DAILY DIRT: Afraid of ketchup? Flying? Speaking in public? Dentists? Buttons? Eggs? There’s a phobia for all of them


Alfred Hitchcock suffered from ovephobia, the fear of eggs. | Photo courtesy of pexels.com

Daily Dirt for Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024

The fear of actual dirt is called mysophobia, which falls under the realm of fear of germs … Welcome to today’s three thoughts that make up Vol. 871 of The Daily Dirt.

1. I doubt if there is a person alive who does not have some sort of phobia. For instance, I hate going over bridges and flying. The bridge thing is technically called gephyrophobia. The fear of flying is labeled as either aviophobia or aerophobia.

I am not alone. Many people throughout history suffered from all sorts of fears.

“Even the most powerful king or the most enlightened scientist is human, just like everybody else,” D.G. Hewitt once wrote for historycollection.com. “As well as their strengths, they have their weaknesses. And some had fears just like us. What’s more, some of the most notable figures in history suffered from extreme phobias.”

Here are a few I doubt if many had any idea were scared to death of certain things, such as:

  • Hans Christian Anderson: The famous author (“The Emperor’s New Clothes,” “The Ugly Duckling” and, of course, “The Little Mermaid”) suffered from obsessive thoughts of being buried alive. That’s “taphephobia” for those keeping score at home. (George Washington and famous composer Frederic Chopin also were scared of being buried alive.)
  • Adolf Hitler: Arguably the most despised man in history had what has been described as a “crippling fear” of dentists. That would be dentophobia.
  • Steve Jobs: He had the fear of buttons, called “koumpounophobia.”
  • Augustus Caesar: At one time, he was the most powerful man in the world. That could not help him overcome his fear of the dark, which is astraphobia. He also didn’t care for thunder of lightning.
  • Thomas Jefferson: He was so afraid of speaking in public (glossophobia) that he would often cancel such dates, saying he was ill.
  • Alfred Hitchcock: Yep, this one is really bizarre, but what would you expect from Hitchcock? He suffered from ovephobia, the fear of eggs.
  • Genghis Khan: The fearsome warlord was terrified of dogs.
  • Napoleon: The man hated cats. He was a victim of ailurophobia.
  • Richard Nixon: Tricky Dick suffered from nosocomephobia, the fear of hospitals.

2. Strange, but true:

  • A shrimp’s heart is located in its head.
  • Only one person in 2 billion will live to be as old as 116. (I’m looiking to be that one, by the way.)
  • It is impossible to swallow with your mouth open.
  • About 30 people per year die in elevator or escalator accidents.
  • The letter “q” is the only letter that does not appear in the name of any U.S. state

3. What were you doing in 1981? Were you listening to any of these top 10 albums? Remember when we had actual LPs and turntables?

  • 1. J. Geils Band (“Freeze Frame”): I was never much of a J. Geils Band fan. How about you?
  • 2. The Cars (“Shake It Up”): The subtlety of The Cars’ music always seemed appealing.
  • 3. AC/DC (“For Those About To Rock”): Mutt Lange produced this album. You may know him as Shania Twain’s one-time husband.
  • 4. Rolling Stones (“Tattoo You”): The album that gave us “Start Me Up.”
  • 5. Quarterflash (“Quarterflash”): I really didn’t care for this group, so no deep thought here. 
  • 6. Loverboy (“Get Lucky”): At this point in time, lead singer Mike Reno was at his best. 
  • 7. The Police (“Ghost In The Machine”): “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” anchored this effort.
  • 8. Ozzy Osbourne (“Diary Of A Madman”): This particular Ozzy album sold more than 3 million copies.
  • 9. Genesis (“Abacab”): The 11th studio album by the English band.
  • 10. Rod Stewart (“Tonight I’m Yours”): The Man.

Steve Thought O’ The Day
I miss all those music videos from the 1980s.

Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. He suffers from sauceophobia, a fear of sauces and food add-ons that have a thick liquid or paste-like consistency like mayonnaise or ketchup. (The formal title for a fear of ketchup is mortuusequusphobia.) It’s why Steve likes his burgers plain.

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