Breaking The Mould

I once worked with a lad who had an intense phobia of mould. As phobias go, you're really asserting your individuality with that kind of esoteric fear. All the regular plebs follow the herd with their nightmares about spiders, heights, clowns and Graham Norton. But when you're standing up on a stool shrieking because the loaf of bread you just opened turned out to be unexpectedly verdant with fluff, you can claim to be an interesting person in a way that is beyond 99.9% of the population.

Not that I'm making fun; everyone has their own personal phobia, and I fully believe that we should be respectful and considerate of the irrational fears of others (and for people who break this rule, there should be no mercy shown when you find out exactly what it is that has them in a cold sweat at night). But on discovering this co-worker's aversion, I found myself immediately pondering how lucky we were, historically, that it was him who developed this phobia and not Sir Alexander Fleming. Because 20th century medicine would have been moderately fucked if Fleming's reaction to a mouldy sandwich destroying all bacteria in its radius had not been "Ah! I do believe I'll call this penicillin," but rather "AAAAAAAAAAARGH! GET IT AWAY! KILL IT! BURN IT! SEND IT TO HELL!" Shrieked whilst standing on a laboratory stool.

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