Friday, October 22, 2010

Frightening Friday: Camp of Questionable Safety Standards

SURPRISE! It's me again, back from my terrifying week of nonstop work to tell you another tale of horror that will chill you to your very bones. You will be so chilled, that you'll need to make yourself a cup of hot cocoa and read this under a down comforter. But you'll still be really chilled, so you'll light a fire in your fireplace. But then, after the fire is lit and you begin to warm your hands and feet, you'll remember that you don't have a fireplace. And as you stand there watching your apartment building burn to the ground, your only thought will be, "I am still chilled by that story, and I hope Mr. Whiskers gets out alive."

Which bring us to this Friday's frightening tale of fright. What are your plans for Halloween? Well, if you know what's good for you, you will dress up as an important historical figure and go out on the town for a very chaste evening of non-alcoholic daiquiris and square dancing. I really hope your plans don't include working as a counselor at a camp with questionable safety standards. Like the one in this story.

Camp of Questionable Safety Standards

Camp Trip was the most dangerous camp of all time. Not only was it located in the heart of Man-Eating Grizzly Bear Woods, which, as you've likely guessed, was filled with man-eating grizzlies, you had to drive down a long pot hole-filled road to get to it, as the camp's owner was too cheap to have the road repaired. And when you finally got there, you were faced with the worst safety standards of all time. There were jagged tree stumps near all the paths and frequent food poisoning in the dining hall. Cabin walls and floors were filled with rusty nails. On the first day of camp, each camper was given a hammer and an ax and told, "If you see a rusty nail, use your hammer to fix it. Also, you're going to be chopping your own firewood. Good luck!"

It was these poor safety standards that resulted in the death of a camper at Camp Trip many, many years before when the tarp that was used in place of a cabin roof fell onto his bunk and suffocated him to death. To make things even more dangerous at camp, despite being dead, that dead camper was hell bent on revenge and ran around camp every night after dark slaughtering campers and camp counselors willy-nilly with his wood chopping ax, rather than seeking the therapy he clearly needed.

As darkness fell on the first night of camp, everyone was digging into their evening meal of undercooked chicken and potato salad that had sat out in the sun all day. The campers were all talking about how much fun they had had at the grenade throwing range that afternoon and how they couldn't wait to go horseback riding the next day because they heard that rather than buying and training horses, the camp owner just put out oats and opened the stable doors, letting in whatever horses might be interested in a meal that night. But unbeknownst to those excited campers, none of them would live to see the next day.

As the first camper began to feel the first grumblings of food poisoning in her stomach, the lights in the dining hall suddenly went out.

"Oh, no!" you're thinking, "The evil undead camper has come to the dining hall with his ax to slaughter everyone!" But you are wrong. It was just the faulty electrical wiring.

"Someone call somebody to fix this!" called one camp counselor.

"The phone lines are down!" said another counselor.

"The undead camper cut the lines!" you're thinking. But no, it was because the camp owner didn't pay the phone bill that month.

"Does anyone else see that menacing ax-wielding shadow outside the dining hall window?" asked one of the campers.

"Just the shadow of a tree, I suppose?" you say, but you would be wrong. It was actually the undead and revenge-seeking camper this time.

"AAAAAAAAAAA! We're doomed!"

"We must barricade the doors!"

Working quickly, the campers and counselors moved the tables over to block the doors and windows.

"What if he tries to come down the chimney?" called a terrified camper into the darkness.

"Quick! Light a fire in the fireplace!" said one of the counselors, handing a box of matches and a can of gas to a camper who was wearing an eye patch after falling face first onto a jagged tree stump.

"But we don't have a fireplace!" said the eye-patched camper.

"Then, light the fire over there in the corner!" cried a terrified camper with only one arm, who had unfortunately discovered that afternoon that his horse was a man-eating grizzly.

"Hey," you're saying, "Why are they afraid of the murderer coming down the chimney if there's no fireplace?" Because they were not trained properly on what to do in case of an emergency. Let that be a lesson to you. Read on.

