Sep 242019

Aside from my weekly meet-up with Jiyong (she forced me to speak Korean and it was chaos), Saturday was pretty low key, but Sunday was the perfect Autumn Eve…even if it was 87 degrees that day.

One of the flavors at Sugar Spell Scoops for the weekend was Iced Pumpkin Loaf and Chooch was like WE HAVE TO GO. I was interested in that, but also Dunkaroos which is the flavor that Chooch got the first time we went to Sugar Spell and I had major remorse for not ordering it.

Janna wanted to go with us and then also, at some point over the weekend, Chooch asked if we could go to a haunted house also, and I was like, “BOY WHAT A DUMB QUESTION.”

I mean, of COURSE we can go to a haunted house!

But first, ice cream.

I indulged and had TWO SCOOPS. And thank god I did because that Iced Pumpkin Loaf was out of this world good.

I imagined it was just going to taste like pumpkin pie ice cream, but it ACTUALLY had the same flavor profile (lol I’m professional now) as an actual pumpkin loaf, the rolled kind with the cream cheese icing in the middle? YES, THAT.

And the ice cream even had a soft icing glaze in it, which completely elevated it to another level. You can see the glaze in my photo!

And the Dunkaroos was Halloween edition (“Oh, it just means we put Halloween sprinkles in it,” the totally awesome brains behind the freeze said when Chooch asked her what the difference was between that and the regular Dunkaroos flavor) was so delicious, and for lack of a better word: FUN. It really tastes just like Dunkaroos which makes me yearn for my lunch boxes of yesteryear (although my mom went through a heavy phase where she made me salami sandwiches every day and the lunch boxes during that era became so permeated with that stinky, greasy meat stink that they were unsalveagable).

(I had one super awesome lunch box that was also a radio and everyone was jealous of it.)

Janna wanted the sundae of the day but ordered it wrong and ended up with a scoop of the 3x Chocolate with marshmallows. She was pouting about that for a bit and I was like, “Why don’t you just go back up and explain that you actually wanted the sundae. I’m sure she can just dump it into a bigger bowl, add the toppings, and charge you the difference.” I don’t know what Janna did but she came back with her scoop dressed with sprinkles and chocolate syrup, which still wasn’t what the sundae was supposed to be, but she seemed content with this so I didn’t pressure her further.


Anyway, Janna the Carnivore was like I Can’t Believe This Is Vegan so you’re welcome, Sugar Spell, for bringing you a new cult follower.

(Honestly, I can’t give this place enough accolades. Not only is the shop a real stunner, but the owners are so down-to-earth and happy to please, and, most importantly, the ice cream is exceptionally wonderful! I have had some bad vegan ice cream before, but this stuff is like YEAH BOIIII.)

While we were there, “Eye in the Sky” by Alan Parsons Project came on and I had a Real Moment. That song is a huge part of my life and I was eating ice cream that reminded me of elementary school — the only thing that could have made it any better would have been if it was Saturday morning and I was sitting in my Pappap’s den eating my ice cream while watching cartoons.

Yeah, I was really feeling some things.

After this, we went to Freddy’s Haunts in Aliquippa. Now, I haven’t gone to this place in probably 5 years or so, because the last several times were just “meh.” But this used to be in my annual haunt rotation for years and when I saw that it was open on Sundays, I figured I’d give it another chance. Besides, Chooch had never been to this one yet!

It was still light out when we arrived, so we hung out around the bonfire (which wasn’t necessary since it was still like 80 degrees) and Chooch was happy because there were two dogs hanging out.

Chooch needed the dog to be in the background.

Some older man who reminded me of if Glenn was dressed like a scarecrow came over and sat near me and started telling me that they were trying something new this year with the bonfire, and that they were just waiting for it to get a bit darker before opening, and that “his guy” was in there inspecting it right now, etc etc. Then he told me the name of the two dogs out there, and also the names of four other dogs, but he kept forgetting the names and so that took segment of the conversation took some time.

Anyway, barely anyone was there but I kept getting anxious because no one was standing in line and I needed to make sure that people who came after us weren’t going to go in first and I promise you, no one gave a shit about this, but I was shaking with I HAVE TO BE FIRST jitters.

There are a lot of things I hate about myself, but this is probably at the top somewhere near my all-consuming body dysmorphia and inability to snap my fingers.

Everytime someone came out of the building, I would start to stand up, ready to sprint over to the entrance, but then they would go back inside. I can’t help it!!

Meanwhile, the DJ was playing a bizarre mix of N’Sync deep cuts, country, and 90s R&B. Michael Jackson’s “Jam” came on at one point and I got so nostalgic, like Dunkaroos all over again, because that song brings back memories of This One Time when I was probably 14 or 15 and my brother Ryan and I were out with my mom, who needed to stop at the grocery store (Giant Eagle) before going home. Our German Shepherd, Rama, was with us so Ryan and I stayed in my mom’s Explorer with him, when suddenly!! “Jam” came on the radio and Ryan became possessed by the need to dance so he got out of the car and started writhing maniacally in the middle of the parking lot, while scream-singing along and I, already giddy, started laughing even harder and then Rama was barking wildly because people were walking by the car with their carts and basically it was pandemonium, or “just another day with the Kellys” if you ask any of my friends from back then (like Janna – she can tell you some stories!). So all of this chaos is happening – car radio blasting, my 10-year-old brother dancing in a grocery store parking lot at night, the dog woofing – and I finally crossed the threshold and peed my pants. Like, really peed them. And then there was nothing I could do but wait for my mom to come out from the store and take us home while I sat in my warm pee.

I texted Ryan that moment to see if he remembered and he said: The old giant eagle where best buy is right lol idk why but i still remember that too.


And so I shared this story with Janna and Chooch and then Janna started talking about a stabbing, which really killed the mood.

But then finally someone came out and opened the gate – I think they should have also rang a dinner bell to let us know for sure it was time, but I guess the act of opening the gate was enough. We were going to be nice and let this one family go in first because they were there before us, but the mom was like, “You guys can go ahead of us, we don’t want to go in first!” and the angels sang on high.

After we bought our tickets, we wound our way around to the actual entrance of the haunt and Scarecrow Glenn was there waiting for us. He started telling us some insider info about what was going on behind the scenes and I blurted out ARE YOU FREDDY and you guys guess what it was Freddy! After all these years, I finally met Freddy!

As you may know, I keep a separate paper journal for my haunted house recaps because I am Le Loser, but I will say that Freddy’s redeemed itself on this September night in 2019 and that my favorite part was when I had enough of Chooch acting like a bad ass and constantly making me go first because he thought I should “face my fears,” so I said, “OK tough guy, you go first for a while then!” and then when he yelled, “FINE! I’M NOT SCARED!” and started to walk ahead of us, I swung my arm out to hold Janna back and we stood there, watching him walk down this path alone, mouthing off the entire way (I fucking swear to god, that child never stops yapping), when a girl came out from the side and made him scream like a little baby—it was SO PERFECT. Especially when he realized he was alone, haha.

My throat hurt from screaming my face off and laughing which, you know, are the symptoms of a REALLY GREAT HAUNT.

Henry had a great night too because he got to be all alone in a quiet house watching whatever boring shit he has in his Netflix queue.

  2 Responses to “(Ice) Screamin’ at Haunted Houses”

  1. “And then there was nothing I could do but wait for my mom to come out from the store and take us home while I sat in my warm pee.”

    I am not laughing so much at your plight, but at how you worded it. OMG, 15 years later and I still laugh to the point of TEARS at your stories!

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