A Walk Through the Hell House

“I’m not really feeling this, guys,” Stuart complained. “Why don’t we go on the Zipper? That’s always fun. This just looks lame.”

The three of them, Stuart, Mo, and Mo’s girlfriend Jackie, were standing outside the haunted house on the outskirts of the carnival. Above the front entrance, a gaudy neon sign reading simply “Haunted House” flashed on and off, and the walls were adorned with somewhat mediocre depictions of famous horror movie monsters, from Freddie Krueger to Leatherface.

Mo grabbed Jackie’s hand and started toward the front entrance. “Don’t puss out on me, man! You’re scared of this little rinky-dink haunted house?”

“Uh, no? It just looks lame is all. Not even worth our time.”

“Don’t be a puss puss! It’ll take like ten minutes. I’ll even hold your hand as well if you’d like.” To this, Jackie stifled a giggle.

Stuart sighed. “Look, fine, if it’ll make you stop being such an ass.” In truth, he was creeped out by the house… not that there was anything in particular about this one that spooked him, he just wasn’t a fan in general. He hadn’t been in one for years. The last time, he had been eight, and had wet himself when the zombie popped out. He hoped it’d be easier to get through now that he was older.

Stuart walked up the stairs to the entrance, his narrow face looking pale and betraying a subtle look of fear, his blonde hair looking slightly disheveled. The door was guarded by a large, greasy-looking man, wearing a surly expression and a sweaty shirt with the carnival’s logo above the breast. He glanced down to make sure they were wearing their fairground pass bracelets, then nodded them through.

“Oh, yeah, before you go in,” he said as they walked past him, “in case you get scared or whatever, just look for an exit sign. They’re red, and are on the ceiling, and look like exit signs. Pretty hard to miss.”

“Thanks, sir,” said Stuart.

“Yeah, sure. Have fun.”

They pushed through the double doors and entered the house. A long, dark hallway stretched out in front of them. They walked slowly down, Mo and Jackie holding onto each other in mock fright, Stuart trailing behind, eyes darting wildly, seeing hellish visions in even the most mundane shadows.

A plastic skeleton dropped down from the ceiling, accompanied by a loud electronic cackle. Stuart jumped and let out a shriek. Mo and Jackie let out a much louder, yet obviously exaggerated shriek, then burst out laughing, clutching at each other.

“See, man! This shit ain’t scary at all! It’s good times all around!” laughed Mo, throwing an arm around Stuart’s shoulders. “This shit’s just goofy!”

Stuart forced a laugh out but said nothing.

They continued to make their way through the house. Periodically, a fake ghoul would pop up, or a fake demon would lunge out from behind a corner. Stuart jumped every time. Mo and Jackie, somehow, were just finding the whole thing hilarious. Stuart was getting sick of it. He hoped they would reach the exit soon.

All of a sudden, a real life person jumped out from behind a curtain, shrieking wildly. He held an electric carving knife in one hand, and was wearing a blood-spattered apron. Mo and Jackie let out a real scream this time. Stuart did more than that; he bolted as fast as he could in the other direction, back the way he came, through the darkened corridors, barely looking where he was going. His foot caught on something, and he tumbled forward, striking his head hard on the floor. His vision swam and then he passed out.

He woke up sometime later; he wasn’t sure how much longer but it couldn’t have been more than a couple of minutes. Mo and Jackie were nowhere to be found. Presumably they had continued on without him. Great.

He sat up, rubbed the goose egg on his head, and looked around. He wasn’t sure where exactly he was in relation to the entrance. He looked for an exit sign but there were none visible.

He did, however, notice a door to his right that he hadn’t seen before. It didn’t fit in with the rest of the house, which had obviously been prepared to look creepy and grotesque; it was just a plain old wooden door, with a knob. It didn’t look like an exit, but maybe it was a shortcut to another part of the house? Maybe he could find a staff member or something. At this point, he just wanted out.

He got up, leaning against the wall for a minute, steadying himself, getting his bearings. He’d hit his head quite hard, and was feeling decidedly woozy. After a moment, he grasped the knob, turned it, found it unlocked, pushed open the door, and stepped through.

