The Fear Factor – N&S Column 22/1/13

What are you afraid of?  What gives you butterflies in your stomach when you think about it?   I’m going to mention a few popular worries that people have and see if we can debunk them somehow.

  1.  Dentists.

As a child there were very few adults (apart from the man with the sack who would walk the streets kidnapping children) that would strike as much fear into your heart as a dentist.  For Waterford children, our purgatory was the waiting room of the Newgate Street Dentist (Or the butchers of Newgate Street as they would be known if Tim Burton were to make a film about them) and our hell was what lay waiting behind the doors next to that little frosted receptionist window.   When you were sitting in that waiting room with other kids in different school uniforms around you, all of whom had been taken out of class for this ritual abuse, you became very religious.  You see, the noise of drills and tears didn’t have to travel too far in a dental portacabin.  The needles were bad, the extractions were bad the occasional knees on the chest were bad, there was no redeeming feature of a trip to the dentist, except the moment you left with that green appointment card, not having to return for at least a couple of months.  But let’s be honest here, there really is no pain that a normal, non-sadistic dentist (they do exis­t) can inflict on you that is worse than the pain itself.  I don’t care what women say about child birth – there is no pain like a toothache at 3am in the morning.  But, to make it a little easier for worried patients, I have an idea for dentists everywhere – put a big Where’s Wally poster on the ceiling.  Our eyes are already glued to the roof – you may as well make the bloody thing interesting for us!

  1.  Growing Old.

I used to dread the prospect of growing old.  I was convinced that I would inevitably grow up to be a dirty old man and have to live out my wilderness years in a prison serving a long sentence for flashing girls from the Ursuline.   Of course, what I wasn’t thinking about was the fact that as I grow older I would care less and less about sex and more and more about getting up at 6:30am and wearing a suit for absolutely no reason whatsoever.  We’ll also have Xboxes and stuff, and whatever else they invent in the next 30-40 years.  Yes, we’ll still feel like we’re not with “it” and completely out of touch with the kids of today, but that’s how I feel now anyway so bring it on.  My Nanny is of a very respectable age and she still has a sharp mind and an even sharper wit.  If I imagine myself like her at that age, only with an ipad in my hand, then I’ll be happy enough.

  1. Jobs and Money.

I suppose I couldn’t write a piece about worries without mentioning these two buzz words.  If you are losing sleep or not eating properly because of money problems, then you need to have words with yourself and then maybe a few professionals.  I was in Supervalu today and a woman, upon hearing of the total of her modest amount of groceries, looked at the teller incredulously, demanding that a mistake had been made.  She stared, open mouthed, for what seem like a solid minute at the poor girl before pushing her trolly, and her son, into the bagging area.  She then proceeded to list all the things she had bought for her son, thus blaming him for the shopping being €50.  I felt sorry for the woman, she even went so far as to tell us that she was shagged now for the week and would have to rob Peter to pay Paul.  In fairness to her, there were only a few bits in the basket, and they were all fairly priced by “the Hyper”, it was just that €50 goes nowhere these days.  The woman was right to be shocked at how little she got with her money and I’m sure it was a scene that is played out every day, in Hypers all over the country!  As mentioned previously, I have a credit rating that makes a laughing sound when I apply for a loan, so I’m not going to tell people not to worry about money.  I will say this though – we only have one life and it’s very short, it would be a tragedy to spend it worrying about money.

  1. Death.

Roseanne once said: “If you spend all your time worrying about death, living isn’t going to be much fun.”   I think the closer we get to death, the more accepting we become of it.  Maybe life begins to lose its novelty value and we become curious as to what’s waiting for us when our eyes shut for the last time.  Some people believe that life is a journey, not a destination.  That may very well be true but whether it’s a journey or a one stop shop, it would be a shame to waste it by constantly dreading it.  Instead of fearing what death will bring, try relishing what life has already given you!  Now you feel like you’ve gotten your two euro’s worth out of buying this paper don’t ya!!

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About deisesupes

Creative Writer, part time journalist, part time Graphic Design enthusiast.
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