Now, as any good camper knows, you should never, ever light a fire indoors if you don't have a proper fireplace. For one thing, you could light the whole dining hall on fire. Secondly, you could be asphyxiated. Thirdly, running away from flames causes you to metabolize the salmonella in your system more quickly, causing instant projectile vomiting. And nothing creates more dangerous safety standards than vomit-covered floors and a blazing inferno. As you've likely guessed, the campers who didn't die of food poisoning were asphyxiated or unable to escape the blaze because large dining tables were blocking all the exits, which anyone trained properly in safety standards would know never to do.

The ax-wielding undead camper just stood and watched the drama unfold from outside where the air was rich with oxygen and thoroughly cooked meals. And as he stood there, he thought, "I should really seek therapy. It's obvious that I'm still upset by that tarp suffocating incident. And, hey, why am I alive right now if I died?" So, he dropped his ax and stalked away into the woods to seek medical attention and therapy for his problems. You'll be pleased to hear that he eventually found closure. You'll also be pleased to know that the fire that consumed the dining hall also helped to cook the chicken properly at last, killing all of the bacteria swimming around on it. Unfortunately, no one was left alive to eat it.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Frightening Friday: Dracula’s Terrible Houseguests

You are probably wondering what has taken me so long in posting today's terrifying edition of Frightening Friday. And the short answer is deadlines. The longer answer is "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! SO MANY DEADLINES!" Which brings me to the fact that deadlines are pretty terrifying. I mean, just look at the word "deadlines." First, you have "dead" which requires no explanation. Then, you have "lines," which are one of the most frightening things I can think of. Have you ever stood admiring a waterfall while drinking an extra large Mountain Dew and had a sudden serious urge to take a leak? So you sprint all the way to the bathroom, bladder sloshing, and discover, to your absolute horror, a long line of people waiting to go? Scary. So, anyway, luckily for you guys I knew this would inevitably happen and had a back-up Frightening Friday post ready to go just in case my terrifying deadlines caught up to me. I hope you get as scared as I was when I wrote it.

Dracula’s Terrible Houseguests

Once upon a time in a castle in Transylvania lived a vampire named Count Dracula. Now, if you know anything at all about vampires, you are probably aware that vampires thrive on the blood of human beings. They think it’s really delicious, much like you and a ham sandwich with lettuce and plenty of mayonnaise. (Unless you are vegetarian, in which case you might enjoy a nice salad with chickpeas and carrot slivers instead.)

But the fact that Dracula was a vampire has little or nothing to do with this story. Dracula, in addition to being a bloodsucking menace, very much enjoyed entertaining guests at his castle. Dracula loved to prepare his guest suite when he knew that someone was coming to visit. He left mints on pillows and put out his hand-molded decorative soaps and fancy towels. Most people—-before they were drained of blood or added to Dracula’s vampire minion—-were sure to thank Dracula heartily for the wonderful meal and wine that he served. No one could ever say that Dracula was a bad host.

But then a large group of gentlemen came for a visit quite unannounced.
Dracula had only just returned from a trip to England and was very sleepy. So, he had gone downstairs to his coffin to sleep off his boat lag.

Now, you should never drop in on someone unannounced because it gives your host absolutely no time to go to the grocery store or do any vacuuming. Not only did they not call ahead, but the large group of men in question barged right into Dracula’s castle in an extremely rude manner. Dracula was sound asleep by then and had absolutely no time to put out any decorative soap or make a single canapĂ© for his guests to snack on.

And even though they must have been very tired from their travels, instead of sitting down in Dracula’s parlor for a nice cup of tea and waiting patiently for their host to greet them, the rude gentlemen headed straight downstairs to Dracula’s coffin chamber to say hello.

Now, it’s another rule of being a houseguest that you should never, ever barge right in while your host is sleeping. First of all, people who are sleeping tend to have horrible breath and might want to brush their teeth before they see you. Secondly, they might like to comb their hair or whiskers to make them a bit less unruly. Thirdly, you might wake them from a delightful dream.

But the group of men cared about none of those things. In fact, they walked right in and lifted up the lid on Dracula’s coffin. And then, they proceeded to stab him through the heart with a wooden stake. The whole thing was just rude.

If you know anything about vampires, you are aware that if you stab a vampire through the heart with a stake, he will cease to be undead. In fact, he will turn into the most unpleasant dusty mess. Which is what Dracula did. It was a very sad day indeed, not only because Dracula shuffled off that immortal coil, but also because he never got to fulfill his deathlong dream of opening a bed and breakfast.