He found himself in a room lit by a bare bulb that hung from a wire attached to the ceiling. The room itself was completely unfurnished. On the other side, he could see another door, like the one he had just gone through. And in the corner of the room, something squatted.

It looked like a round ball of flesh atop two legs. Whatever it was, it was facing away from him, and making soft noises that sounded a bit like “pbbbbbt… pbbbbt… pbbbbbt…” Stuart took a step toward it, and the thing stood up and turned toward him. He saw that it was, unbelievably, a pair of human buttocks on two legs.

The buttocks farted wetly, and charged toward him. “Oh what the fuck!” he cried, and dashed out of the way. The buttocks chased after him, farting constantly. The smell was terrible. He didn’t know why a giant ass was chasing after him, or what it wanted with him, but it certainly wouldn’t be pleasant. He put his back against the wall. The buttocks stood, pawing at the ground like a bull about to charge, then dashed towards him. Stuart waited until it was almost upon him, then kicked at it as hard as he could, knocking it on its back. It flailed around on the ground, producing incredible amounts of flatulence, but lacking arms, it was unable to right itself. Stuart stared at it for a moment, then hurriedly went to the door opposite the one he’d come through, opened it, and left the butt behind.

This new room was the same dimensions as the other one, only this time it resembled some sort of dungeon. The walls were painted red, upon which hung all manner of devices: whips, rope, gags, and weird shit he couldn’t even name. Then he saw what was in the center of the room and his gorge rose.

Bent over some sort of pommel horse was his dad. He was completely covered in a black latex body suit with the exception of some strategically placed holes. He was being paddled, hard, by Stuart’s mom, who was dressed in a similar fashion.

“What the… what the FUCK!” screamed Stuart.

“Oh hi, honey!” said his mom. “How’s your little get-together at the carnival going?”

“Mmmmmmmmblb mmmmlll bbbpbllmm!” exclaimed his dad, who had a ball gag in his mouth.

“This… this is… what’s going on? What’s happening?” Stuart practically wailed.

“Well, sweetie, we were feeling rather kinky, so we came here to have some fun! We’ve already done roleplaying, fisting, and using the electric dildo. We were starting to get bored, but then you showed up unexpectedly. To be honest, it’s honestly really hot that you caught us doing this. We’re going to try some urethral sounding in a bit. Care to join?”

“I’m going to be sick,” mumbled Stuart, and before his mom could say another word, he lunged towards the door and exited the room as quick as he could.

He shut the door behind him and bent over, putting his hands on his knees, attempting to keep the contents of his stomach down. He breathed in and out, calming himself, trying to put what he’d seen out of his mind. Then he realized he wasn’t the only one breathing.

He looked up. At the other end of the room was a massive figure, maybe ten feet tall. It was wearing clown facepaint and was completely naked. It had a truly massive erection.

“Oh no,” Stuart breathed.

“OH YES!” roared the clown, and ran towards him. Stuart shrieked and darted out of the way. This just kept getting worse.

The clown turned towards him. “YOU CAN RUN BUT YOU CAN’T HIDE, LITTLE MAN! BIG BOB IS IN THE MOOD, AND IT’S TIME FOR A DICKING!”

The clown pounced, pinning Stuart down. Straddling him, it swung its monster dong around, smacking it all over Stuart’s face. Stuart grimaced and shut his eyes.

“YOU CAN’T FIGHT! TAKE IT, YOU PANSY!” the clown shouted. An idea came to Stuart. It would suck, but it might just work.

As the clown swung its member around, Stuart opened his mouth and bit down on the head as hard as he could. It tasted absolutely foul, like sweat and smegma and cigarette smoke.

“OW! YOU DICK!” the clown yelled, jumping off him and cupping his hands over his bleeding penis. Stuart scrambled to his feet and, before the clown could grab him, ran through the door out of the room.

The next room was different from the others. It was huge. Endless even. Completely white. He turned back towards the door he had come through and discovered it was gone. He looked around for a sign of anything. There was none to be found.

He started walking. How long he walked for, he didn’t know. Time didn’t seem to exist in this void. It literally seemed like he had been there forever. He knew that if he would remain here much longer, he would lose his tenuous grasp on sanity and reality.

