"Oh my gosh.. are you ticklish?" This might sound like a casual, innocent question to anyone else, but to a ticklish person, it is the first sign of an oncoming apocalypse. You have one of two options: tell the truth, and endure the inevitable tickling that follows; or lie, and know that being found out will lead to a tickle attack that is much worse. For some reason, people think that it is hilarious to prod laughter out of ticklish people through horse bites and strategically placed pokes, and when you think about it, we're all guilty of it: Who among us can claim that they have never tickled a baby's toes to hear that adorable sound that they make? Only when you're an adult, tickling unsuspecting people isn't so cute anymore.
And it turns out, sometimes tickling is no laughing matter, if you remember that there is a serial tickler still at large in Boston who breaks into homes and wakes people up by tickling their feet. I'm guessing he's never done it to anyone as ticklish as I am, or I would have accidentally kicked him in the face before I even woke up and the case would have been solved years ago. Aside from the potential to bring tickling criminals to justice, however, most parts of being ticklish are awful. These are a few of the struggles that all ticklish people are familiar with:
Every Pedicurist In Your Town Hates You
The actual inspiration for this article came a few days ago when I got my first ever pedicure (read: was bullied into getting my first ever pedicure), even though I knew exactly what would happen. Sure enough, I proceeded to spend most of it holding my breath so I wouldn't howl out loud laughing while the woman tickled the ever-loving crap out of me.
Sometimes Even The Seams Of Your Own Clothes Tickle You
Are there tiny creatures with tiny fingers on the insides of my clothes? What is the deal here?
If Someone Horsebites You, You Fall Down The Stairs
Even if there aren't any stairs in the vicinity, you will somehow roll over in tickle agony and continue to roll and roll until you find a set and tumble down it.
Intimacy Is Nearly Impossible
At least, it is until you know the person well enough to anticipate what they'll do, and for them to know how to touch you without triggering a tickle fit. The first time I tried to even cuddle with someone intimately I was laughing literally through all of it. When somebody kisses me for the first time and dares to touch my hips, I automatically cackle into his mouth. DO YOU EVEN KNOW HOW MANY SUITORS MY TICKLISHNESS HAS SCARED AWAY?!
You Constantly Think There Is A Bug On You (And There Never Is)
At this point, I've slapped my phantom-tickled arms and legs in public often enough that everybody probably thinks I'm an insane person.
People Will Use It To Tease You
WOW! I'm glad that you're so bored with your life that your only entertainment is watching me writhe and make pained, demonic noises.
Even Worse People Will Use It To Threaten You
Now, the first time someone tickles me, I just say "DON'T EVER DO THAT" so sternly and seriously that they think I am kidding, and then realize (with mild horror) that I am not. I hate to freak them out with the seriousness of my warning, but I really do not like being tickled, especially in coercion, and I find that the only way to get this across is by being really mean about it the first time.
For Some Reason, Your Friends Feel The Need To Tell Everyone You're Ticklish
I was scared when I wrote this that I'd be "outed" and everyone would use it an excuse to tickle me, and then I realized: everybody already knows. Because if one person in your friend group knows, the rest of them will know within an hour. You are a beacon of tickling torture and nobody can save you now.
Images: PBS; Giphy (8)