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09:24:49 - 2000-10-25

PICK A DATE...ANY DATE...

I'm sad.

My hard drive is making all those "clicky-clicky-clicky" sounds -- the kind they make when it sounds like it's getting full. It's not like it's going to blow up or start bleeding or anything ... but I sure as hell didn't think it'd be sounding all full six months into its life.

Ah well. If that's the worst thing in my life right now, then I guess I should be thankful.

Soooooo....baby news.....

Susie went to the doctor yesterday. Doc said the boy is fine. He's turned, meaning his head is down and his feet are up and he's getting dizzy as hell. No wonder babies come out all disoriented ... they've been hanging upside down for several weeks. Your ass would be all cross-eyed too if it was you.

The doc has given us until next Friday (November 3) to pick a date to have the baby. He says the pudgy little guy is getting to be pretty big by now and he's ready to come out.

Sooo...we're facing the task of picking out a birthday for the kid.

Me??? Oh...you KNOW what day I want...

HALLOWEEN, BAYBEEEE!!!

When I was a kid, I thought it was SO COOL when I met people who were born on Halloween. Think about it...presents all day...candy all night.

Susie's not sold on the Halloween deal. I explained to her that every year, we could have a lil' birthday party for him, with all his buddies coming over in costume, and then we could all go trick-or-treating together. Every year, he'd be the STAR of Halloween.

Who could ask for anything more?

Toyota??

But Susie thinks it's morbid in a way. She's never liked Halloween while it's always been a favorite holiday of mine.

I have a feeling that we're going to try to ask for an extension ... Susie really wants our pastor to be in town when she gives birth ... he's out of town from Nov. 1 to Nov. 5th. She's going to ask the doc if we can start induction the afternoon of Sunday, Nov. 5th, so the pastor and his wife can be back in town.

We sat and talked about all this for an hour last night, before I finally said "You know...we're talking about this like it's a luxury ... picking out the day our kid is born. You could go into labor tomorrow and all this planning would go straight out the window."

I don't think she had even thought about that. She's resigned to the fact that she'll be able to pick and choose when this baby is born ... not the other way around.

Anyway...that's the Baby News...

**************************************

Wow.

That's ALL the news I have for ya.

BUT...far be it from me to leave you hanging ...

I found a column I wrote two years ago when I was in charge of putting on "The Monster Mansion" here in town for Halloween.

It was my first attempt at coordinating a Haunted House. I did a fairly decent job with the resources handed to me, but it could have been a lot better if I had more time and more volunteers. I'd have between 20-30 volunteers a night and needed close to a hundred.

Anyway ... here are the tips that I learned while running a Haunted House back in 1998:

*There is a big difference between a fog machine putting out "fog" and a fog machine that's putting out "smoke." Smoke forces you to evacuate the building.

*It's apparently not scary, nor funny to beat up two grandmothers in a scene because all you have left in costumes are two gray haired wigs, a bench, two shawls and a guy in a Freddy Krueger mask..

*Children don't respond well to being picked up and swung 12 feet in the air by Frankenstein.

*When you tell a group "No screaming" as a joke when you're walking into the Mansion, and you're roughly 20 years older than they are, they take you seriously.

*Witches standing over cauldrons with no dry ice in them aren't nearly as frightening as witches with dry ice.

*Old chainsaws that haven't been cranked up in a decade put out an awful lot of oily smoke that will take customer's minds off that horrible last scene and concentrate more on breathing.

*Fire Marshals can be your friend if you load them up with plenty of ice cold beer.

*If you don't have a payoff for a scene, there are no screams. Just awkward silence.

*Constant exposure to strobe lights lead to lightheadedness and migraines.

*Just because you have a hospital gurney does not mean you have an ER.

*Little children are tougher to scare because their world is so wrapped up in fantasy that they know the difference between what's real and what's not better than adults. Especially adults who have been drinking.

*Make sure Frankenstein goes potty before you stuff him in his room.

*People really don't like to be touched by a guy in a Halloween mask.

*Little children will scatter like crows when an evil clown comes running toward them at full speed.

*The guy whose sole job is to knock on walls is allowed to have a beer during a break. The guy running at children with a chainsaw in his hand is not.

*Little girls cry the most when you electrocute the Spice Girls.

*Little boys cheer.

*"Improvise" can become a very valuable answer when racing around your Haunted House fielding last second questions.

*Just because you say you're opening at 7 p.m. doesn't mean you're letting guests into the house at 7 p.m.

*It's not a good idea to tie an elementary school student to the rafters and let another elementary school "slowly lower" him onto an unsuspecting crowd. In fact, and I just found this out, it's unlawful and punishable by law.

*The number one answer to the statement "Thanks for volunteering for our Haunted House ... what would you like to be?" is the ever popular "I don't know, they just told me to be here."

There were plenty more but I just didn't bother to write them down.

That's it from me today. Take care, young Jedi Knight.

***********************************

QUESTION OF THE DAY

What's the most interesting/frightening thing you've ever seen in a "Haunted House"?

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