Suddenly from behind him there came a vast sucking sound, like the sound of the little hose they put in his mouth in the dentist’s office after cleaning his teeth. He looked behind and the floor was being sucked into a vast, yawning chasm, a whirlpool of pitch black. He sprinted as hard as he could in the opposite direction.

It was no use. Soon, the pit had caught up with him. His feet scrambled for purchase on the rapidly disappearing ground, then lost it. Crying with fear and frustration, he feel down, down, down, into the darkness. He shut his eyes and waited. He hoped everything would be over soon.

He landed hard on his back, knocking the wind out of him. He blinked, shook his head and sat up. Above him he could see the plastic skeleton from earlier. He jumped to his feet. He could see the front entrance to the house!

He sprinted towards it, almost unable to believe it. He’d escaped! The void had spat him out back into the haunted house! He burst through the double doors, startling the greasy attendant.

“Whoa bud! Take ‘er easy,” he exclaimed.

“Man what the fuck? What the fuck kinda place you got there? Shit’s fucked up man, there was a huge farting butt, and a fucking giant naked clown, and oh god man what the FUCK!” Stuart raved.

The attendant scowled. “Calm down for fuck’s sake. You’re outside so chill out.” He nodded ahead of him. “Your little buddies have been waiting for you.”

Stuart looked and saw Mo and Jackie standing some ways away from the house. Jackie was staring at her phone. Mo was looking at the sky and whistling to himself.

Stuart ran towards them. “You guys! Holy shit you guys did you see anything? God that was so messed up in there oh my god-”

Mo cut him off. “What are you talking about? You sprinted away after that guy in the costume jumped out at us. We figured you were heading back to the front entrance so we took the emergency exit and waited out here. You were gone for like 20 minutes. Did you get lost or something?”

“No man, I tripped and hit my head and-” He paused. It dawned on him that he HAD hit his head quite hard and he HAD certainly passed out for a bit. Did he dream the whole thing? He must have. But it had seemed so real…

“Oh I get it! You knocked yourself out cold I guess. You feeling alright, man?”

Stuart nodded. “Yeah, my head hurts but otherwise I’m ok. Sorry to keep you guys waiting I guess.” He chuckled nervously.

Mo clapped him on the back. “Good stuff my dude. What say we go ride the Zipper?”

Stuart clapped him back. “Shit, dude, anything would be better than that lame-ass house.” He hoped he wasn’t giving off the impression that he had almost soiled his pants.

“Sweet! But man, what the hell is up? You stink like crazy. No joke, you smell like you’ve been assaulted by a giant ass.”


David Gurman

David has never been a big fan of veggies, but because he loves you guys so much he started this blog just for you. He currently attends the professional writing program at Algonquin College and spends his free time trying not to take anything too seriously.

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Peculiar Produce: Unknown Cheese Edition

Today: another pair of items that is not, technically, produce. Look, I know what the title of the blog is, but it was the catchiest name I could think of. I mean, what would YOU have named it? Probably like “Weird Food” or something. That’s lame as hell. Actually come to think of it, a good name for it would be “Uncharted Aisles,” referring to aisles in a grocery store. Which is right there in the subheading, goddamnit. Why didn’t I go with that one?

OK, sorry. I’m rambling a bit here. Let’s move on.

I like cheese. I eat it often, and in large quantities. Not really a fan of blue cheese, but pretty much anything else is fair game. I’m a big fan of aged cheddar and feta cheese, in particular. So, I decided to find some weird cheeses, ones I hadn’t tried before, and give them a spin. I went down to The House of Cheese in the ByWard Market and picked out a couple of different kinds. Here’s how that went:

I tried out the Irish cheddar with Irish whiskey in it first. Now, I’ve had Irish cheddar before, and it’s pretty great, so I figured this one would be excellent as well. I did like it, but it wasn’t quite what I was expecting.

 

The other Irish cheese I had was sharper, more crumbly. It had definitely been aged more. And in contrast, it contained exactly zero percent whiskey. This whiskey cheese was a lot less aged (I’m guessing for maybe only a few months, if at all) and still retained most of its softness. It was fairly mild as well. You could definitely taste the whiskey in the background. It was an interesting and unexpected combination of flavours that came together really nicely. I also enjoyed it on some crackers I bought for the occasion.

