It’s true. Whenever babies come near me, my heart races and my palms sweat, and oddly enough, I start to babble like … well, a baby.
This is not a fear that’s easy to deal with, either. If you’re afraid of heights, you just stay out of elevators and airplanes. If you’re afraid of Republicans … you move to any city in the country that has rainbow flags hanging in one of its neighborhoods.
Babies, Babies, Everywhere
No matter how hard you try, you just can’t avoid babies. They’re at the mall, on the subway and in the coffee shops.
Now they’re even showing up at happy hour. But you won’t ever see them in the bar, though … they’re probably under the table in a Gucci handbag, tucked into their binky with a Pomeranian or a Shih Tzu.
It’s also a well-known fact that most babies are part of a street gang. Or a cul-de-sac gang if you live in the suburbs. This isn’t something the New York Times will tell you … they’re too busy complaining about hipsters with disposable income.
But the baby gangs are out there … if you know where to look.
Have you ever been to a Babies”R”Us store around Christmas time? Or gone to a yoga class to pick up women and realized that it was actually a Baby and Me class? (“How you doin’?” doesn’t really set the mood when a baby is staring at you with snot hanging from its nose.)
Maybe you’ve never heard of the Baby and Me yoga class phenomenon. This type of class is all the rage these days. It’s not enough that women give birth to babies and spend eighteen hours a day breastfeeding them, now women want to bend themselves into a pretzel with a baby strapped to their body.
You’d think all that pretzel bending would cancel out the baby fear … but it doesn’t. That’s how scary baby gangs can be. You definitely don’t want to mess with them.
Babies Find Comfort in Street Gangs
And now, even reputable street gangs have their own baby gangs, kind of like how the Cub Scouts feed into the Boy Scouts … except with petty theft and weapons.
You see, the Crips and Bloods each have their own baby gangs … the Poops and the Scoots. Some baby gangs, though, run on their own, like anarchists. The best known is the Terrible Twos, and they operate in every town.
A few babies, though, skip the gang altogether and join the Russian mafia. Here they earn street cred quickly. They start out by scamming the elderly out of candy. Next thing you know, they have the cat locked up in the toy box for not sharing its milk. Or they try to suffocate you while you’re sleeping by putting their fingers up your nose.
So, if you’ve ever said no to a baby, don’t be surprised if one day you wake up with the head of a toy horse in your bed.
Besides their obvious criminal tendencies, what really frightens me about babies is that when they talk, I never know what they’re saying.
This is the same reason most people in the US are afraid of tourists who can’t speak English. Deep down inside, you know they are either making fun of you or plotting to kill you.
It’s also why people are afraid of mimes.
Mimes are probably even more scary than clowns (unless the clown is looking up at you from a sewer drain).
Sure, to the French, mimes are the pinnacle of artistic expression. But I don’t care how many times a mime shows me his invisible bicycle, I still get the Heebie Jeebies.
What are Heebie Jeebies? It’s a technical term for the feeling you get when something scares the Poops or the Scoots out of you.
The best way to deal with a creepy mime is to use his own strength against him … like martial arts in white makeup. Ask him to show you the invisible box trick, the one where he stands inside an … you guessed it … invisible box and presses his hands against the walls.
Once he’s safely inside, all you have to do is block the door with an invisible door propped under the doorknob. If there’s anyone else around, he won’t be able to break out. Take that, creepy mime!
Babies are a lot like mimes. They’re always using body language to show you how they’re “so big” or to say “look at me, I’m a giant dinosaur destroying the village of peas and carrots.” Yeah, look at me miming “stay on your side of the room or I’ll Scoot my pants on your mother’s white sofa.”
Even though babies are like mimes, you probably shouldn’t deal with them in the same way. Apparently, locking a baby inside a box is frowned upon … and possibly illegal.
Is a Fear of Babies Irrational?
Who knows where my fear of babies comes from? Maybe I fell in a ball pit filled with babies when I was younger. Maybe my unconscious is telling me I should stop trying to compete with babies for their mother’s attention.
My friends call my fear irrational. Sure, it’s easy for them to say that … they aren’t afraid.
Besides, show some compassion, will you? Try telling someone who’s afraid of snakes—or even male strippers—that they should just chill out when staring down something wriggling and squirming in front of their face.
If you’re afraid of babies, keep checking the New York Times. Maybe someday they will find the baby-free city that you’ve been dreaming of.
Mimes at Edinburgh Fringe Festival: FreeFoto.com by Ian Britton