Friday, October 8, 2010

Frightening Friday: Hotel Room Showers Are Scary

Hey, where do you live? Yeah, you! Because it's haunted. That's right. Your house is haunted. How do I know? Because a one-eyed shaman told me so. Someone totally died there. So, if you are at home right now sitting upon that massive collection of pizza boxes you call furniture reading this and thinking, "Whew! It's good that I'm safe here where I live," then you're wrong. WRONG! Right now, something is lurking very close to you and ready to pounce. I only hope you can get to the end of today's edition of Frightening Friday before you meet your end. You'd better read quickly.

Hotel Room Showers Are Scary

It's weird enough showering in hotel rooms. You start thinking, as you carefully soap up your genitals, about all of the weird people who probably soaped up their genitals in there before you. And enjoyed it. Serial killers, investment bankers, people who throw unwanted pets into trash cans. All with soapy genitals. Then, you discover that while all you wanted was a hot shower when you got to that hotel room after a long day of traveling, now you want nothing more than dip yourself in bleach in the comfort of your own home. So, when you're in the shower at that hotel thinking about all those things and someone dressed up as his own mother comes into the bathroom without knocking carrying a razor sharp knife, it's likely to put you off of hotel showering forever.

Now, let it be noted that you should never, enter a bathroom without knocking. Mostly because you could find yourself in an awkward situation. Like discovering your grandfather with his pants around his ankles doing crossword puzzles on the toilet. But also because the person in the bathroom might react poorly to being interrupted by throwing a full bottle of shampoo at your head.

Secondly, you should never, ever go into a bathroom carrying a razor sharp knife. The floor can get very, very slippery when someone is in the shower. You could slip on a puddle of water and impale yourself in a very distasteful manner. Or accidentally cut a hole in the shower curtain and be forced to see a relative in the nude.

Thirdly, you should never dress up as your own mother. Because people will inevitably think you are your own mother. And when you are in a hurry to get to the pharmacy to buy some PreparationH for your hemorrhoids, you will have to spend 30 minutes talking to her friend Marcy. Even though Marcy should know better because your mother has been dead for 10 years. And you clearly have a penis under that dress.

To get to the point, and I have one, if you decide to cast aside this excellent advice and dress up as your own mother and enter a bathroom without knocking while carrying a razor sharp knife, just be really careful.

Now, getting back to the story, on one dark and rainy night not too long ago, after a long day of traveling, a person got into a shower in her hotel room. It had been a long day, and she was tired. After several enjoyable minutes of soaping up her genitals, the door to the bathroom opened and a person entered carrying a razor sharp knife. Now I know that you're all thinking, based on the warnings I provided above, that the person in question was dressed as his own mother and slipped around dangerously on the damp floor. But, no, it was the hotel maintenance man and he brought a knife into the bathroom to fix the toilet because he couldn't find his screwdriver that day. And, because he was a maintenance man and had fixed toilets on slippery tile floors before, he was careful to step around the puddles. But he was not used to carrying a razor sharp knife, so the maintenance man accidentally cut a sizable hole in the shower curtain. The person in the shower screamed in terror and threw a full shampoo bottle at his head, and rightly so because who enters without knocking? The maintenance man, seeing that the woman in the shower was his great-aunt Gloria and she was soaping up her genitals, had a heart attack and died right there.

Years later, they converted that hotel into apartments. Really wonderful the one you're sitting in now reading this from atop the stack of pizza boxes you call furniture. And sometimes on dark nights, you can hear a shower running and the moans of a maintenance man who wasn't careful with his knife.


Friday, October 1, 2010

Frightening Friday: The Flying Dutchman in 2010

Arghhhhh! Welcome once again to Frightening Fridays. This is your pirate captain speaking. We be weighing anchor in Absolute Terror Cove, while I prepare to tell you the most chillifying tale to ever sail the Seven Seas. So, grab your peg legs and your eye patches and get ready to be super scared while I sit here in the complete safety of my brightly-lit living room and think about how scared you're soon going to be. Because I mean you're going to be so scared. Scareder than the time I told you a story about evil sewer clowns. And scareder than the time I told you a story about a depressed pumpkin. And a whole lot scareder than the time I told you a story about gourmet zombies. Maybe a bit less scared than the time I told you about a babysitter and a hook-handed murderer. But certainly more scared than the time we talked about some very nice witches who did not at all deserve to be burned at the stake. See what I did there? I linked back to all of the Frightening Friday posts from last October, so that you could go back, read them, and pee your pants in fear all over again. Mwahahahaha! So, with no further self-promotion or prattling on about how much I'm going to scare you, here is the first tale of terror.

