So another thing that terrified me when I was a kid was this:
When I was in grade two or thereabouts, I got some lovely small glass bottles from Science City and proceeded to pretend to be a hardboiled detective and take dramatic swigs from them (while writing down secrets notes and smoking a pencil—oldtimey movies on PBS warp children way more than video games and communism) and inevitably the whole thing ended in disaster when I polished off a shot of earwig.
So in public school, I was haunted by the idea that earwigs wanted to get inside my head.
My mother, a resourceful, creative, and patient parent, proved herself to be a veritable genius when responding to my earwig/science-fiction eel-in-brain phobia. She made up a story about a young boy who was very lonely. One day, she said, this boy met a young earwig who was also very lonely. The young earwig then crawled inside the little boy's head. From that point on, they went everywhere together and the two of them became the best of friends.
Bizarrely enough, because of my mother's storytelling intervention, I went from fearing that a devious crawly thing would slither inside my ear to feeling like no human relationship would ever be as intimate or as fulfilling as one between a boy and his brain bug.