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Dendrophobia (fear of trees) Pognophobia (fear of beards) and claurophobia (fear of clowns) are all recognised conditions, but fear of soup, that's a joke surely? Not so, there are people out there with an irrational fear of soup, they start panic breathing and go ito a sweat when confronted with cream of tomato. Boggart Blog' Ian R. Thorpe has a fear of taking anything seriously as you will read here.

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Fear Of Soup

There are few plus points about being disabled but one of them is the bizarre stories that can be picked up by watching daytime television. This week one of the daytime shows has been running a series of features on irrational fears. The strangest case reported on was that of a woman who has a fear of soup.

?..?

A fear of soup?

Yes, she starts sweating and panic breathing when she sees a tin of Heinz Cream Of Tomato and even gets twitch when shown a cuppasoup in its packet though technically cuppasoup is not soup but a chemical cocktail. So irrational is this woman's fear there is not even a name for it. Pognophobia (fear of beards) dendrophobia (fear of trees) and claurophobia (fear of clowns) are all recognised and fairly common conditions and we think claurophobia will be a lot more common by the time Psychoville has completed its run.

Less well known perhaps are Aibophobia (fear of palindromes - I didn't make it up, I'm on the level) A well known palindrome is Nun so a person with Aibophobia and Cloisterophobia (fear of Nuns will be in real trouble if they ever go near a convent.)

Competitive types may be at risk of developing Kakorrhaphiophobia, a fear of defeat. How great would it be if that came up as the tie break question in the pub quiz at the Meritocrats' Arms?

We digress however. Fear of Soup does not have a name. We suggest Potageophobia or mulligatawneyphobia or cockaleekiephobia might be appropriate and slide off the tongue easily but this does not help us with our problem. How could anybody become afraid of soup and how could that fear be so indiscriminate. There is a world of difference between a bowl of chicken and sweetcorn at the local Chinese restaurant and a tureen of Brown Windsor at a formal dinner.

One soup I have often found disturbing but never frightening is Baxter's Country Vegetable. This is perhaps because it slides out of the tin in a solid mass making a squelchy sound as it does so and then it lies in the pan like a dollop of congealed sick. It is the most ugly, repulsive food ever devised. Tripe looks better. When actors have to throw up in films or on TV it is Baxters Country Vegetable they use. Don't let anyone tell you actors don't deserve the obscene fees they are paid. The never know when the script will call on them to regurgitate mouthfuls of cold Baxters Country Vegetable soup. And yet, to the best of our knowledge none has ever developed a fear of soup.

After scouring my memory I can honestly say the only soup that has ever made me feel even slightly apprehensive was the Skink (fish soup) at the Slingerbulten Restaurant in Stockholm. Yes it is a real place or at least was in 1997.

The Slingerbulten Skink was a thick creamy soup, more like a chowder really, and it was not unusual to see eyes staring up at you from the surface. Not just staring but rolling around and blinking. Nobody ever dared think about what monsters of the abyss might be lurking in the murky depths of the bowl.

It tasted absolutely delicious though.

Hard as it is to imagine how somebody might become afraid of soup the poor woman from daytime TV deserves our sympathy. Never to know the satisfaction of dipping a lump of crusty bread into a steaming bowl of oxtail or lentil and bacon after a brisk walk on a cold day is sad enough but the thought of missing out on an opportunity to sample Slingerbulten skink is too sad to contemplate.

Having said that, the skink did often induce bouts of sweating and breathlessness. The chef had a rather cavalier approach to seasoning.

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