Fears and phobias are so prevalent these days that a Facebook application will even send your friends different phobias, such as â€œbibliophobiaâ€ (fear of books) or â€œgraphophobiaâ€ (fear of writing).
Joey Edmonds, comedian, Burbank author and self-proclaimed claustrophobic, has written â€œFun With Fears & Phobias: R U In this Book?â€ a sequel to his first book â€œClaustrophobic.â€ It's a self-published collection of fears one may encounter in their everyday lives.
Mostly collected over the course of his many gigs across the country and through his YouTube site, Edmonds has included his and other people's fears with anecdotal stories to accompany each one. He even offers a seminar called â€œFears and Phobias Fun,â€ which he performs at various colleges and universities.
In each of these seminars, he asks participants to write down one of their phobias, or a phobia of someone they know. Edmonds states in his author notes, â€œI received hundreds of stories, but was intrigued that no one volunteered their name!â€
Fears ranging from oceans to paintings to clowns spatter the pages among other, more obscure personal fears, such as performing on â€œThe Tonight Showâ€ and at the legendary Copacabana. Each fear is essentially a rant of information, blurting out Edmonds' thoughts on some fears, possibilities of what one might fear, and commentary on the fears of others.
Edmonds' work is best encapsulated in his section called â€œFriendsâ€: â€œTelevision situational comedies often mirror our lives. The show 'Friends' was a huge, long-running hit! Six characters were, for the most part, never on the 'same page.' They often got close, but had so many relationship fears!
â€œSeinfeld's zany quartet presented us with a new set of everyday problem sort of fears! 'Everybody Loves Raymond' treated us with laughs for years. Fears were on constant display every episode, each week, for each show. Humor resolved all the fears while the characters regrouped for next week. Starting in kindergarten, each year our lives present us with different sets of fears mostly resolved with the help of family, teachers and friendly classmates.â€
While the personal stories and often funny scenarios are endearing, the book's content lacks a progressive, natural flow, making it difficult to follow. It is almost as if the reader is living inside Edmonds' head, as he expounds his train of thought onto the paper before him.
Equally distracting is the choice of format, as each section is merely separated by a bold underlined title, regardless of whether there is any content directly following the masthead. Perhaps this was done in an attempt to conserve paper.
Overall, this book is amusing and a quick read, and one might enjoy it while waiting for a dentist's appointment â€” it may even distract you from your â€œdentophobia.â€
About the writer LYDA TRUICK has a masters of library and information science and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.