I’m terrified of thunderstorms. My phobia started in my early teens, living the high life in rural Wapello County and watching one of four channels we got on the tee vee antenna. One deafening crash of thunder later, sparks came shooting out of the TV, the dog was zapped trying to take shelter in his dog house outside, and my phobia was cemented forever. Nothing says “lightening is dangerous” more than an exploding TV and watching the poor dog stumble around the house disoriented for an hour. Bear and I started hiding under the same bed when it thundered.
In high school I traveled to a rodeo in Minnesota with a friend’s family, and as we were traveling south on the interstate going home with a trailer full of horses we drove straight into a huge storm with funnel clouds. As in, they were spinning and turning and the sirens were going off and I was screaming “THAT IS A TORNADO” before my friend’s dad FINALLY pulled over to take shelter….in a LUMBERYARD. Let’s pull over at the one place that has a million things that could be picked up and spun around into deadly weapons!
After that, I started dreaming about being chased by tornadoes impaling me with 2 by 4’s. The movie “Twister” wasn’t an action flick about storm chasing- for me, it was Nightmare on Elm Street meets Saw. It was Sharknado before it was cool.
Then there was the time I was on my bike and had to stop under the bridge by Wal Mart in Windsor Heights because of lightening, then it started to hail and the sirens went off and I thought about what it would be like to die in a tornado…under a bridge…next to a Wal Mart.
All of this comes up because I was reminded of my storm phobia last weekend. I was on a second date with a very nice guy and I dragged him out of the Barnstormers game in the 3rd quarter because the STORMS WERE COMING and they looked bad on radar and I had to get to the car before they got there. I guess they’re called phobias because they’re not supposed to make any sense.