Game Night

Did I die and go to heaven?  Is there a game that covers my two personal geek niches, trivia and horror, at the same time?  Well, yes, yes there is.  Here it is. One hundred years of horror! Sign. Me. Up.

You may not realize this, but 1981 was a great year for nerds.  This epic year saw the release of Trivial Pursuit (thank you Canada!), the game that allowed us to shine. Cut us some slack; chances are, if we were masters of Trivial Pursuit, we didn’t have a whole lot of outdoor sports skills available to us.  The game itself was originally released in 1979 … but it took a couple of years for it to catch on and catch on it did. It has since exploded with a litany of variations: Star Trek (lucky UK!), Baby Boomers, Lord of the Rings, Silver Screen, and even a Book Lovers edition, just to name a few.

At the peak of Trivial Pursuit’s meteoric rise – between 1983 and 1986, I was lucky to be surrounded by other nerds, and we threw intimate parties to showcase who knew the most about nothing at all.  We took this seriously, and generally divided ourselves into teams: the classic boys vs girls, with the boys excelling in the sports category while the girls swept the rest.  I think it goes without saying that alcohol was a part of these parties, but my memories are of good friends and good times.  At least I think that’s what I remember; like I just said, alcohol played a part of the gatherings.

Trust me, the apple didn’t far fall from the tree… at least in so far as gaming goes (remind me to tell you about my mother’s addiction to the original Mario Brothers sometime). Like most of us in days gone by, my family had game nights.  Today’s kids will never know the joy of bankrupting your brother in a rousing, friendship ending game of Monopoly.  My parents taught us card games like Hearts, and a quirky little game called I Blew It (back off, guys, it was just a dice game).  Then, geeks and nerds everywhere rejoiced with the release of Trivial Pursuit, and my family was right there with the best of them. We were able to showcase our knowledge of state capitals, obscure authors, foreign etiquette, and bizarre scientific facts.  Take that, jocks!

I still love Trivial Pursuit and it’s new-age ilk … I have an unrepentant addiction to the aptly named TriviaCrack.  My brain isn’t full of many useful things, but by golly, I can tell you that John Tyler was the tenth president of the United States, that the first letter on a typewriter is Q, that Yankee Stadium is the House that Ruth Built, and that amoebas can group together and form something called a slime mold.

At the same time, anyone who would be so inclined as to check my Netflix lists would think I am slightly, or mostly, unhinged by my “recommended” movies and watched list.  Goofy monsters, slashers, aliens, and ghosts; if its creepy, I’ve watched it three times. I am nothing if not a horror aficionado.

Now, Trivial Pursuit has raised the bar with a horror movie edition. Horror trivia? Be still, my heart.

I can’t recall where I am supposed to be tomorrow at four (but I know it’s someplace important), what I had for breakfast, or what I did last night, but I can sing every word to the creepy “One, two, Freddie’s coming for you” song and I just happen to know the best-selling fiction book of all time.  Hint: it’s Don Quixote. 

In a world where walking fast is an Olympic Sport, I want to find a way to make money playing Trivial Pursuit, the Horror Edition.

What to Wear, What to Wear?

But then I think, you know, that chick with the matching lingerie is always — but always — among the first to die in every B slasher film ever made. So then I don’t feel too badly the other 29-30 days of the month when my style doesn’t quite…mesh. It’s a safety issue. Yeah, that’s it. A safety issue.

 

Horror House for Sale

I think I found a legit haunted house. No, no, really. A legit haunted house. Or at least a home worthy of a gory horror movie, if not of the ghostly variety.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about relocating so I’ve been doing some light research on Zillow, realtor.com, and other real estate sites when I stumbled across one of the most bizarre postings I’ve ever read. Now, I’ve noticed the home seems to be making the rounds on social media lately (obviously I’m not the only person trolling real estate ads) but just in case you haven’t seen it, I thought I would share. Oh, and just for the record, while the “for sale” ad has been removed from Zillow and realtor.com (probably because it’s causing quite the stir), I did snag some screenshots which I will happily share.

Everything started out well and good with the listing. Just what you’d expect. The opening picture of the house was lovely. The information about the number of bathrooms and bedrooms seemed normal. The square footage was right in the sweet spot that most people look for. I thought to myself, “This house looks great” and continued to read up about it. It didn’t take long for things to take a very dark, very creepy turn for the worse.

photo courtesy of realtor.com – click picture to go to site where more pics are shown

The first cause for concern? There was a tenant still living in the house. That’s not weird in and of itself, but as the listing explained, this tenant cannot be disturbed and while he or she is on a lease, they pay no rent and cannot be evicted for non-payment. So, basically it’s just an entity floating around the property that you can’t get rid of or take any action to remove. Kinda sounds like a ghost to me.

