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The time I was asked to leave a Haunted House

October 31, 2012 Leave a comment

So with Halloween looming I thought I’d share a lovely/teen angsty story about me and horror. I’ll start by saying I scare incredibly easily. I still vividly remember being 7 and seeing a horror movie promo on TV where one of the characters is shown having their life force sucked out through their face. Just to give you a scale of my scaredy-catness, after witnessing that I wore a scarf on my face for two months when I slept to protect myself from probable soul sucking monsters. To this day, I can’t handle scary movies. I become a koala-esque animal that clings onto the nearest person like a eucalyptus tree with white knuckled claws…It can be uncomfortable for all involved.

Fear is not a fun feeling for me. It’s not a rush, and I hate the feeling of needing to protect myself.

What I want to know, that has NEVER been properly explained to me is: Why do people enjoy being scared? I don’t like it and I don’t know why people seek it out. I do most everything to avoid fear but:

In highschool, I agreed to go to a haunted house.

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Nether-again

The name of it is the Netherworld, and the damned place is here in Atlanta. I don’t know if they just say that it has been ranked the scariest haunted house in the world OR if it legitimately is, but due to my experience the latter is correct. That place was fucking terrifying.

Netherworld is in an old strip mall, and it’s actually an enormous warehouse, not a house at all. When the group I was with got there the place was packed, and there was a huge line we had to wait in just to get into the hell hole. I guess Netherworld wanted to give everyone the most bang for their buck because various creatures covered in blood and guts sometimes with eyeballs drooping from their sockets  walked up to thrill seekers waiting in line and hissed in their faces (fun!). The line creatures confirmed what I already knew. This was a terrible idea for me, and surely would not end well. I irrationally hated all my friends who were there with me with all of my 17 year old angsty-ness.

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This dillhole probably hissed in my face.

While we were waiting a friend gave me the old “Don’t worry, it’s going to be more funny than scary.”  I know my friend was trying to be nice and calm me down, and maybe Netherworld is hilarious to him. All I know is to a Scaredy Cat like me this was surely a bald faced LIE. I was already freaked out and could feel myself preparing to choose fight or flight, so I couldn’t hear him over the crazy in my own head. I don’t remember how long it took for my group to actually be allowed into the warehouse, but I know I was perfectly content to stand in line forever and be hissed at by make-uped monsters than go into the dark abyss ahead of us. When we were finally ushered in it was worse than I thought it would be.

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Inside Netherworld

The place was set up in a twisting path that was separated by ‘chambers’ with different motifs. It was darkly lit, if it was lit at all, and everything was punctuated with a burst of yellow strobe lighting now and again. The walkway to the first chamber was so thin we had to walk single-ish file just to squeeze through and have our hands on the spiderwebby walls because there wasn’t enough light to see. Once we all gathered in the first chamber that resembled a crypt we were stopped by two creatures that were stalking directly towards us (read here: me) And this is when I realized: In a fight or flight situation I will opt to choose fight.

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I guess the creatures/actors are trained to pick the person that would feed everyone else’s freak out because one of them- a zombie friar I think to go with the crypt- came in for me with a quickness. I don’t remember making the decision to do this, but I put up my hands screaming and shoved him in the middle of his chest. I’m my effort I had kicked off my clogs. (Yes clogs it was 2000, JUDGE ME) And that’s when the actor playing the friar asked me to leave.

I don’t know why I remember this, but he had a Boston accent and my thought at the time “Oh I wonder what part of Boston he’s from.”  It was not “Oh I just made an asshole of myself” or “Oh I’m being kicked out of a haunted house for physically shoving someone” All of the sudden I wanted to know the Boston friar’s back story. I think it was my damaged psyche’s way of coping with ‘having a brush with the supernatural.’ After that, I was escorted out by a girl working behind the scenes at Netherworld. I was out in the light of the parking lot that was filled with bored moms waiting in mini vans. Probably sipping on a thermos of cheap chardonnay; I think that comes with the territory of moms in suburbia right? I sat out there miserable and angsty-mad at myself until my friends came running out of the place, chased by Mike Myers with a chainsaw. Which I don’t think is his weapon of choice, but I digress.

Yes I know how I acted was nuts, and now that I look back it is hilarious. But this brings me back to my original point: Why do people enjoy feeling scared?

In typical ‘fun’ situations I’m not usually driven to shove someone in the sternum (and also pee a little) because of an adrenaline fueled instinct to protect my own ass. It’s hard to explain to fans of horror sometimes because when I tell them my issue they look at me like I just said “Oh no, I don’t think Seinfeld is very funny” I mean, c’mon now let’s not get crazy.

What I hear time and time again is that it’s the ‘rush’ that brings them back to horror movies. Then they go on a tangent about the value of horror and how I don’t appreciate some genuine, quality horror culture.

Don’t try to convert me Horror genre fans, I get it! I get that some flicks/haunted houses/ghost stories are better than others but I don’t care. I don’t like ‘em and I’d rather pee my pants laughing any day than whiz myself because an undead Boston Friar is trying to kill me by sucking my soul out through my face.

