So I’ve been quiet for a while and it’s because of a few things.
1) Strapped Down is in the hands of beta readers and so there is not much say about that until I get it back (eagerly waiting for feedback).
2) It was my 30th birthday, which turned into a birthday fortnight as my friends were coming in from out of town to celebrate a couple of weeks late.
3) I am writing another unrelated book while I wait on Strapped Down to come back to me. It keeps me sane. More on that in the future. This one will be a stand alone and it’s a little more tongue-in-cheek than Strapped. It has a great name (I think) and I can’t wait to share all that with you soon.
In the meantime, I thought I would give you a glimpse into the last night of my birthday fortnight because it got a little out of control but not in the way I imagined.
So let me preface this with the fact that I like to be freaked out. You name it, horror movies, thrillers, gore, I love that shit. One of the things I have wanted to do for a while was go to a really good haunted house. Last year I googled it at the last minute and asked my husband if he wanted to go (already knowing what the answer would be): Hell to the mutha fukin no!
My husband is fun and one of the funniest people I know, but he is also the human version of grumpy cat. Like seriously, he doesn’t like to do things. Mostly because he just doesn’t get them and he is extremely introverted. I think my fav grumpy cat meme that summed him up to the point where he even laughed his ass off was the one that said:
Miraculously I have convinced him to go ice skating, row a boat, and see the play Rent among some other things. He didn’t make it through Rent. Seriously, he left during intermission and went shopping. It’s cool, we have an understanding as we are both very independent souls and don’t take those things personally. When we rented the row boat, he purposely kept rowing it into the bank because he was miserable, but it backfired because I thought it was hilarious. As far as ice skating, he seemed to be having fun, but he was done after about 20 minutes and when I told him he looked like he was having fun he said: “It was okay.”
He has the unique ability to suck the fun out of any activity in a way that is also hilarious.
A few examples:
“I don’t want to go camping. Why would I pay to act homeless?”
“I don’t understand this obsession you have with getting a rowboat in central park. We are going to pay to do physical labor and go around in circles for an hour.”
And finally. “I have no interest in going to haunted house. It makes no sense to pay people to scare you. That’s why we have the police and live in a nice neighborhood, to prevent that from happening.”
Needless to say, he would NOT go to the haunted cornfield that I found. I don’t scare easily and I thought this might be the thing to do it.
So when my girlfriends came to town I thought hell, let’s go!
I totally understand why people die in the woods in scary movies now.
So we left the men behind as they watched Blackfish and drove to the outskirts of the city to what looked like an innocuous low budget production. This might be lame, I thought to myself.
As we walked down the path to buy tickets a conversation ensued a little bit like this:
“Have you seen Z? One of her tits is the size of my head now.” (I know this sounds petty, but Z is a psycho, so it’s okay).
“Well, that’s what she gets for calling other people ugly for all those…sweet baby jesus of Nazareth!” Some man jumped out of the darkness and I thought perfect, we are the petty bitches who get murdered in the movie without anyone shedding a tear.
We arrive to the ticket booth, where one of my friends politely greet the ticket booth lady, but she’s not having it, doesn’t even crack a smile. In retrospect, maybe it was an act…no, she was just disgruntled.
So we made our way down the dark field to a giant tent where we read the warnings about heart conditions and the like. Finally a man dressed like a zombie or something comes to retrieve us. I shit you not, he was about 6’6″ and maybe 500 pounds. He again recited all the liability stuff to us and then sent us on our way into a dark cornfield.
The rest was pretty much hell on earth. The first house was pitch black and we had to feel our way through it as people screamed and jumped out at us. We exited it to the longest part of the cornfield maze where someone chased us the whole way. He was glued to our asses the entire effin’ time.
Now I know intellectually it was a high schooler making $7 an hour, but autonomically my body was saying holyshitfuckducksuckbloodyhell he is going to kill us! We went through some other houses (they advertise 3, but it’s more like 5 or 6, those bastads). Girls dressed as dead bodies eerily held hands and walked into us in silence, there was even a chainsaw. Well I didn’t look back, but the motor was running right behind us and we smelled gasoline. I assume there was no blade, but at that moment I don’t know shit about tools and that sound took me back to Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
There was a fucking CLOWN house. It wasn’t dark because who fucking needs darkness when you are surrounded by evil clowns? Inside the clown house was a maze made from chain link and they would rattle the fences in an effort to get you to soil yourself.
Somewhere along the line, I noticed one of my friends was losing it. Like panic attack losing her shit. She had her eyes closed, ears covered, had me and my other friend in a Vulcan death grip, and was murmuring to herself to get through it. Then she quit. She literally could not take another step. Unlike other venues, there was no obvious way to get around it. Finally we found someone who looked like a decrepit version of the Scream guy who would not break character, but said in a creepy voice he would take her.
My other friend and I looked at each other and offered to leave with her. We could just forget the rest of it.
“No! Just go ahead. I’ll wait for you at the end,” she said valiantly.
“Well, here, have my keys. You can make it to the car and lock the doors.” Shit was getting real. If this was real, she would have locked herself in the car and then one of our decapitated heads would have slammed into a window minutes later. Then she would have run out into the cornfield, fallen, and met her death.
And with that, we let the creepy guy take her into the darkness of the alternate path on the cornfield. He’ll take good care of her.* The problem was no one would take her directly to the end, they would take her around a house and drop her off at the next entrance, those people didn’t know she was panicking and would then scare the shit out of her again. They were all trained really well not to break character and because she was trying to stay calm externally and not make the panic attack worse, they all thought she was just a normal-terrified person and prowled on her more.
She continued to insist that we stay on track as she found ways to keep skipping the houses. Finally, at the end, she was with another giant man who finally figured out that she was about to lose her shit and he swatted away the zombies and dead people like flies. They were relentless though.
We got the fuck out of there. Panicked friend was doing breathing exercises in the back of the car while I was on a type of crazy adrenaline high that caused me to drive like a crazy banshee hitting 85mph on a 65mph freeway to the nearest hookah bar. Doses of alcohol were necessary for all.
I lost my hat dammit. I ran so fast that I didn’t realize it was gone until we were all the way back home. I like hats, particularly berets, husband calls them Pierre hats and he wants to burn them all. This one was grey with flecks of white. I will forever mourn you Pierre hat #23, but I am not going back to that godforsaken barn of demon children to get it back.
We stayed out until about 2am and we were certain that the guys would be asleep by then, but to our surprise they weren’t. When we came upstairs to the living room, we asked them what they had been doing all night.
“We’re having a Tyler Perry marathon.”
And that my friends, might have been the scariest part of the night.
*Panicked friend later told us that the first guy that took her around the house would still not break character even when they were alone in the cornfield. She told him he needed to stop the creepy voice as it was fueling the panic attack. He kept doing the creepy, raspy, low voice. Finally after she insisted a few times he asked “really?” in a high pitched voice.