A Halloween Tale.

I’m listening to The Ting Tings right at work right now. Golly gosh, they’re a peppy band. Especially “That’s Not My Name” and “Fruit Machine.” Actually, all the songs are good so far. If you like boogie-ing around your house whilst emptying the dishwasher, this is excellent music for that.

There’s an email that went around work last week:

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There were many responses to this of the “Count me in!” and “I’m there!” variety. And it reminded me of a tale, a personal experience I’ve had with haunted houses. Many of you have heard this tale, but it’s a delightful tale with a moral (don’t pretend to be someone you’re not, because if you do, you’re going to look like a total loser). Gather around children, here we go.

I started dating Cricket in August, so we were still trying to be on our best behavior in October. His ex-wife had mentioned to him that she had gone to the Playland haunted house and it was cool because there were live people in it that came out at you. Cricket said we should go, and I, being a complete and total dumbass, said, “Sure! I iz not fraidy cat!” So we showed up one night and stood in line. While standing in line they had loudspeakers playing the standard horror fare: screams, creepy laughter, creaking and slamming noises. All of that was fine. What really freaks me out is children and anything child-related. You know, when the guy is going into a dark room and they play some notes on that tinkly little kid piano? Or a little kid is singing softly and off-key in the background? Or they show a toy with big staring eyes? AAAAAAhhhhhhhAAAAAAAhhhhhhaaahhhhhh. So we’re standing there paying for our tickets and on the loudspeaker I hear in a sweet tiny voice, “Mommy? Mommy? Where are you, Mommy? Help me find my mommy.” And then with no warning it switched to THE MOST DEMONIC VOICE EVER, all grating and evil, “HELP ME FIND MY MOMMY.”

Oh, that was the end of that. I shrieked, “I CAN’T DO THIS,” and took off for my car on the other side of the parking lot. Cricket grabbed the back of my coat and I shimmied out of that like I was covered in Crisco and kept bookin’ it like my hinter was engulfed in flames. I am not kidding. I ran to my own car, forgetting that my keys were in the pocket of the coat that Cricket was now holding in his hand back at the entrance, and started banging on the windows of my car screaming, “LET ME IN!” My own car. Cricket slowly sauntered over and explained that we had just paid thirteen dollars a person for this and we were going. I looked up and I had crazy twitchy eye going and was shivering with fear and I shrilly and briskly informed him that I would be going nowhere except home and this was not happening and he could take me in there NEVER. That’s when. NEVER. I probably used a plethora of curse words as well. I must have looked completely daft. Cricket, being the frugal creature I have grown to love, informed me that I had to take the tickets we had bought mere minutes ago and sell them to someone else in line. I would have sold a kidney if it got me the hell out of there, so I went back to the line and sold my tickets to someone else, sheepishly explaining my reason. They were cool and by the time I got back to the car (Cricket had let himself in with the keys in my pocket) I felt like a complete tool. Cricket proceeded to laugh at me for quite some time after that. There was much mockery at my expense, which could have been avoided had I just said, “No,” when he asked if I wanted to go to the haunted house.

So children, when you receive an invitation such as the email above, think long and hard about how much of a weenie you are comfortable looking like, otherwise you will have a humbling tale like mine.

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