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Dissecting Frat Boy Style

October 5, 2012 2 comments

I had hoped that this would have been a thing of the past by now, but my recent walk on a college campus has proved me wrong. I was on Georgia Tech’s campus, on my way to a restaurant when I saw it. Frat boy style is alive and well. I was hoping that this particular style of clothes, and frankly the attitude that typically accompanies them, would be safely only a blip in douchebag history, but there before me was a pink shirted, boat shoed row of dudes that I irrationally didn’t like as soon as I laid eyes on them.

There is a certain look that distinguishes the fratsters from the rest of the coeds. I would mostly describe it as “Country Club mixed with Yacht club with a side of rophenol.” College-wear style changes almost by the second, but this particular jam has been worn and is still worn consistently.

Let’s break it down:

Pastels

I don’t know why this color palette was chosen, but it seems to be Step One in acquiring the look. I suppose it has to do with the color scheme that was donned by people at country clubs, or as the frattiest of frat dudes refer to it just “the club.” For bros that have traditionally been known to be misogynistic they sure like to rock the hell out of some pink.

Croakies

In keeping with the whole “I have a boat” scheme you will almost never see one of these bros without croakies. (The little foam thing that keeps your sunglasses around your neck) The croakies must be well worn and nasty looking; they cannot be in pristine ‘never seen ocean time’ condition. There must also be dried sweat on them from that time you played 18 holes on the golf course or 18 holes with a goth chick you’re secretly banging and hiding from the brotherhood.

Boat shoes

Wear these shoes at all times. Winter. Rain. Church. Gay Club. Wait no, not there…. One thing though, never, ever wear socks along with these shoes. They must be disgusting and you must be able to smell them at all times otherwise they don’t count. They must look like you’ve actually worn them on a nautical vessel, even though the closest you’ve been to a yacht is pontoon rental you chipped in 25 bucks for last summer.

Hair:

The swoopier (I don’t know exactly how to describe it I guess swoopy fits?) the better; if you can flick your hair around and have most of it in your eyes, awesome. This will actually help you out when you’re hungover in class and need to sleep undetected.  It has to look like you didn’t spend any time on it, but in actuality you spend an inordinate time getting it to look perfectly undone. If it doesn’t look a certain way your day is JUST RUINED.

Bonus Round:

For extra points you must always have on you: a coozie, a pot of skoal that has been in your khakis so long there’s a ring on your back pocket, and a tattoo on your side that is supposed to mean ‘strength’ but in fact means picnic table. If you can also pull off a sport coat jacket with plaid or sear sucker shorts you will be a god among frat men.

Can we all agree this guy looks a little date rapey?

I have witnessed and heard about this Greek man uniform on campuses all over.  It’s interesting that so many guys would subscribe to such a strange style and seemingly stick with it no matter how they dressed when they first started matriculating at their universities.

I equate their clothes to the camouflage technique that zebras use when they are in the wild.

The technique is called dazzling, and means confusing the predator or enemy by moving a conspicuous pattern. The prey or target is visible, but hard to hit. So if you’re somewhat insecure, here’s a good way to cloak your feelings. Join the herd and subscribe to the lifestyle. It will be harder for everyone to figure out you’re a jerk…. Perhaps this whole pastel disaster is just some sort of coping mechanism?

Are you coming to the mixer? It’s gonna be a rager!!

At an institution like college that is purposed specifically for ‘higher learning’ you’d think one of these bros would look around and be like “Hey, we all look like idiots.” I would imagine because of the pack mentality no one ever deviates from the preexisting norm, and if one does he’s quickly sent out into the wild away from the herd. Usually out to take office in the Student Council which they try and make cool, but it never really happens.

I think I was more aware of the fratsters this time on GT’s campus due to the news out recently about the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity at the University of Tennessee. It was indefinitely suspended and their charter was revoked for giving their pledges alcohol enemas sending one to the hospital in critical condition with a .4 BAC. What pray tell, is an alcohol enema? Apparently it’s all the rage these days and is commonly called “Butt Chugging” In the Pike’s case; they had taken boxed wine and had their pledges ingest the alcohol via their rectums by inserting a tube into their anus. Sounds gross, yes, and it is also be lethal.

I’m hoping this is an isolated case, but I get the feeling that this flavor of hazing is not unprecedented.  It goes without saying that any organization that forces you to risk your life by consuming alcohol with your ass is not worth the implicated price they are asking. I would assume that with a national news story getting out about this ‘Butt Chugging’ should become a thing of the past, and like shark bite news, but I think once there is one story out about something this weird there’s usually, at least, 3 more on the cusp of breaking.

Please don’t give me a Franzia enema

I find that within fraternities, the thought process that seeps through all of the members tends to be one homogenous agenda. With very few exceptions (yes I have in fact met and befriended fratsters), frats follow a pack mentality and any individuality including one’s own moral compass is forgone for a personality that has been predestined for its members. BUT  your  new personality may come with a nickname like “Laser” so at least there’s that.

College should be an awesome time where you feel free to be exactly who you are. I find that most fraternities don’t allow that kind of hippy talk, but know this: If you’re thinking for yourself, and creating your own style you won’t have to worry about some dude who doesn’t have your best interest at heart and is putting you at risk. I’m going to venture a guess that you’ll always be happier drinking beverages using the hole on your face than being forced to use the one in your ass.

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