It’s that time of the year again. The fake and real spiderwebs are out in force, fake and pumpkin guts are spilled all over and fake and real people are dressed up as fake and real ugly people. This time of year is the time of nightmares. As you can probably imagine, there are a number of things that give me nightmares. Let’s just say I’ve woken up in the middle of the night more than once with the nightmarish sounds of eternally happy people singing. Usually, I drink some soda and down a pizza or two and get some heartburn. Then my usual scary serial killer, goblins and zombie dreams come back and I sleep soundly once again.
This weekend I came face to face with one of my real nightmares. Some people think of this experience as pleasant by osmosis, as a young person gets joy out of turning a year older. I call a kid’s birthday party a nightmare. It all started when my son decided he wanted to choose two of his friends to have his birthday party with at Wild Waves, a local waterpark, turned Halloween themed Fright Fest. We had to get there somehow, so I was trapped in a wheeled box with three seven year olds. If you’ve never been in a car with 3 seven year olds, be prepared to hear the word poop and pee and high pitched screaming that can only be outsquealed by 7 year old girls. It is a true test in not wanting to go postal and shoot up the whole car. I was at my passive aggressive best when I finally decided to turn up the music. I so badly didn’t want to hear another thing from them, that I turned up the Disney station so I could hear Bieber. It wasn’t my shiniest moment ever, but when do I ever have a shiny moment?
The loud Bieber music didn’t stop them, so I kept switching stations to see if any of them would stop them incessant noise in my head (them). Then, like a miracle from deep below, classical music. It came with violins a stringing and trumpets ablaring as they created an enormous earworm that exorcized the demons for a short time, until we arrived at the amusement park.
Unfortunately, we arrived safely at the park. It was cool outside and I hoped that it might get a lot colder, so cold that their lips would freeze shut, but alas, that was not to be. None of the waterpark rides were open (come on, not even one frozen ride?) so we proceeded to ride the regular rides, my son wanting to ride with me on most of the early rides (shhhew, safe for now), but later, after the major roller coaster ride, decided to go with one of his buddies, meaning I had to ride with my arch nemesis, Neighbor Kid. Much like Optimus Prime and Megatron, or Superman and Lex Luthor having to temporarily team up in order to save the world, I had to ride with one of his friends in order to save his birthday party. It was a very tense situation where small talk was involved with a formidable foe. I was just like Lex Luthor, except not smart, and without the maniacal laugh (or any laugh for that matter) and he was just like Superman, except for the strength, courage, or the red and blue tights.
They dragged me like a criminal from kiddy ride to kiddy ride, putting me in the prison of one tight fitting “safety bar” after another. I had to keep running after them, pretending to care if one of them got lost, pretending to care if one of them got hurt, and pretending to care if they had fun or not. Lightness faded to dark, and with that, the nightmare seems to almost be over. I tell the kids it is time to go, because it is too late for the demons to be out until…they request ONE. MORE. RIDE. NOOOOOOOOOOO! Whatever it is, please not the Ferris Wheel. Not the never ending Ferris Wheel. “Can we do one more ride? The Ferris Wheel?”
“Of course,” I say through my creepiest looking gritted teeth. So we wait and wait, then get on and wait. Then we get stuck at the top and the Superman that isn’t anything like Superman keeps asking my Lex questions. It keeps talking to me. I just want it to go away. I plot my revenge. What will I do? Push it off the top of the Ferris Wheel? Nope, too obvious. We finally end the eternal nightmare of the never ending Ferris Wheel.
How does the nightmare end? I remember something. They haven’t eaten since two hours ago at McDonalds. And they were given some money by their parents. Then it all comes together. A bitter thought crosses my mind. Yes. This is how I will get my revenge. “Okay, let’s go to the Candy Shop. You guys can buy whatever you want, and then we need to leave. Just make sure you eat it before we get home.”
Just like a grandparent getting their revenge on their kids with their grandkids, I get them all sugared up, hyped up and then leave the little nightmares for their parents.
Bitter Revengerman Ben