Catfish. Out to get us all.

It’s always annoying when people hear about my phobia.  It’s usually in a food situation that goes something like “oh, Sheena, aren’t you having any prawns?” as if I’m mortally offending them by being difficult.  I’m not being difficult.  If you’re having a seafood braai, great for you! But don’t expect me to arrive with a smile on my face.  Or even at all.

It’s not just the foul smell fish emit, it’s not even that they were living creatures once, I’ll happily suck on a steak which was once named Daisy.  But please, for the love of all things… erm, lovely, don’t fucking ask me to eat/smell/see/watch/order fish.  Or admire your tank.  Or look at how big your (shiver) koi are getting in the pond.  I don’t care, I promise. That goes for those horrible little prawns and lobster things too.

Because, quite frankly, it fucking terrifies the living bejezus out of me.  Anything that swims 24/7 without blinking an eyelid is from the devil.  Fact.  The scales, the tails, the agility, the sneaky, devilish, weird fucking scary evilness of all things fish, freak me the fuck out.

And now, because my dear friend Justin (who has incidentally moved to Hoburg – YAY!) sat on Jon’s couch yesterday telling me about killer catfish, I am having nightmares.  So vivid, in fact, that I spent the better part of two hours googling “killer catfish”, “can catfish grow legs and eat me”, “will catfish ever become extinct”, “giant mutant catfish” and, my personal favourite – the one that got me the best results, “human remains found in 20 ft catfish, images” that I shall now not ever be able to sleep in peace again.  Let alone braai on the riverside like I used to be fond of doing. I mean, really, click this link and tell me you’re not freaked out.


That, my friends, is a catfish.


Jose looked on as Jorge told Jesus about his new pets agility.


Oh, hello. I just fucking died.

And it’s not just the big ones to be afraid of either, hey.  Oh no – there are little invisible ones that shoot up your pee stream when you wee into the river, into your genitals and up through the urethra, only to LITERALLY, eat you from the inside out.  One time, on a show called River Monsters or something (Discovery Channel, I believe) they found a human that looked like he’d been shot full of bullet holes.  He hadn’t.  It was these terrible fuckers, them tiny catfish that eat your organs, veins, alles.  The dude was nothing but skin and bone, with nothing else inside.  An empty shell.  I shit you not!

Anyway.  Ja.  My phobia?  Fuck off if you laugh at me, it’s not irrational.  I’ve just proved it.

*These images?  I think I deserve ten points and a brownie for examining them with a morbid fascination and curiosity.  Except, I’ve only reaffirmed my fear of all natural water.  I’ll stick to chlorine swimming pools, thanks.



  1. Rox says:

    I totally hear you chick, except my phobia was always with giant lizards, especially komodo dragons. I don’t even know where it started, but will bet it was the SA Museum when I was like three years old – those dinosaur models used to scare the shit out of me!

    The funny part is that despite being terrified and repulsed by the things, I know SO MUCH about them – too much even. I went through a phase where I was borderline obsessed with them, had to know as much as I could, and as luck would have it, they were on TV like every Sunday afternoon or something like that and I got to watch them with my hands over my eyes.

    I’m also very grossed out and more than a little spooked by giant fish – khoi would not be zen at all for me, I would be too freaked out to feed the damn things. Cat fish, am iffy – sharks and many other things with teeth for some reason are fine… but giant lizards? Hell no.

  2. dawn says:

    Prawns make me wanna puke.. as does sushi.. prawns used to be my hubby’s favourite meal.. Haaaaai shame, ne?

  3. Taryn says:

    A friend told me about a Kai Thai opening somewhere in Sandton, where you sit in water and let fish eat the dead skin and stuff off the soles of your feet. Tell me that’s normal?
    While I’ve swam with whale sharks (who are nothing but giant catfish in a way) and all that, I’ve got to say, “hand me a pumice stone baby, those fishies aren’t getting near my toes!”

  4. Angel says:

    You are totally entitled to your phobia darling Sheen.
    That first picture, however, is of a small whale shark- not a cat fish.
    Yes, I am a nazi for shite like that.

  5. flarkus says:

    And the kicker is: certain catfish are able waddle over dry land to get to a new body of water. Ain’t it cute?

  6. Tara says:

    Um, that top pic; it’s not a catfish. It’s a whale shark (the spots and ridges give it away). Same difference to you I know. But still. Pedantics Anonymous over here.

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