The Flying Dutchman: 2010

It's hard to be a ghost pirate ship captain. For one thing, your ghostly hands go right through the helm of the ship, winds blow right through the mizzen mast with no effect on the direction of the ship, and your crew forgets that making you walk the plank in some feeble attempt at mutiny is only going to get your corporeal form all wet. So, what happens when you become a ghost pirate ship captain is that it's fun for about twenty years, but later on when you're drifting around, unable to control the direction of your ship, and being forced to spend an eternity with your annoying ghostly crew, you get pretty tired of the whole situation and wish you had just gone down to Davy Jones's locker like a normal dead pirate.

This was the case for Captain Strangebeard. Why was he called Captain Strangebeard? Because he had accidentally shaved off half his beard. When the actual ship sank the next day and the captain drowned, his ghost was forever cursed with half a beard. So, he was Captain Strangebeard.

The year was 2010. The day was Halloween. The sky was dark. The sea was rough, and the pirates were fresh out of ghost grapefruits, so they were all suffering from ghost scurvy.

"I have an idea!" shouted Peg Face the Pirate, who was first mate of this very salty, very dead crew, "Let's make the captain walk the plank!"

"It be a mutiny!" cried Parrot Face the pirate, who was a dead parrot pirate who frequently said parroty pirate things.

"OH MY GOD!" said Captain Strangebeard, "I explained this to you two centuries ago. You can't mutiny me. I'm dead."

"Shiver me timbers!" said Dead Fish Breath the pirate, who was the ship's cook. "We be dead?"

"Arggggghhhhhh!" said Captain Strangebeard. (It was, as you are likely aware, a very piratey thing to say, but Captain Strangebeard was actually just venting his frustration.)

"We have been floating around the Seven Seas for almost five centuries. How could we be alive at this point?" said Captain Strangebeard for the twenty-third time that week.

"I thought that be a bit weird," said Peg Face the Pirate.

"I want my mommy!" said Crybaby the Pirate.

"You can't have your mommy! She's been dead for hundreds of years!" said Strangebeard.

"When we be getting our share of the treasure?" asked Moneybags the Pirate.

"Are you a complete and utter moron? Have any of you listened to one word I've said in three centuries?" asked Captain Strangebeard. "The treasure is in Davy Jones's locker. It's gone. The ship sank. This is a ghost ship."

"Like, ghosts?! Where?" said Shaggy Beard the Pirate.

"Rhosts! Raggy!" said Scooby the Pirate, who dove under a rug to hide.

"Okay, seriously, you guys?" said Captain Strangebeard. He finally retreated to his ghostly captain's quarters to get away from his utterly stupid crew and write in his ghostly ship log.

Day 167,926. Crew threatening mutiny again. They are so, so stupid. I mean, so incredibly stupid. Will this voyage ever end?

Suddenly, someone knocked at the door of the captain's quarters. "Captain! Captain! Make haste! There be a ship on the horizon!"

Captain Strangebeard rolled his ghostly eyes. Not again.

"Captain! There be people on board drinking rum and dancing strangely!"

"You brought me up here to look at another Carnival Cruise Ship, Peg Face. I told you last time, those people are on vacation," said Strangebeard.

"Maybe they have treasurrrrre!" said Peg Face.

"Probably," Strangebeard replied, "But what are we going to do? Shoot them with our ghost cannon?"

"We pillage and plunder and take no man alive!" cried Peg Face.

"Okay, let me know how that goes for you. I'll be in my quarters holding my ghostly flintlock to my head and praying for release from you idiots," said Captain Strangebeard. He went back to his quarters.

"Argh! Take no man alive!" cried Peg Face. And the pirate crew prepared the ghost cannon and fired it many, many times into the side of the Carnival Cruise ship and were baffled that it never made a dent. Eventually they gave up and went back to planning their mutiny of Captain Strangebeard. The Flying Dutchman sailed on for an eternity, which it was eternally annoying for the captain.