Friday, June 09, 2006

Childhood Fears

Not on the list, but shoulda been: Three-headed dog costumes.

Think back to when you were a child for a second, and to what your worst fear was. For me, it was three things: 1. Cockroaches (natch); 2. Lightning (being the tallest kid in the playground gave me an excellent reason to crabwalk to shelter anytime rain was near); and 3. The long, foam tentacles that are standard in every car wash, the ones that slap down on your windshield like a sea alien and swish around, the fear compounded by loud, strong jets of water shooting at your face and loudly spraying off the window. Then the huuuuge pipe cleaner looking thing that comes down to scrub.... Really, I didn't think there was anything more frightening to a child than a carwash.

I'm not kidding you, I'm still scared of these shits.

But my beliefs were swiftly crushed this morning as I saw, live and in person, an entirely different kind of childhood transportation-related fear play out before my very eyes.

There I was, listening to a Patsy Cline/Ludacris Mashup on my Podzy ("Crazy for Being Such a Dick-Lickin' Ho"), when I heard horrible, piercing screams coming from behind me. I turned around, expecting to find a Lord of the Rings Ringwraith coming for me for good, instead finding a frazzled dad in a business suit trying to drag his two little children (like 5 and 7 years old) onto a packed train car, right when the "bing-bong" bell signaling the closing doors went off. Now, if you've ever been caught in the subway doors, you know that it's no joke. I'm built like a Fisher Price radio, and even still I've been nearly crushed and badly bruised from near subway misses. They slam hard and fast on your body or arm (sometimes hair), and not having motion sensors, the doors stay that way, hermetically sealing themselves to your body, until the train operator decides he's had his fun and lets you free.

And that's my adult experience with them. I wouldn't be surprised if those doors could slice a toddler clean in half.

Even J-Lo knows better to wait... even when she's kidnapping someone's little boy.

So what kind of a father would risk slicing his kids in half, I ask you? Judging by the terrified looks on his kids' faces, who were each tugging at his shirtsleeves from behind, screaming like banshees, while the Dad tried to dive headfirst into the car: A really, really bad father. Unless he was trying to ditch them on the platform, in which case: Good try.

Funny, the baby's body language is like totally "Wheeeeeeee!" but you know inside it's all "God, please let me die before he touches my bathing suit place."

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