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May 27, 2006 / Kate


A few weeks ago, a student walked up to me on campus and said he was doing a homework assignment, and would I be willing to answer a couple of questions. People walk up to me all the time at school demanding that I sign a petition, give them a quarter, give them a cigarette, go out with them, accept Jesus as my personal Savior, and on and on.

This guy happened to catch me moments after I had pulled my dripping laptop out of my bag, and I was airing it out on the grass. The screen was frozen, and I was panicked. For some reason, I said yes.

“I am doing a survey on Pobia” the young man said in a heavy Middle-Eastern accent. “Ummm, you mean phobias?” I asked.
“Ahh, yes” he replied.
“Well, you have come to the right girl”
He asked me what my Pobia was, and said, “Do not say the spider. Everyone says the spider or height. Do not say this”
“No problem buddy. My Pobia is cotton balls, velvet, and foamcore. All of those items are rolled into one. It’s just one big fear. It’s actually not a fear, but more of an extremely strong aversion. You need me to spell it?”
“What is this Cotta Bow?”
“COTTON BALLS. Here, let me write it down for you”
I grabbed his clipboard and began to fill in the little boxes. The first one had me name the phobia. The second box asked me to describe what I felt like when faced with the fear. “It feels like I am having a seizure and my spine is splitting in half” I squeezed into the box. The third box asked me whether or not I wanted to get rid of my phobia. “No” was my answer.

The poor guy was confused, but grateful that I had just completed his little homework assignment for him. He thanked me and walked away.

That was my slightly wine-buzzed and long winded way of introducing this. Arnay, you are my hero(ine). Thank you for sharing your story.

(thanks to Annika for supplying the link)


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