Haunted joy


Tonight I ran the haunted house at the neighborhood elementary school.

It’s the fourth time I’ve done it here in California, but the first where my children (now in middle and high school) don’t attend the host institution. Truth is, I hope I’m doing this 40 years from now. It’s just an absolute blast. Like Halloween, the haunted house has nothing to do with religion, with money, with politics. Republican, Democrat, Trump, Hillary—none of it matters. Just scaring kids, laughs and shrieks and bliss.

I digress.

Best moment of the night: My son Emmett is in sixth grade, so last year he attended elementary. There’s this one kid, a grade younger, who’s an absolute pain in the ass. He and Emmett played hoops a lot, and the boy just hogged the rock, yelled at other kids, drove head down. His parents encouraged the behavior. Just awful.

Anyhow, that child entered the house tonight. He didn’t recognize me, didn’t recognize Emmett. So when he was walking through the house, I growled (behind my psycho mask), “Pass the ball, Elliot! Pass the basketball!”

Emmett came up to me later, smiled and said, “Thanks, Dad.”