Photo cred - Jean-Philippe Castonguay
There are many types of phobias in the world. The fear of small spaces, or the fear of spiders, or of heights, for example. These fears are usually disproportional to the actual danger posed, in most cases, and often considered as irrational. This can lead to significant interference in the normal functioning of social or occupational activities.
Then there are Montreal phobias. There is no avoiding Montreal phobias. We live in constant fear of these things everyday and there's nothing we can do about it. Just gotta suck it up and pray that we will live to see another day.
1. Being crammed in the metro
Taking the metro is already not very fun. It's deep underground, there's germs galore, you never know if it's going to suddenly break down, but those times when you get crammed in a packed metro and you barely have enough room to scratch your nose, let alone breath, can be pretty terrifying. Combine that with breaking down randomly while you're in a tunnel, and you have potential for a full-blown freak-out.
Photo cred - QUΔΠ ΠGUΨΣΠ
2. Traffic on Decarie Expressway
The Decarie Expressway is definitely useful for getting from one end of the city to the other, but you just never know what awaits you in those trenches. It can be moving smoothly one minute, and then all of a sudden it's one big cluster-fuck all the way to the 40. The thing is, you just never know, and once your in, there's no way out!
3. Making a fool of yourself when speaking French/English
The fear of making a fool of yourself in general is pretty much always there in this city full of cool kids, but the added terror associated with doing so when speaking a language you're not comfortable with is even scarier. You can be the smoothest of operators when chatting it up with your close friends, but as soon as you have an important interview, or you're hanging out with co-workers, or have to call up somewhere for information and need to bust out your second language skills, you freeze up and immediately imagine the worse, like pantomiming to get your point across.
4. Getting mistaken for a rioter
In recent years, there has been a growing trend of city-wide protesting, with Montrealers taking to the streets in large numbers. With massive congregating groups comes a need for police presence, more specifically, riot police. Already pretty terrifying on their own, passing by a riot cop during an ongoing protest instantly spikes your adrenaline as you wonder if you're suddenly going to be taken down, protester or not.
Whether it's the extreme cold, the never ending snow, the black ice, or the monster mechanical street cleaners out to get you, winter is just straight up scary, even though we face it every, single, year. We'll always be afraid of winter, and don't even get me started on the threat of outdoor staircases after a blizzard.
6. Getting stranded in the West Island
The West Island is nice and all, you know, to visit, for a friend's barbecue, or to take advantage of all the sport facilities, or to get muffed up at a killer house party. But after it's all been said and done, the fear of getting stuck out there is a very clear and present danger. The only thing scarier, really, is the subsequent realization that you will need to take the night bus back to the city.
If you support sovereignty, this obviously doesn't apply to you, but the threat of Quebec separating is something that weighs heavy on the minds of many Montrealers. Just the mere mention of a referendum is enough to induce panic attacks and cold sweats in even the most hardened individuals. Divorce is traumatizing, yo.
8. Running out of beer at Tams
There's nowhere quite as magical as the Tams in the summertime, amirite? It's a beautiful day, you've set up in the perfect spot and you have made yourself super comfortable. But after a few hours go by, anxiety sets in as you suddenly realize you are running low on beer. Getting up to go all the way to the closest dep means serious FOMO consequences.
9. The Leafs winning the Cup
One of the most irrational fears known to man is the possibility of the Maple Leafs winning a Stanley Cup again. As unlikely as that is to ever happen, Montrealers will sometimes feel their heart rate rise when the Leafs are somehow in playoff contention. It's normal, it's a scary thought. The Leafs haven't won a championship since 1967. Please, let's keep it that way .
10. Carey Price Getting Traded
Not since Patrick Roy has Montreal had a goalie as important and as significant as Carey Price. He is easily the best goalie in the world and he gives the Habs a fighting chance every time he plays. He is our rock on most nights and the thought of losing him to another team is truly horrifying. Remember when we almost kept Halak instead of Price back in 2009?
11. Being called a hipster
As stylish and as hip as we all are, one thing that gives Montrealers the creeps is being referred to as an actual hipster. In all fairness, we are all part hipster, but the actual connotation sends chills down our spine.
12. Summer never returning
Every year, winter comes and utterly squashes our warm, friendly, summer paradise with frigid temperatures, heaps of snow, ice, darkness, dreariness, well you get the point. As the days turn into weeks, and the weeks into months, an unsettling fear starts festering in our souls. We begin to wonder if summer was ever real, and if it was, could it ever exist again. The possibility that winter might never end is the worst nightmare there ever was.