Irrational Fears

I knew a guy in England who had an irrational fear of beaches. It was irrational because England doesn’t really get tsunamis or have much in the way of dangerous, coast-living animals so, as long as you stay clear of the water, it’s extremely unlikely that you’ll ever encounter anything scary on an English beach. But scared he was.
Which led me to wonder whether I have any irrational fears. Now obviously, I’m scared of things like losing someone I love, sustaining a life-changing injury or developing a terminal illness etc, but these fears are, of course, perfectly normal. And then it occurred to me, I do have an irrational fear, and it’s quite a biggie.

I’m worried that I’ll be on my deathbed and Kate, my wonderful wife, will be comforting me as I pass and suddenly, somewhere inside my dying brain, a random neuron will misfire so that, with my dying breath, I whisper the name Barbara. Now, I don’t know anyone called Barbara, in fact I don’t think I’ve ever known anyone called Barbara. But Kate, the love of my life, will spend the rest of her life upset and angry about this non-existent Barbara woman, and I will spend the rest of my afterlife utterly furious that my stupid brain could do such a stupid thing, to the point that I’d probably start making a lot of ghostly fuss and smashing a few things up, which is not something I ever did when I was alive, but is probably excusable under the circumstances.

Anyway, at least my irrational fear has solved a long-standing mystery. We now know what poltergeists are, how they’re created and that they’re all Barbara’s fault.