Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween afterblog

It's the day after All Hallows Eve. Pumpkin guts, lost costume pieces, condoms and what I believe is vomit litter the streets of Iowa City. I even saw a dirty band-aid. Ew. My guess is it came from the heel of a sexy Little Red Riding Hood — most popular get-up this year — wearing too-small and too-tall pumps.
It's safe to say the hype of Halloween is starting to get stale. Just like my all-time least favorite Orlando attraction: Mystery Fun House.

There was no fun in this place, let me be the first to say. There was mystery, though. I questioned many things since my visits there, and this Halloween I somehow recalled the building Merlin so creepily guarded out front. Why did the 15 themed chambers smell so funny? And what ingredients were really used in their cheese pizza topping? Were the employees ex-convicts, schizophrenics and child molesters?

Growing up in the real Orange County was incredibly fun at times. Until birthday season came upon us, which seemed like every other weekend. And if your mom or dad wasn't a Disney or Universal bigwig then forget having a sweet-ass party complete with free passes to a theme park, line-jumping, and dinner at the Rainforest Cafe.

Regardless of income, kids were still so spoiled that an at-home pool shindig was out of the question. So, in order to simulate the "magical world of Disney" experience Mystery Fun House was one of the tacky alternatives. Personally, I would've opted for Discovery Zone, but climbing around in a germ-infested tangle of tubes and ladders, that adults were to big to fit in an sanitize, reminded me to stay away. I mean, the ball pit? Hello, cavity of mutant viruses!

Mystery Fun House had this year-round Halloween mystique to it: it smelled like an untouched grave recovered after 100 years, except the rolling barrel — that shit smelled like a 300 lb man's b.o. and the mirror maze was eerie as hell — I would get so freaked out in there I thought I would never escape it. Some of the jail chambers in the fun house displayed bloody female corpses swarmed in, I kid you not, dozens of live rats.

The place messed with our heads because after the maze everyone would file into a strangely decorated party room for presents and mystery pizza (the cheese was really, really gluey and had a greenish tint to it), still recovering from the disturbing sights witnessed just moments prior. And the putt-putt golf course, what the hell is that all about? How does a dinosaur themed mini-golf course factor into a fun house? I read that later on in the attractions 25-year-or-so run, they started making desperate additions to it. Like Starbase Omega laser tag, a Chuck-E-Cheese-style show, and probably the mini-golf.

The employees were probably the freakiest of all. They moved like zombies — either because they were working at a dead-end job struggling on minimum wage, or (my theory) they were a drugged-up incestuous community looking to kidnap frightened and naive party goers in the crooked room or trap doors.

There was more to MFH than what met our eyes. It has since folded, thank God. I heard its now been converted into an awkward tourist resort. Looking back I wonder if the creators of MFH were really psychopathic serial killers looking for easy kicks with the kiddies. I'm sorry I'm not from Iowa City and don't have the guts yet to criticize places here yet. I thought bringing a little slice of my old home might amuse you for a bit. On the Iowa City note though, I was at a loft party on Washington St last night and for a solid hour my friends and I hung out the window and heckled passersby down below. We said "Happy Halloween, sexy!" to a skinny librarian-looking woman and 3 minutes later she entered the loft. Thankfully my boyfriend did some damage control and got her out. She didn't put up a fight or anything, he said she was just looking for some pot. Hah, I love this place...

But all I want to say is I'm glad Mystery Fun House has been put to bed, just like Halloween 2008.

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