Kicking can

Back in those glorious and illustrious days that my generation commonly refers to as “the good old days,” life was a simple combination of getting up, going to work, eating three meals a day, and, if there were any worries, finding a tin can. During that time, kicking a tin can down a paved street made a lot of noise, but it eased all tension. As adults, we must confront multitudes of concerns that, because tin cans have been replaced with plastic, cannot be resolved in the former manner. So now, we must deal with them with the all-encompassing word: Phobia. 

This turn of events forced some research into the list of phobias experienced. Over the years, we have devoted considerable time and effort to pursuing new phobias. Or, as we properly indoctrinated journalists call them, phobiae. The results were somewhere between stupefying and electrifying, depending on where we were standing when a new one hit us. And these are the results of our efforts:

Pharmfarmphobia – The fear of operating a drug store in a wheat field.

Tontophobia – The fear of not being there when they hand out the masks.

Barebearphobia – The fear of naked grizzlies. 

Barebearberryphobia – The fear of naked grizzlies eating wild fruits. 

9:15phobia – The fear of horizontal hands on a timepiece. (Also known as 2:45phobia.)

Zirconphobia – The fear that your engagement ring came from a box of Cracker Jacks.

Spamphobia – The fear of accepting an offer of a home-cooked meal from a lifelong bachelor.

Caliporniaphobia – The fear of watching XXX-rated movies in Los Angeles. 

Tunatutuphobia – The fear of watching a fish ballet. 

//phobia – The fear of skiing. 

)/phobia – The fear that one of your skis is going to warp. 

)(phobia – The fear that both of your skis are going to warp.

Hotdogphobia – The fear of receiving junk mail that says, “You may already be a wiener.”

Ferniturephobia – The fear of sitting on a sofa or easy chair made entirely of houseplants.

Buckabottlephobia – The fear of a hangover caused by imbibing too much cheap wine.

Frankenholsteinphobia – The fear of using a cow’s brain when creating a monster.

Acarpellaphobia – The fear of singing with a fish choir that doesn’t use an accompanist.

Chewchewchoochoophobia – The fear of eating in a railroad dining car.

Achoochewchewchoochoophobia – The fear of sneezing while eating in a railroad dining car. 

Moomuumuuphobia – The fear of watching a hula dance performed by cows.

Stalactitephobia – The fear that your nasal drip is going to last for centuries.

$$$$$$$$$$phobia – The fear that you’re not making any cents. 

/0/0/0/0/0/0/phobia – The fear that once you’ve learned to read between the lines, there’s nothing there.

Fangphobia – The fear that your incisors have been secretly taking steroids.

Bandannananaphobia – The fear that you’re going to tie a tropical fruit across your face and hold up a stagecoach.

/?/?/?/?/phobia – The fear of asking slanted questions. 

Butlerphobia – The fear of knowing who did it. 

Bleachedblondephobia – The fear of dyeing by your own hand.

Cantelopephobia – The fear of not being able to find a ladder so you won’t be able to run off and marry a muskmelon in secret. 

Wurstversephobia – The fear of becoming inspired to write sausage poetry. 

Commacomaphobia – The fear of falling into a state of unconsciousness after becoming involved with a punctuation mark.

Chewachoochewphobia – The fear of accidentally buying black pepper-flavored bubble gum. 

Cigarettephobia – The fear of getting all lit up and making an ash of yourself.

Tututoottootphobia – The fear of going to a costume ball dressed as a ballet dancer but being mistaken for a traffic jam.

Zebratwurstphobia – The fear of striped sausage.

Gozintaphobia – The fear that schools will eventually eliminate long division so grade-schoolers will no longer recite answers like “8 gozinta 24 three times.”

Elephantomphobia – The fear of a large gray ghost whose breath smells like peanuts.

Elephaintphobia – The fear of standing next to a large animal that has a history of dizzy spells. 

Elephumblephobia – The fear of using large jungle beasts as running backs because they have trouble hanging on to the football. 

Oboehobophobia – The fear that all those music lessons you took as a child aren’t going to get you a steady job. 

Lipsyncphobia – The fear that somebody’s putting words in your mouth.

Ptarmiganphobia – The fear of not getting any recognition even though you’re first in line. (Also known as “psychophobia” and “psalmphobia.”)

Blackandwhiteandblackandwhitephobia – The fear of watching a penguin roll down a hill.

Cartunaphobia – The fear of comic strips drawn by a fish.

Axidentalphobia – The fear of having your teeth fixed by a guy who moonlights as an inexperienced lumberjack. 

Teriyakimaphobia – The fear that a central Washington city is going to be flooded by soy sauce.

Cargofargophobia – The fear that everything you ship by boat is going to end up in eastern North Dakota. 

Caesarseizurephobia – The fear of being arrested while eating a salad.

Tannenbombphobia – The fear that your solo during the Christmas concert is going to be a cultural disaster. 

Reinbeerphobia – The fear of a Christmas completely sponsored by a brewery.

Santaclaustrophobia – The fear of discovering that the jolly old elf is actually afraid of chimneys and other enclosed places.

Carpcarpetphobia – The fear of installing a floor covering made of fish heads.

Canadawdlephobia – The fear that your house guests from British Columbia are going to stay all winter. 

IBM&Mphobia – The fear of computerized candy.

EIAUOphobia – The fear of having a vowel movement. 

Oscargotphobia – The fear that the Academy Awards are going to have a Best Performance by a Snail in the Garlic Sauce category.

Hairplanephobia – The fear of flying on a 125-passenger toupee.

Serialcerealphobia – The fear of eating breakfast food that will be continued tomorrow.

Sherloxphobia – The fear of trying to solve the murder of a smoked salmon.

Timbuktubaphobia – The fear of large brass musical instruments made in the West African nation of Mali.

Pencilvaniaphobia – The fear of writing instruments made in Philadelphia.

Giraffittiphobia – The fear of long-necked animals carrying cans of spray paint.

— Sam Lowe is a former Valley newspaperman who now writes about his travels across Arizona, the U.S. and the globe.