I really didn’t know what to expect with the Moroccan spiced cheese. I didn’t even know what they meant by “Moroccan spice” as there is no information on the cheese itself in regard to what goes in it. After a little research I have come to the conclusion that it is probably a mixture of spices known as “ras el hanout.” But I have no way to know for sure. I don’t even know what type of cheese makes up the base for this. It tasted a little like parmesan, but it could be goat cheese for all I know.

What I DO know is that it’s delicious. The cheese base on its own tastes great, but then the spices just add so much more depth. It tastes a bit like what a spice rack smells like; there’s a whole bunch of things happening inside your mouth with every bite. It was delicious on crackers and on its own. If you can deal with the steep price, definitely give this one a try.  


David Gurman

David has never been a big fan of veggies, but because he loves you guys so much he started this blog just for you. He currently attends the professional writing program at Algonquin College and spends his free time trying not to take anything too seriously.

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Peculiar Produce: Pickled Asian Food Edition

Remember in my first post when I mentioned that I was going to talk some more about the regular dragon fruit (as opposed to the yellow variant)? Well, I ate it, and it was supremely underwhelming and barely worth writing about. It tasted like the yellow dragon fruit except with much less flavor. It had been in my fridge for a while so for all I know it had started to go bad, and that’s all I have to say about that. But I digress.

If you haven’t had kimchi, then go ahead and treat yourself. It is a dish originating from Korea, and consists mainly of cabbage along with other ingredients which is then fermented. It sounds kind of gross, and looks a little odd as well, but is actually really good and makes a pretty tasty side dish for your bibimbap or whatever.

So I figured, since I like kimchi so much, why not try something of a similar nature? I went down to the Arum Korean Market and browsed their pickled goods section. Eventually I picked up two things (mainly because they were among the minority of the items for sale that were actually labeled in English). These two things were pickled garlic stems, and pickled plums.

I tried the pickled garlic stems first. I was expecting a powerful and overwhelming garlic taste coupled with an extreme saltiness, and to be honest I was kind of assuming it would just be bad. Not so!

The garlic flavor was much more subdued than I thought it would be, and the pickling process gave it a tasty zesty flavor. And despite being soaked in brine for who knows how long, the stems actually maintained a nice crunch. I think you are meant to add the stems to other dishes, but on their own they actually make a pretty delicious snack. The package cost me about six dollars.

Now, the pickled plums. Hoo boy.

I’ve had mango pickle before, which is an Indian condiment wherein mangoes are mixed with various spices and herbs and then pickled (obviously). It’s actually really delicious and adds a flavor that is sweet, salty, and spicy all at the same time to your curry or stir-fry. So I figured, fruit and pickling, similar process right? Nope.

These pickled plums are a product of Japan. They can be eaten on their own or with rice, or as an ingredient in other dishes. And, I’ll be honest, they’re not that great. They’re kind of like olives, so they’re very salty, but also really mushy, and have a weird, kind of unappealing sour taste to them as well. I ate three because I didn’t want to waste the money I spent on them, but I doubt I’ll be able to bring myself to eat any more. That’s six bucks down the drain. I went into it expecting a surprisingly good dish, despite all appearances, but sometimes you really can judge a book by its cover. And this isn’t a very good book.


David Gurman

David has never been a big fan of veggies, but because he loves you guys so much he started this blog just for you. He currently attends the professional writing program at Algonquin College and spends his free time trying not to take anything too seriously.

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Peculiar Produce: Canned Meat Edition

I have to issue a warning about my last post: don’t eat the kiwano unless you’re a fan of intestinal distress. Seriously, it apparently has a bunch of dietary fibre in it, so unless you’re looking to get a case of the runs, avoid it at all costs.

And now:

I know what you’re thinking: "David, this isn't produce!" If you'll recall, I said in my first post that I wouldn't be exclusively covering produce in the interest of not limiting my options. And now you're probably thinking, “Oh David, this isn’t obscure, Spam has been around for God knows how long, this post is garbage.” Well, consider the following: have you actually ever eaten Spam in your life? It used to be a big thing, but not anymore. Yeah, you’ve passed it by on the shelves in the grocery store, but have you bought a can and eaten it? Probably not. But now you don’t have to, because I’m going to do it for you.

