Fight or Flight or Curl Into a Little Ball

I went to a Haunted House last night, specifically, Nightmare on 13th Street. I went with a group of people I’d only just met, and I’m sure I made a fantastic impression on them. Yep. They will never talk to me again.

Obviously, people react differently when frightened, and I’m sure you’ve heard of the fight or flight response. I don’t do either. If something jumps out at me or there a loud noise or a zombie about to chomp on my face, I hit the floor. Duck and Cover is my mantra. Nothing will get through the impenetrable shield of my arms over my head.

However, one of the girls I went with and whose arm I clung to… she’s flight all the way.

You can imagine this is not a good combination.

There was one particular room I remember where you walk in and it’s all slanted and someone jumps out at you from the center. My arm-clingee was off like a rocket and out the door and I fell down trying to flinch back away from the threat. And since I was at the back of our group, that left me alone, which freaked me out more and I had to chase them down. Which is not a smart idea when the girl was running away from something chasing her in the first place.

But after much screaming and twists and turns we made it through, and I have to say that if you plan on writing anything scary, ever, go through haunted houses. There was a maze that was supposed to be part of the insane asylum/zombie infestation with white sheets speckled in blood every 4 feet, and I was weirdly reminded of a zombie book I’d read. And I thought about how fun that would be to write even though I knew that if this were real life I would be dead in five minutes flat, not fighting my way through a maze (curling into a ball on the floor only makes you a zombie truffle).

Haunts are also a great place to get details to set the mood. Nightmare on 13th was all about the tiny details, from the strobe lights blacking out to rice-maggots on the floor and zombie saliva sprinklers. The characters looked great, too (and by great I mean terrifying) and could really inspire some freaky creatures.

Except maybe the guy with a chainsaw who back away and pointed us to the door when a particularly large guy in our group shouted at him to back the freak off. You don’t want that.

5 Things I Should Have Learned By Now But Haven’t

1. Don’t put lotion on before trying to open something. I don’t know why, but I can never remember this simple rule. And then I have to fumble awkwardly with my mascara or whatever.

2. Sleep at night and be awake during the day. Again, this should be simple right? Well, right now my body wakes up around 4am and konks out at 8pm. A week ago I was falling asleep at like 6am and sleeping until 4pm. Luckily (?) I’m not missing any work or important appointments or anything, but it has kind of killed my sense of time. I never have any idea what day it is, and since I don’t have cable and just watch all my shows online at the end of the week, I really have nothing to measure my time by. So on the rare occasion I have to actually be somewhere at a certain time, I struggle.

3. Spelling ‘occasion’.

4. How to parallel park. Believe it or not, when I was in Driver’s Ed at the ripe age of 14 in Kansas, I was not taught how to parallel park. We just drove on the highway and ran errands to places my driving instructor needed to go. So now I’m stuck driving around forever looking either for a normal parking spot or a whole street with enough room for me to park somewhere within 5 feet of the curb. Or I make someone else drive.

5. Use the GPS before you get lost. I don’t know why, but I do this every time – insist that I can find the place by myself based on a quick search on google maps before leaving the house. Then I get somewhere in the vicinity of my destination and get hopelessly lost. Then I remember that I do in fact own a GPS and it’s in my glove box and oh look at that I was only a block away. And now I’m 15 minutes late. Win some, lose some.