Ready for this week's dose of "you seriously can't make this stuff up"? A home owner named Paul Marinaccio from upstate New York was just awarded $1.6 million in a lawsuit against the town and a developer -- all because his property was flooded, which ultimately led to a bunch of frogs taking up residence near his house.
Ok, so I'm sure you're wondering what frogs have to do with the whole deal. As it turns out, this poor guy has an intense phobia of frogs -- to the point where he literally became afraid to go outside for fear of encountering the jumping, slimy, bug-eyed creatures.
Apparently when he was a kid, he was chased by a man who was shaking bullfrogs at him. And he's been phobic ever since. Like really, really afraid.
During his testimony in the case, Paul said, "You people don’t understand. I am petrified. I go home at night, and I can't get in my garage because of the frogs. They're right in front of the damn door, OK? In the winter, it’s OK, because I know there's no frogs. But in the summertime, I mean I’m a damn prisoner in my own home."
In addition to the nice wad of cash he'll be receiving, Paul was no doubt relieved to hear that the town is planning on putting in a drainage channel to help get rid of the frogs.
OMG. When I first heard this story, I had to laugh, well, because the poor dude has a phobia of frogs. But then I thought about my own strange and ridiculous fear, and I realized if I were in his shoes, I probably would've freaked out too.
And now I'm wondering who I can sue over the butterflies that flutter around like little devils during the spring and summer in my neighborhood.
Yes, I said butterflies. I'm 35 years old, and I'm absolutely, 100 percent terrified of butterflies. And when I say terrified, I mean when I see one, I can't breathe. Or speak. Or run. Or do anything but shake and cry. As strange as it is, it's a phobia in every sense of the word, and there's nothing I can do about it.
When I was around a year old, my mother was pushing me in the stroller, and a butterfly flew in my face, and it scared me, and I cried. Ever since that day, I've been horribly afraid of them. (Honestly, the simple act of writing about them is giving me the heebie-jeebies right now.)
And you can bet your bottom dollar that if any of my neighbors ever attempt to put in a butterfly bush, one of two things will happen. Either it will magically be sprayed with weed killer by an unknown source in the middle of the night, or after hearing frog man's story -- maybe I'll just go ahead and sue them for infliction of emotional distress.
I'm being totally serious. (Try me.)
Do you have any strange phobias?
Image via Meneer Zjeroen/Flickr