I’m afraid of blue people.

There, I said it. What I’m about to tell you guys… I don’t usually volunteer this information, because as phobias go, it’s damn weird. And I guess I wouldn’t say I’m afraid so much as unsettled by them. Deeply. It all started when I had a disproportionately severe reaction to Violet Beauregard turning into a blueberry in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, when I was, like, three.

This might stem from the fact that I had confusing ideas about people turning into food. In a stunning show of, um, interesting parenting, my mom and dad told me when I was little that if I watched too much TV, I would turn into a noodle. I don’t know what they were smoking when they came up with that. I don’t even remember when, exactly, they told me; I just knew it was a fact of life. Hell, these were the people I trusted to guide me through the twists and turns of life, and if they told me excessive TV watching equaled noodles, well, who was I to question it? I imagine this is how that went down:

MOM: Elodie, we’ve been noticing you’ve been, um, watching a lot of TV lately.
DAD: It’s not good to watch a lot of TV.
DAD: It just isn’t.
MOM: It’ll hurt your eyes.
DAD: It’ll stunt your growth.
MOM: She doesn’t know what that means. (Turning back to me.) If you watch too much TV, you’ll… turn into…
DAD: Yeah. Yeah, you’ll turn into… um…
MOM: A noodle.
DAD: (Stares at her)
MOM: (Shrugs)
DAD: (Face palms)
MOM: (Shakes head)
DAD: (Nods grudgingly)
ELODIE: (Develops a complex)

And because I possessed a rather vivid imagination, I thought long and hard about how exactly it would feel to wake up one morning as a noodle. So when I saw snotty Violet Beauregard turn into a blueberry, I think I just figured having some sort of personal defect, like being a brat or watching too much TV, would turn you into food.

Thanks, Mom and Dad.

Anyway, I grew out of that, but the uneasiness around blue people, for whatever reason, persisted. When I was thirteen, I went to see the Blue Man Group with my family, and they tried to make me come onstage. I was extremely shy, and also, they were blue and scared me a little. I refused. A scene was caused. It’s hard to talk about.

So now you all know. I’m afraid of blue people. Smurfs, Hindu gods, the Na’vi from Avatar. It’s been hard. I would like to get over it, though, because I really need to be able to finish the second episode of Doctor Who and get on with my life.


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