Feb 26 2013 By Natasha Gorbert-Hopkins
All children are scared of ridiculous things... monsters under the bed, evil Penguins wearing rubber gloves on their heads, Lord Voldemort.
My childhood fears seemed to emanate from two things. Living on a boat had a definite influence. I also place a large portion of the blame on James Bond films (and, by proxy, my parents, for letting me watch 007 movies at a young age).
There was a stage, aged about six, where I was petrified of having a bath. I was scared that piranhas would come up the plughole.
There was a certain logic in realising that my bath’s plug was sort of connected to a large body of water which could, technically, contain piranhas. I’m fairly sure that this fear came from watching You Only Live Twice.
Remember the scene where Blofeld disposes of disappointing underlings by collapsing a bridge underneath them, letting them fall into a pool of piranhas? Gives me shivers now.
Another water and Bond based fear was of sharks. I was, again, a little concerned that a Great White would appear out of the plughole but mainly this fear stopped me going into the deep end of Windsor swimming pool. I can trace this particular watery terror back to Thunderball, in which the villain Largo keeps a pool full of the man-eating finned predators.
I was also scared of lobsters. And crabs. And eels.
I don’t think any of those are featured in a 007 film, however, so that can only be due to the specific childhood experience of living on a stretch of deep, dirty water. I don’t think there’s really anything in there which would attack me (except perhaps tuberculosis), but my young imagination populated it with innumerable monsters.
FYI, I take baths now.