Here’s what it looks like out of the can. It’s basically a meat brick.

I cut a slice off of it to test it out. It tastes a bit like ham, a bit like bologna… the most generic pork taste you can possibly think of. You get the feeling that it’s just a whole bunch of different meats mashed together into this brick. Not bad, but nothing to write home about. Inspired by the picture on the can, I cut off two more slices, threw them between two slices of bread, added a bit of cheese, onion, and mustard, then microwaved it for 45 seconds. It got extremely hot on the bottom, but more importantly, the cheese melted a bit and the meat heated up to make a hot Spam sandwich. It was not bad, although the Spam kind of overpowered the cheese and onions. The expiration date on the can said 2018, which is either a testament to the secure packaging or an indication of how little the product has to do with actual food. It cost about four dollars, so that’s pretty decent for a food product that could probably survive a nuclear holocaust with no adverse changes to its taste or nutritional content.

Next up, I had a tin of smoked herring from the Brunswick fish company:

Like the Spam, it’s probably something you’ve seen before but never tried. So I figured, why not?

I was expecting individual de-boned herrings inside when I opened it, but instead I got this cat food-looking wad of fish.

I grimaced and dug in. It turned out to be pretty decent - a little salty, not too strong of a fishy taste, an all right texture. I ate the whole tin right then and there. I’m not sure how you’re supposed to use it, maybe put it on a sandwich or in a salad like tuna, or eat it straight out of the container like I did. I doubt it matters anyway. I paid $1.80 for it, which seems solid for what you get.

 


David Gurman

David has never been a big fan of veggies, but because he loves you guys so much he started this blog just for you. He currently attends the professional writing program at Algonquin College and spends his free time trying not to take anything too seriously.

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Peculiar Produce: Spiky Yellow Fruit Edition

Welcome to the inaugural post of Peculiar Produce! The idea behind this blog is, I go to stores and buy food that maybe most people have never had, and then I try it and tell you all about it. Don’t let the name fool you though, I won’t be limiting this blog to just produce. There’s a whole bunch of stuff out there that hasn’t been touched by John Q. Public, and I intend to tell you guys all about it.

To start things off, we’re going to look at a couple of fruits I found at my local Loblaws. Now, chances are you’ve seen these before, what with them being found at a big store like Loblaws, but you most likely passed them by, not knowing what they were, what they taste like or even how to eat them. But no more! For here, I shall explain all of this stuff and more.

First up, we have the yellow Pitahaya:

Hailing from Colombia, this fruit is actually a type of dragon fruit. It’s apparently a lot sweeter than regular dragon fruit (which I have yet to try - more on that later) and is rich in Vitamin C. To eat it, you cut in half, then scoop the contents out with a spoon.

It actually tastes pretty great, a bit like a mixture between a honeydew melon and kiwi. The seeds within are edible as well and give the flesh of the pitahaya a nice crunch. All in all, it makes a healthy and pretty tasty snack. It’s a bit pricey, though, at around six bucks a fruit, so it’s not the sort of thing you can eat every day.

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The next fruit I tried was the Kiwano, also known as the horned melon for obvious reasons:

 

It’s native to sub-Saharan Africa, but it is currently grown in many locations around the world. Like the Pitahaya, you’re meant to cut it open.

This time, you’re apparently meant to suck the flesh out of the rind somehow. It didn’t seem to want to cooperate, though, so I ended up just scooping the contents into a bowl.

 

It may look like green sludge with seeds in it, but it’s actually just hundreds of these little jelly-like seed pods.

 

Taste-wise, I didn’t like it quite as much as the Pitahaya, although it was not bad. It was a lot more tart and sour, kind of like sour green grapes, or possibly a Granny Smith apple. Texture-wise, it felt a lot like the flesh of a grape, and you could pretty much just drink the whole thing, seeds and all, directly from the bowl (which I ended up doing). Like the Pitahaya, it contains a good amount of Vitamin C, and also like the Pitahaya, it cost me six bucks. Probably not worth it in this case.

Tune in next time, when we discuss canned meat!


David Gurman

David has never been a big fan of veggies, but because he loves you guys so much he started this blog just for you. He currently attends the professional writing program at Algonquin College and spends his free time trying not to take anything too seriously.

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