My Greatest Fear #9

Did you ever have someone of authority tell you something when you were a child that you now know is absolutely ludicrous, and yet you can’t let go of it? Today’s greatest fear is one of those things.

Back in my fourth grade science class, my teacher told us a scary story. She told us that she knew a child who once put an ice cube in a glass of warm water. The ice cube shattered, sending a shard of ice into the child’s eye, permanently blinding him.

Yeah, that’s scary stuff for a fourth grader. I took it to heart. Ever since that day, just to be on the safe side, I look away when I put ice in a glass of water. In fact, when I was younger, I used to duck down below the height of the glass and quickly drop the ice in before withdrawing my hand. Just in case. Just in case.

Now, in all these years, never once has ice shattered in the manner that my science teacher described. Not one time. And yet to this day I try to prevent ice blindness.

Do you have a story like this, something crazy that someone told you when you were younger that you know doesn’t make sense but just in case you avoid endangering yourself anyway?

14 thoughts on “My Greatest Fear #9”

  1. Toilets in other peoples houses were always rigged to explode when flushed. This was my own realization. To be safe, you have to flush and run out of the room before the explosion happens.

    • I’ve never heard of this one–rigged to explode? Are you sure that’s a toilet issue and not a GI issue?

  2. I feel very badly telling you this, but I’ve had a version of the above-described occur. When I used to work at a restaurant, the glasses would come out from the dish pit, piping hot. I put a big scoop of ice in one and it shattered everywhere. Not in my eyes, luckily, but some of the glass got in the ice bin and had to be completely cleaned out.

    So it’s not totally crazy!

    • Your version is even scarier than my version! Although I guess splintered glass and splintered ice have essentially the same impact. Glad you’re okay!

  3. when i was in first grade, my classmates and i were being corralled into a school bus for a visit to the mummy exhibit at the museum of natural history in denver. my teacher–mrs lohman, how i despise(d) you–warned us that if we stood still for too long on the escalators at the museum our feet would get stuck.

    go figure.

      • out of fear i think i root them to the ground until the last possible second….

        seems mrs lohman has had the last laugh.

  4. I worked as a waitress also, and like Penelope, had a hot glass shatter (above the ice bin, of course) when too cold substances were put into it. The quick, intense change of temperature can shatter glass…but I don’t think a couple of ice cubes in warm water can get it done!

    I run up stairs from the basement to the first floor. You know, in case the monsters creep out of the dark and give chase.

    • It is true that one out of three households contain monsters/demons in the basement. Another good reason to buy a condo.

  5. I’m with Penelope and Trish in the waitress world and have actually seen it happen. I never got the part where the glasses burst, but would see a huge crack appear and throw it away.

    Your glass cracking prevention is not stupid and appreciated, Jamey.

    • I believe it. I never saw that while working as a waiter, but I do remember one instance where someone cracked a glass in the ice bin, didn’t say anything, and later a customer swallowed the glass/ice and had to be hospitalized.

  6. There’s a stream nearby which has a sheet of metal acting as a bridge from one side to the other. It’s not deep in the woods, but far enough from civilization that falling in would not be advisable – and this is where there are rats the size of small cats and dogs. Every time I have to cross the “bridge” I run like a madman from one side to the other, even though it is only a matter of a few feet across. My long-held belief is that only luck is holding the damn thing together, and one of these days I’ll be halfway across and it will snap. It’s not a completely unfounded fear, but it is probably a touch over-the-top considering that other people cross it with no such qualms.


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