ALL ABOARD | Phobia, oh phobia, where art thou oh phobia?

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been a tad down lately.

Since our folks have been gone, the holidays don’t seem the same.

Now that our kids are viva Las Vegased, Christmas can get real quiet around here, which is why I have blocked the mute button on our remote for the holidays.

I need noise now.

Lots and lots.

Usually we have the remote locked on mute so that we never hear the sound of any TV show we watch.

Our favorite muted channel, QVC, often features bedding and linen shows.

Ever notice how frequently the cohost stroke the sheets over and over again?

You’d think they were putting lemon Pledge on the dining room table to get ready for the holiday china.

Sabado Gigante on the Latin American stations is another great show for mute.

Despite two years of high school Spanish, my understanding of Don Ricardo at high speed on his version of five-hour energy drinks is worth muting.

When muted, I seem to think more randomly than if I am listening to a program.

Staring at Howie Mandel on mute assures random mindedness.

Last week, while staring on mute,

I began worrying that I may be fearing even more things.

Are you a phobia person?

According to About.com, “phobias are the most common mental disorder in the United States.”

I suffer from several phobias which often complicate my common mentalness.

Atelophobia, or fear of imperfection, has driven me ragged since graduating from law school.

Batrachophobia, or fear of amphibians, has eliminated any desire for beach property.

Thank goodness I can take prescribed medication now when my dendrophobia kicks in that I thought I had licked in Mesa, Arizona.

Fear of trees.

Is that why I had trouble with wood shop in eighth grade?

Lately I feel I could be developing xenopicophobia, or fear of too many choices.

Maybe it was growing up with just three TV networks.

Maybe it was having just two political parties as a kid.

Maybe it was the simplicity of the National and American leagues before a six-pack of divisions.

Back then it was just this and that, or here and there, or left and right.

My therapist says that I actually fear making decisions, or decidophobia.

He says there is no such thing as picophobia, which would be nothing more than abundophobia or fear of abundance in reverse.

No wonder he gets sixty bucks an hour.

So, as we spend the next week slamming down eggnog and fruit cake, good luck if you have any of these:

Ephebiphobia — fear of teenagers.

Genuphobia — fear of knees.

Koinoniphobia — fear of rooms.

Scolionophobia — fear of school.

Venustraphobia — fear of beautiful women.

One of the reasons we fear going anywhere during the holidays is because in 2006 I was diagnosed with holypteromerhanophobia, or fear of holiday flying.

Fortunately, by contract, I cannot have papyrophobia or fear of paper. Whoa! I’d be out of a job.

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