Last weekend we ventured out to the 'ta for their pumpkin patch experience. It was my nephew's b-day, so we had quite the crowd of 3ft super heroes escorting us around the grounds. In the back of the patch stood what looked to be a giant moonwalk, but turned out to be an inflatable haunted house.
With tickets in hand, our super team opted for the scary version. This decision elicited mild concern, but we figured it probably wasn't going to be that bad. The kids marched in, and the adults waited in silence.
Fear comes in many forms. The screaming that erupted from within the oversized balloon could only be described as 'visceral'.
The adults all eyed each other. Each kicking themselves for not foreseeing what now seemed so obvious. The kids erupted from the house of all that is evil, wailing, tears streaming down their faces. Parents, reunited with their offspring, soon reinstated order and safety.
While this was happening I was watching the next group of kids. The group of kids who listened to what they believed to be the chilling deaths of all who had entered before them. They knew they were next. Their imaginations had a firm grasp on the terrors arrayed before them. The blood had left their faces long before the exodus of our defeated super group.
They were allowed to enter and they immediately refused, tears springing to their eyes. Either from some misguided attempt to help conquer fear or a decision that they weren't going to waste the $2 entry fee, Grandma decided that her granddaughter was going.
The surreal image will probably live in my memory for the rest of my life. The grandmother lifts the girl into the air and begins stuffing her into the haunted house. The girl, already terrified, snaps. With 'flight' removed from the equation, the little girl pummels her grandmother into submission before the shocked audience.
Grandma and the little girl separated, and both came out ok. Adults and children stunned, we made our way to the exit. The pumpkin patch had more than lived up to its Halloween Holiday.