At the Subaru dealership today, the salesman ushered us into the Finance Manager’s office to complete our transaction*. Miles was going a bit stir-crazy, so the salesman had given him a balloon to play with. The woman behind the desk stood to greet us, then said to the salesman, “Can I ask you to please remove the balloon from the room? They freak me out.” The salesman looked somewhat surprised, but complied (Miles was a sport about it). Her request was so matter-of-fact, not the words of a crazy person at all, just a simple request, however surreal. I had never heard anything quite like it. Nothing else she did or said in the next 15 minutes was the slightest bit unusual.

When we got home, I Googled “balloon phobia” and turned up a rather detailed page on a treatment program for sufferers of balloon phobia, aka globophobia. The endless variations of the human mind. Strangetude.

*After months of research, test driving, hemming and hawing, we finally decided on a Subaru Forester. The first new car either of us has ever owned. A car to serve us for the next decade. Now champing at the bit for a good road trip.

Music: Talking Heads :: The Overload

23 Replies to “Globophobia”

  1. My boss recently got herself a Forester and likes it alot.

    I’ve always thought that their horizontally-opposed engine design (ala the air cooled VWs) was elegent as well… Good luck!

  2. Congrats on the wheels, Scot! With that Subaru you’re now a confirmed liberal suburban dude.

    The balloon phobia page sez:
    “Like all fears and phobias, Balloon Phobia is created by the unconscious mind as a protective mechanism. At some point in your past, there was likely an event linking balloons and emotional trauma. Whilst the original catalyst may have been a real-life scare of some kind, the condition can also be triggered by myriad, benign events like movies, TV, or perhaps seeing someone else experience trauma.”

    …They forgot to mention hearing about balloon phobia. I wonder how many people only became globophobes once they learned it was a disorder.

  3. Congrats on the new wheels. I think you’ll be very happy with it, and I hope your dealer is as good as ours. (liked them so much dealing with my wife’s Outback that I bought my Diesel Beetle from the other side of the same dealership.)


  4. Nice choice. Subaru always score very highly on customer satisfaction. 2nd only to Toyota. Personally, I like the new Legacy.

  5. WebSwim, yes Toyota owners are also super happy, but Toyota scores at the bottom of the barrel in safety ratings, which is what ultimately steered us away from the RAV.

  6. Hey David –

    The Element and the CR-V were both on our lists. We dropped Element fairly early on because it just wasn’t for us. We wanted a bit more comfort, a bit less dance hall. The CR-V and the Element are actually different bodies on the same chassis, so they’re very similar. One thing I didn’t like about either of them — and this is fairly minor — was the dash and interior trim, which seemed to have a slightly cheap, “Rubbermaid” feel to it, and I didn’t like the aluminium rings around the dials, which felt like costume jewelry, and we didn’t like having the hand brake on the center console.

    All of that is fairly minor, but in the end the Subarus just made more sense for us. But we’re old :)

  7. I almost got a Subaru. Ended up going for an Opel Vectra in the end though – almost got a Peugeot 206Gti before that also, but my feet were too big for the pedals.

    Now I have no car and use auto-rickshaws to get around – much cheaper :)

  8. i am a globophobic
    how do you cure globophobia without hypnosis and mind games? i cannot seem to find a way.

  9. is there any way you can help yourself? i’m embarrased in my class because someone popped a balloon and i had to leave.

  10. Balloons scare me, because when I was little I opened a closet at my grandma’s house and this giant smileyface balloon popped out at me. o_o I wasn’t expecting it, and it literally flew out into my face… yeah. That’s why I don’t like them.

  11. These people should be able to help you out. NLP is kind of a “Mind Game”, but it DOES work, and FAST too.


  12. What is NLP? I have tried EMDR and TFT and hypnosis – and nothing has helped…


  13. Hahaha I have globeophobia… I dont know why but as I can remember i used to like them but then one day …. keep them the eff AWAY from me! I dont like the taught-ness…? of the balloon….what if it pops… i just dont like them !
    gahhh gives me shivers thinking about it!

  14. I have globophobia. I never knew what it was called until recently. All I know is that ever since I can remember, when I see a balloon, I start having a panic attack. And it’s not that I’m scared of them popping. I don’t know what it is. But that’s why it’s a phobia .. it’s an irrational fear.

  15. Lucy – Fascinating. You’re right – phobias aren’t rational – otherwise they wouldn’t be phobias. Best of luck to you.

  16. I am a teenager..and I’ve had globophobia all of my life. I HATE balloons, and I have panic attacks whenever I’m around them. I’ve had this since I was a little kid. There’s a tape of someone’s birthday party..and you can hear me in the background screaming and crying because there’s a balloon on the screen :(

    NOT a fun phobia!

  17. I met someone who had a fear of balloons and it was bizzare. I didnt believe him at first but he was hyperventilating and acting really agitated when I held one (not blown up yet).

  18. I’ve been afraid of balloons my entire life. Please visit my website and read my story, share your own, and read those of others who suffer from this phobia.

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