Second cause for concern: While there is an upstairs unit to the house, as the post laid out in very clear, no uncertain terms, this unit cannot and will NOT be shown to any potential buyers under any circumstances whatsoever. It is strictly off limits. I kid you not, this is what it said. It sort of reminded me of Beetlejuice, when the new family moved in and there was no way to get into the mysterious attic. I picture in this house an impenetrable door with who knows what hiding behind it.

screenshot via realtor.com — info has since been removed

Third cause for concern: I was scrolling through the pictures and one in particular caught my eye. One of the doors is covered in some sort of red spatter. I’m not a CSI detective so I can’t confirm or deny what it may be, but one thing I know is that red liquid splashed along a broken door doesn’t bode well for the property’s history.

photo courtesy of realtor.com

Fourth cause for concern: Putting on my sleuthing cap, I dug a little bit deeper and pasted together a curious timeline for this house. It was being rented out as late as February 28th of this year. The tenant sought was a professional couple or single. No mention of an off-limits section upstairs or a mysterious tenant — though an artist appears to be in residence.

screenshot via hotpads.com

Now, just a touch over two months later, the pictures of the house that are online show a dwelling in total disrepair. Walls are gutted. There are holes in the ceiling (I don’t even want to know). Floor tiles have been uprooted. Random junk and garbage are stacked both in and outside the house. Old, rusted appliances lean against the walls. Unexplained leaks coming from upstairs — which, isn’t that where the unseen tenant resides? I’m not going to guess as to what’s smeared on the walls. What the hell happened to this place in those two months? Or did it always look like that, even as it was being advertised as a rental property? If that’s the case, that’s pretty damn frightening, I must say.

photo courtesy of realtor.com

 

photo courtesy of realtor.com

Now, normally I’d be all for living in a haunted house. I have no issue with ghosts. However, given these four points, I believe I am well justified in saying that we have the beginnings of a real-life horror story here — and not the fun variety either.

Honestly, isn’t this how horror movies start? A nice couple buy a fixer-upper. All seems well the first couple days into their renovation. Then, one night, a weird noise comes from the supposedly vacant upstairs unit. Later, doors that should be locked are left wide open. Next, strange signs that someone or something has been moving around when they’re asleep. All this leading up to the climactic moment when the unseen housemate bursts through the wall with a pickax trying to kill the unfortunate couple. Given how those stories normally go, the pickax wielding roommate is usually pretty darn successful in quenching their blood lust with their handy dandy farming implements.

So, yeah, I think I’ll pass on putting in a bid.

Jump Scares

There are no words to adequately describe the mini jolt of terror that comes from having a small white creature unexpectedly streak out at you with wanton abandon from the depths of a pitch black room as you innocently walk through, having just paused the horror movie marathon you’ve been watching precariously perched from the edge of your seat, and with bated breath mind you, in order to go and get a drink, believing that said adorable,  yet stealthy, white creature is asleep on the bed where she belongs and not ensconced in her blanket on the floor in a corner of the aforementioned pitch black room.

That’s Entertainment

The following gives you an inside view on Sarah and I deciding whether to watch a movie or not.  Cause I know you guys are eaten up with curiosity over just how we manage to come to such an important decision.

Sarah: That movie looks sooo weird!  Even for us.

Me (*gleefully*): I know, right!?

Together: Let’s watch it!

Night Life

A ghost town? Zombie apocalypse? Martial law curfew due to an adopted demigod’s adorable grin and glorious purpose? (sorry, just got done watching Avengers for the 12th time)

No. This is just small town nightlife at its best – at 10:00 p.m.  But it wouldn’t be any different at 9:30 p.m. Or even 9:15 p.m.  Everything closes up shop at 9:00 p.m. or earlier and then boy howdy, you could roll up the streets it’s so damn empty.  We have a 7-11 in town (pics below) but no one is ever there, at least not when we are. It’s amazing, frankly, just how dead this town is after dusk. You’d seriously think we’re in some kind of horror story just living out the writer’s sick fantasy.

If there IS someone walking down the road, it’s creepy as hell and you look really close (okay I look really close, not sure about everyone else) to see if they have on a mask and are carrying a bloody axe (although you’d think the requisite accompanying spine-chilling musical score would sort of give them away).  I’m also quick to check to see if they present with any of the obvious symptoms that indicate they’ve somehow or other been touched by the zombie infection. You can never be too careful. I like my brains where they are thank you very much.

Sadly, just my luck, the impulsive adopted demigod with the impish grin would never visit such an out-of-the-way, shutter the stores and roll up the streets at dusk sort of seaside town.  More’s the pity.

7-11 in town, the car you see is mine

the parking lot of the 7-11 in town, the car you see is mine, and although lit up, the place across the street is closed

 

the other side of the parking lot at 7-11...not unusual

other side of the parking lot…no zombies thankfully, but they do have chips

 

the one intersection/light in town and not a soul in sight

the one intersection/light in town and not a soul in sight…lights are on, but no one’s home — or out and about

 

 

Priorities

While I wait patiently for my true love, I’ll do my duty and share this very important public service announcement.  I knew you wouldn’t want to miss the real meaning of happiness associated with Valentine’s Day. Candy. On sale. Just so long as it’s not those dreaded candy hearts.  Yuck.

 

valentine candy sale