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Nothing to fear but phobias

Some pretty strange confessions have been made in the TES online staffroom over the years, but conversation has now turned to phobias.

Not your usual phobias, mind - although there are plenty who are scared of spiders, snakes and dentists - but fears of things like wooden spoons and feather dusters.

Corrina86 has a phobia of sauces and admits that "the sight and smell of these makes me retch!" For amy_bladen, wet wood has the same effect.

Others admit to a fear of buttons, meaning they are unable to wear clothes which have them. Bananas are also mentioned by several forum users, including Eva_Smith, who also has a fear of nuts - "My boyfriend thinks it's Freudian things . bananas and nuts," she confides.

But perhaps reddymade has the strangest fear, admitting to "a huge phobia of the Eiffel Tower, which has been with me since age three".

Elsewhere, discussion has turned to stories of strange and unfortunate dates. Bex2606 was once set up with a guy who "spent the whole date telling me about the differences between Star Trek and Star Wars in detail. This date lasted for over three hours!" Unlucky!

But at least bex2606's date spoke; jellycowfish's barely said a word for an hour and a half and then declared that "he found it amazing that my eyes moved". Needless to say, there was no date number two for him.

Milkandchalk seems to have had her fair share of awful dates and recalls several, including "one that brought his mum along" and one that invited her to a swingers' party. Oh dear.

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