I have a rather weird phobia. No, not the spider phobia. That one’s totally logical and expected when arachnids exist to eat us in our sleep. This is a phobia of over-sized things. And not all over-sized things. Like a building can be huge, but that’s expected, so that doesn’t make me nervous. But larger-than-standard flags and billboards make me nervous.
The first instance I have of this was in the mid-‘90s. I don’t recall feeling that way earlier, and I had been inside the giant koala. If you’re in Melbourne, do you recall FOXTEL’s billboard on the Richmond silos? It was overhanging the South Eastern and had a normal-sized billboard hanging off the side. It was, then, the world’s largest backlit billboard. And it made me apprehensive. It was also around then that I got my first car and was passing it with some frequency. I also worked for FOXTEL at the time, so I was torn between being impressed by it and wanting to get away from it as fast as I could (in peak hour that wasn’t very fast—darn).
I didn’t think any more of the weird phobia until I moved to Seattle and started driving to Vancouver. Just off the freeway is a car dealership flying an oversized flag. I’m unsure exactly how big the flag is—at least four standard flags. It’s also in a spot where it’s impossible to get a good photo showing its size, but is perfectly viewed from the freeway. I get tense when I see it. My stomach clenches. The flight of fight or flight kicks in.
There’s no threat from these over-sized items. I’m not afraid of the billboard falling on me. I don’t have nightmares of being drowned in red, white, and blue canvas. They simply repel me.
You’re probably either laughing at me right now or searching for photos of FOXTEL’s billboard to send me (good luck, I can’t find any). Either way, I’m owning my weird phobia. I’m kind of intrigued by it.
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