Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Dispatch From Escalatorville: Parlour Tricks For Dummies

Overheard (Mom to Daughter) at a local bagel and coffee purveyor:

"You can't turn yourself into a frog, honey - you're not a witch yet."

The Incredible Disparate Hearing Act.
I was at work the other day when a father was trying to describe to his son the Cut Bamboo Xylophone that we sell in the front of the store.

"Well, that's an interesting instrument." the Dad spoke.

What I originally heard however was
"Well, that's a Hipster-magnet"

The sad truth is that both descriptions are correct.

The Great Escape.
I once worked as a "character" at the Old Jail stop on one of of our towns multiple, nightly Ghost tours. My persona was that of a prisoner who had been hung at the gallows on the site 100 years ago, and was rumored to still be present in the building - along with a number of other unfortunate ne'er do wells whom, even in afterlife, were bound to their prison cells.

I was quite good at it, and was able to thoroughly convince tourists and townies alike that there were indeed a few spirits still floating through the old burg.

Then, one night, I was participant in an event that scared me more than any other boogeyman tale I've heard or been involved in.

After the last tour one evening, 'round midnight or thereabouts, I began the process of making sure all exits and entrances were secure, turning off the lights in the second floor of the building. The upstairs cells shut and dark, I'd routinely head down the steps and do the same for the first floor of the building.

It's a creepy kind of place in general, and so I had taken up the habit of whistling to myself to calm my nerves as I did this task. On this particular night, however, I'd no sooner shut the door to the "Jail" portion of the building, when I heard another whistle - the sound coming from directly behind me, no more than a foot or two away from my ears. A different tune than the one I'd been making up, this was no echo. I could feel the breath on the back of my neck.

I started to whistle a bit louder as I headed into the stairwell.

Halfway down the concrete steps, the whistle still behind me - I felt a push upon my back, energy so forceful that I had to steady myself with the handrail. I took a millisecond to catch my wits, and then took the remainder of the steps two at a time, rushing to turn off the lights, shut the doors, and get - the - heck - out - of that building (I would say to get the Hell out of the building, but at the time I thought it best to leave the Hell exactly where it was).

I've had ghostly encounters in this town before and since, but the apparitions I've encountered have usually been fairly solemn and non-aggressive.

Never before had I been mocked or harmed by an otherworldly resident, but that night taught me that there are indeed many different kinds of spirits.
Ones that make their appearance and move along - and those that just want to be left alone in their terror, by any means necessary.

Like A Rabbit From A Hat, But Not At All.
A side note to the oldest city's downtown dog walkers; It's great that you put your puppy's waste into a tidy plastic bag, really, I applaud you for the effort (you can't tell because I'm typing, but it sounds like applause, honest).

However, part two of that scenario is supposed to be that you pick up said bag and trash it. As special and wondrous as your pooch may be folks, those aren't lawn decorations.

Nothing Up - Mights Leave.
I said to the young lady, as she was exiting the store, my normal farewell for those who perused without purchase:

"Thanks for stopping in today!"

Replied the gal back to me:

"Oh, yeah - you too."

Finally: for Ocracoke, Atlantic City, Hoboken, Queens, New England, Virginia, and everyone else affected by this weeks horrific storm:

"The aurora is risin' behind us, The pier lights our carnival life on the water."

The Dispatch From Escalatorville
Z.F. Lively, Proprietor/Chief Puppeteer, Non-Puppet Division
escalatorville@yahoo.com for love letters and advice.

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