I Have a Fish Phobia and I Told My Wife If You Eat itI Just Won't Ever Kiss You
Byline: By Tryst Williams Western Mail
For most people, the prospect of scary fish is confined to classic shark-infested horror movies like Jaws . But for unfortunate father- of-two Gareth Brennan, just the merest whiff of a fish finger was enough to send him into paroxysms of fear and reaching for a sick bag. Now, the professional singer has finally been helped through his bizarre phobia by a TV show. Mr Brennan who lives on the coast at Port Talbot, said the irrational fear had caused him many excruciating moments throughout his adult life. The 29-year-old said, 'On the second date with my wife-to-be, when I was 23, I told her, 'I have a phobia of fish and if you ever eat it, I don't think I'll be able to kiss you again.'
'It's caused me a lot of embarrassment. Once, I was halfway through my performance at a wedding when I saw a guest eating a prawn cocktail. I started trembling and started to retch. 'I had to run off stage. I later told the audience I had needed the toilet, as I was too humiliated to tell them I was scared of a prawn.
'Another time, my wife and I were in a brasserie when I saw a man eating an oyster. I was sick on the spot. We just ate out at burger bars after that.'
The tagline for Jaws may have read, 'Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water', but Mr Brennan often struggled just to force himself back into the local shops.
'I would only use supermarkets I was familiar with,' he said, 'So that I would not accidentally come face-to-face with a fish.'
Even mealtimes became fraught, as he fretted about cooking for daughter Dayna, four, and nine-month-old Sophie.
'I was ruled by my fear,' he added. 'Dayna loves fish fingers, but just the smell of them on her breath would make me vomit.'
Mr Brennan's debilitating fear - known to experts as ichthyophobia - stems back to his early childhood, when he used to watch his father, a keen angler, gutting and cleaning his catch.
'When I was about seven,' he explained, 'I started to be aware that the smell of fish was lingering. I would sniff cups and plates, and if I noticed the faintest whiff I would not be able to use them.
'Soon I was trembling and throwing up at the sight of fish. My dad had to stop eating and catching it. …