My Biggest Fear

Here’s a post from the old days and my Tumblr that I thought I would bring over.  Still slightly fearful of these things today…

When I was little I lived in Elk Grove, California.  I lived there for about five or so years and moved away after the first grade.  I remember a lot of things about living there. Like my parents brining home singing nuns (you read that right), watching the field behind our neighborhood catch fire, me learning to ride a bike and slamming into a truck…I can go on and on.  However, there was one thing that was told to me during this time that stuck with me for years.  It started a fear that I couldn’t get over for years.

That fear?

The fear was that people put razor blades on water slides so that when you went down them it would slice up your back (I know how ridiculous this is now, but I still wince a little thinking about it).

Now, just think about this.  Think about a little kid being told this and what the reaction would be.  I mean, my thought here was that someone would sneak into the water park over night, put razor blades on the slides, and then when the first people went down them it would look like a horror movie.  Once you head down the slide you couldn’t stop and it would look like Freddy Krueger attached the patrons of the park.

For years I would go back to California and go to a water park in Sacramento with friends.  Each year I would watch them go onto the water slides and I would watch them go down thinking that this would be their last ride, but each time they came out unharmed.  As I got older it became less of a fear and more of paranoia that stuck with me.  I can say (as bad as it is) that I didn’t get back onto a water slide until I was about 18 or so.  To put this into some perspective, I didn’t get around to water parks much so I didn’t really have much of a chance to ride water slides, but when I did go…I avoided them like the plague.

So there’s my childhood…avoiding water slides because you never know when the razor blades would strike.  It wasn’t until I went to the Bahamas with my future wife did I get over the fear.  There we were, atop the big water slide at the Atlantis.  Her whole family was going down the slide and I wouldn’t go.  She asked me what was wrong…so I told her.  She gave me one of those, “are you serious?” looks.  As to say, you are a grown man and know that’s about one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard of.  Not wanting to look like a baby in front of my future wife and her family I looked down that slide and went for it.  Much to my surprise I emerged at the bottom safe and sound.  Fear…gone.

The best part of this story comes just a few years back.  I was having lunch with my mother and somehow we got on the topic of California and my water slide fear came up.  I recounted the story above and how it freaked me out for such a long time and had prevented me from enjoying these things for years.  Being the supportive mother that she is, she laughed just about the hardest I have ever seen.  Literally, she was crying she was laughing so hard….not laughing with me…at me.  I even had to laugh, because looking back on all these years, it was about the dumbest thing ever.

So there it is…my greatest fear.  I think it’s funny how something that was obviously an urban legend or just a flat out lie stuck with me for all those years.  Oh well, I’ve been on a number of water slides since the Atlantis and I’m proud to say that I have no scars to show for it…but I still think about it.


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