“WAG #11: Scaredy-Cat” Another people-watching exercise! Choose a stranger and observe him/her for a little while. Now give them a phobia. A full-on, jump on the chair, scream like a little girl, unreasonable fear. (Or however you imagine them to respond.) Try to choose something that fits the person you’re watching, and let us know what it is about them that clued you in to their secret fear. The object is not just to describe the fear, but to make us understand why it fits with this particular person.
The hydraulic ramp lifts the car above the inspection pit with ease. Even so, the mechanic is sweating, his brow damp and shiney, reflecting the bare glow of the pit light. Once it reaches the required height he places a hand on the side and pulls down with effort, as though the ramp, strong enough by far to hold the weight of the car safely in the air, will tumble with the added force of his thin muscles. The mechanic collects his tools. Ready to climb into the pit he is unable to do so without once more checking the ramp. His brow furrows and he clambers down under the car. He tries to concentrate on the task in hand. He tries not to think about the ramp dropping with skull crushing speed, or limbs trapped or even severed by the weight of the car. He wants to run but thoughts of getting fired again keep him where he most fears to be.
My mechanic is suffering from barophobia, the fear of gravity or being crushed. Not sure if that is an irrational fear. I suppose it depends on context. When under a car supported by a safe, reliable hydraulic lift then maybe so. In danger of falling from a thirty story building then I would say fear of gravity is entirely rational.
Stimulus: Sat watching the work being done at my local garage this morning while waiting for them to fix the latch on the boot of my motor. I saw the guys climbing under cars and got to thinking about how often cars get dropped on them. One did actually check the ramp more than once, which is just one step away from OCD.
13 Responses to WAG #11: Scaredy-Cat
Great post! I heard about the fear of gravity, and wasn’t sure what on earth it meant! Without gravity, we’d all float away.
But this makes sense. I think some so-called irrational fears really are just sensible!
I shuddered as I read this. I could just picture the mechanic being crushed! Nicely done!
Ew, that is an understandable fear. I’ve never heard of it, but glad I know it now.
That would be a terrible phobia to have if -you must work under the heavy weight of many cars each day.
Nice piece, Dan. I could see it because I’ve imagined it while there.
As a motorcyclist, I always anticipate the worst happening. That’s the only way you can do your best to avoid. My empathy immediately went to the mechanic!
Welcome,Dan; nice first entry. You bring some gravitas to the subject, attracting heavy interest. I know that the fear is probably not one for the masses, but you bring it down to earth.
I could certainly feel for the chap! I never like watching people under cars – the risk of the car falling on them seems very real. Perhaps I have a fear of gravity.
Great. Loved the descriptive stuff with the furrowed brow.
Well done. And a serious element to tie it all together.
Thanks for the kind words, everyone. @Frances…I never like watching folks under cars either, so perhaps I was projecting my fear onto the guy in the garage.
Welcome to the WAG, Dan. Nicely done. I’m tardy on doing the rounds. Sorry.
Funny how some people seem to get stuck in jobs that are just absolutely wrong for them. It would be like being a tree trimmer and having a fear of heights.
Not sure if you are interested, but I want to make sure to mention to all the WAG participants a contest I think would be worth your while. Maria Schneider is co-hosting a Flash fiction contest on her forum, Editor Unleashed. You can read about it on her blog, also called Editor Unleashed.
Cheers for the heads up.
Sorry to be so late commenting, good piece, well written and spine tingling.
I think I get the prize for most late reply…sigh. Nice piece. Thanks for sharing and welcome to WAG!
Comments are closed.