So the plan was to go to a haunted house. And while we have perfectly good haunted house attractions closer to home, my girlfriend decided we should go to Kansas City and see one with her college friends.
That’s how I ended standing by 500 of my closest friends to wait for the haunted house called “The Edge of Hell.”
The only thing hellish about it was the line standing experience.
Kids wailed and whined. A lady behind us, on some sort of substance, had a breakdown about an hour into the wait and started screaming. She ran off toward the two porta-potties and, to the relief of all of us, must have decided to leave or passed out or something. At least I didn’t see her when I left to take care of business.
I’ll give the haunted house employees props: they keep some clean outhouses.
I commented on this fact to the guy dressed up as a clown who was waiting in line behind me.
We spent the next two hours waiting in line, having left behind a perfectly good six pack in the fridge. After only moving halfway, we called it quits and saved about 50 bucks.
Defeated but undeterred, we decided to get a drink, and one of Sam’s more cosmopolitan friends knew of a bar “within walking distance.”
Sam calls me a country mouse because I get uncomfortable in large cites at times.
But I feel like I’ve done my time being stupid and walking through alleys I shouldn’t have in my life. By 23, I was smart enough to know not to take shortcuts in downtown Lawrence. And I don’t walk around Old Town in Wichita late at night. So me and my head full of crime stories weren’t super enthused that we were now walking across a factory district in Kansas City.
While the Edge of Hell might have been scary inside, the horror show was the walk through the empty parking lots and darkened alleys.
I repeatedly imagined getting robbed or worse but kept all such thoughts to myself.
Now we were cutting across what looked to be a construction zone in the dark. A sign for a bar called the “Ship” was in sight. We just had to cross what appeared to be a mud pit of some sort.
Luckily, I ran into the guy dressed up as a clown I met earlier. He kept talking about floating and only then I noticed he was pointing out a massive water puddle. I navigated around it while the more civilized folks got their shoes muddy. Country mouse, indeed.
We stepped into the light and entered the Ship, a bar full of people wearing flannel and work boots who looked like they neither needed flannel nor did a lot of working. I immediately felt old, wading through the smoke and hearing some pretty awful music. I don’t think I would have liked it even if I was 22.
I prepared to pay for a $12 cocktail made by some dude who called himself a mixologist or something equally ridiculous.
Only then from behind me did I hear the rest of the party call. My girlfriend’s friend’s boyfriend had forgotten to bring his ID. Despite ignoring indoor smoking bans, they take IDs pretty seriously at the old Ship.
This meant we got to go home. And while our hosts apologized profusely about the incident, I was happy to be sitting on a couch, being way less trendy and sipping a beer. Call me boring or unhip, but I could have saved everybody three hours of their lives and plenty of time scraping their shoes.
Long story short, I have yet to go into a haunted house, but I see there’s a free one in Newton this Saturday night, at least that’s what my new clown friend told me. I keep running into him behind the Kwik Shop. Must have followed me home. He gives good advice. He’s a pretty chill dude.