Well spiders - but that's not uncommon. What IS uncommon is coming across one in a pet shop and becoming catatonic and having to be carried out. Retrospectively embarrassing. I had hypnotherapy and I no longer pass out or indulge in hysterics - just rigid fear now. An improvement.

    I hate bananas too - it's a growing phobia this one. The smell of them makes me want to throw up. Even that horrible hot ripening smell in supermarkets.

    I also hate lolly sticks - and paintbrushes at school. It's the rough snaggy feeling against my skin. They seem to be better now than they used to be though.

    I love pineapple but it doesn't like me - I get sores around my mouth when I eat it. And I could sort your plants out - I have the reverse of a green thumb and am the angel of death to most living greenery, much to my sorrow.

  12. I love this Kirsty! It feels wrong to gain amusement from your fear though....
    I have two phobias as well: lice and eyebrows being rubbed against the hair growth. I'd punch you in the face if you did it to mine or shudder and look away if you did it to your own.
    My sister once showed me a picture of eyebrow lice and maybe my memory exaggerates but I swear I was rocking backwards and forwards in a dark cupboard crying for days after.
    My husband has a phobia of people filing their nails. I did it next to him once accidentally and he looked at me like I'd kicked a puppy in the ribs (I'd like to note that I have never done this but I had previously imagined this look was reserved only for puppy-kicking-scum NOT nail-filers).

  13. Do you know if you out the 'head' of a pineapple in water after you cut it off you can grow another one? Does this add to your fear?

  14. Oh my god. I had no idea about pineapples. That IS creepy. I just hate the way they make the inside of my mouth feel.

    But I love love love uncontrollable plant growth - plants taking over buildings is one of my favourite things.

    I won't eat pink food.
    I just won't please don't try to make me.
    The root is a childhood food colouring allergy, but now it is just a category-wide ban.

  15. I feel your pain with the pineapples. I'm not actually phobic of them and I used to rather like pineapple but when I got pregnant for the first time that all changed and couldn't stand the sight of them. It started when I felt sick when I saw some pineapple juice that had the sediment (or whatever you call it) all the bottom of the glass. By the end of my pregnancy I was almost throwing up if you even said the word pineapple to me. They don't make me throw up any more thank goodness but I still like to keep my distance.

  16. I despised pineapples for a long time, stemming from an experience as a child at a theme park when I entered a ride and was assaulted by the smell of vomit produced by somebody who had been drinking copious amounts of pineapple juice. It was one of the worst things I have ever smelled and I was horrified by even the thought of pineapple for so long afterwards. I can cope with fresh pineapple now but don't come near me with bottled pineapple juice... I do *not* love pina coladas and getting caught in the rain.

    Not sure if I would call them phobias, but I get intense heebie jeebies from icebergs, and split pins. I didn't realise how awful I thought icebergs were until I saw a picture of one and all I could think was ARGHHH, THERE'S SO MUCH OF IT, ARRGHHH. To this day I can't put my finger on why this disgusts me so much, but seriously, arghh. As for split pins, now they're just downright creepy.