In a recent "Strange But True" column in this publication, several weird phobias were mentioned.
They got me thinking about how phobias relate to life in the Rim country, some obviously being more pertinent than others. If, for example, you work at KMOG as either a news person or talk show host, you don't have to worry about trichophobia fear of hair, but might start getting a little concerned about gerontophobia fear of old age.
And if you live in the Rim country where precipitation has been below normal for a decade or so, ombrophobia fear of rain, brontophobia fear of thunderstorms, and hydrophobia fear of water, are not likely to be major problems.
On the other hand, drive a short way out of town on a moonless night, and you might be a candidate for nyctophobia fear of the dark, autophobia fear of solitude, or even astrophobia fear of stars.
And this, fellow Rimaroos, could be a most serious problem. Living, as we do, in the shadow of the mighty Mogollon Rim, how could we not, one and all, suffer from cremnophobia fear of precipices.
How, you say, can you be afraid of something when you don't even know what it is? My dictionary defines precipice as (1) a very steep or overhanging place and (2) the brink of disaster.
If those definitions don't make you think of (1) our very own rim and (2) utter panic that it might fall down on you momentarily, I don't know what will. Now try to sleep tonight.
Being the unique place it is, the Rim country has its own custom phobias. They include:
Given that Salt River Project claims to own all the surface water (and related groundwater) all over the Rim country and beyond, this is a fear that the ghosts of seven farmers from the Valley are going to come into your house and take all the ice cubes out of your refrigerator and all the water out of your toilets. SRPphobics are even afraid to sweat and spit.
You might think this would be a fear of coons or a fear of politicians, because Ruby Finney, one of the leaders of the Citizens Awareness Committee, has been known to take on her share of both. But no, Rubyphobia is actually a fear of growth.
Schumphobia is much stronger in Globe than it is here in the Rim country, especially now that the mayor has announced that he is bowing out of the local political arena. It is an unnatural fear that the county's supervisor districts will actually be apportioned according to population and not by how many Native Americans have left the San Carlos Apache Reservation because they can't find work.
The opposite of Schumphobia, Globephobia is like a bad itch that just won't go away. It's not that we want the county seat moved to Payson. It's just that we don't think copper mine tailings should be allowed to vote.
A fear of excessive speed. Tylerphobics believe the world should run at 25 mph. Hey guys, get a horse.
Mommy, why does the Rim country have a problem conserving water? Why do we have lawns? Why don't we catch the water that falls on our roofs? The answer, Junior, is that we all suffer from conservaphobia a debilitating fear of conserving water.
Does the Mountain View Manor Homeowner's Association really want to eradicate the cute little ducks and geese that inhabit Green Valley Park? It can only be because a majority of the people who live there are suffering from waterfowlphobia.
If waterfowlphobia is extremely isolated, confined to a single condominium complex, flatlanderphobia, like conservaphobia, is one that seems to afflict the entire Rim country. What do we all say in unison on midnight of Labor Day each year, that symbolic moment that marks the beginning of the end of the tourist season? All together now. "HOOOORAY!"