Stan Loves Scary Things
Stan loves scary things. He loves
dressing up as monsters and scarecrows and Batman and Darth Vader and
the Creature from the Black Lagoon. He loves monster
movies. He loves
exploring dark tunnels under the city. He loves Goosebumps books
Scooby Doo cartoons and monster cereals. Here's a brief history
chronological order) of some of the ways we didn't succeed in scaring
Stan went to his first
Halloween party when he was only three months old. Then we took
him to another one the next weekend too! His parents were dressed
up as Popeye and Olive Oyl. Stan went as Swee' Pea. One of
the guests at the party thought he was just a prop because he slept
through most of the party. Stan wasn't scared by all the people
in costumes. Right from the beginning he was a Halloween party
The first time Daddy made him laugh when was when he acted like he was
cutting up baby Stan with a butter knife when he was three months
Stan isn't scared of water.
That's probably because his daddy used to try to drown him all the
time, even when he was a baby. He'd pull Stan under the water
then pull him out again. Stan would look shocked, but then he'd
realize he didn't drown, that Daddy was just playing! Now Stan
isn't scared to swim, to go down water slides, or to jump in water no
matter how deep!
Stan used to be scared of a
mannequin his parents used for Halloween. Before Stan even had a
sister, his daddy would call it Stan's sister, and he'd make her peek
around the corners. That scared Stan, which was silly since she
didn't even have any arms. Eventually his parents put her away in
the attic, but Stan never forgot about her. Sometimes he'd tell
people, "My sister lives in the attic." They'd worry because they
didn't know he had a sister, so why was she being kept in the attic
like a secret? Then he'd tell them, "She doesn't have any arms,"
and then they'd get as scared as Stan was of her!
Walgreens has always had a
surprisingly good assortment of Halloween decorations. When Stan
was maybe a couple years old, Daddy took him there and was looking
through their offerings. Stan wandered up and down the aisle
doing his own browsing.
One of the workers was still stocking the shelves at that point (this
was still early in the season, but we're always among the first there
when Halloween starts showing up). He said he had been on the
aisle most of the day, and Stan was the first kid his age to come down
it without being scared or crying even. He was unphased and even
interested in all the decorations.
Stan never liked getting his
picture taken with Santa Claus. To Stan, that big man with the
beard is more scary than Jack Skellington or the Grinch or Bumble the
Abominable Snow Monster or any other Xmas monster. But one Xmas
Santa brought Stan an alien autopsy kit. It was his favorite
present that year, and he told everyone at school about it.
As Stan was watching the movie
"Dracula" he watched intently as the Count made his appearance in that
famous scene on the steps in front of Renfield. The wolves howled
in the background, and suddenly another tiny wolf howled as well, much
more like a little cub. Stan was sitting on the couch next to
me. I looked around the room thinking someone else had howled,
but it was Stan. He was a creature of the night and wanted to
make beautiful music too!
One time when Stan was only three,
Daddy took him to a haunted house. Everyone in the haunted house
was dressed up as zombies and tried to scare visitors. Stan
wasn't scared, and so the zombies started laughing. They thought
it was funny that everyone was scared of them except for this little
kid, so they started laughing and wanted to talk to Stan. But
then Stan got scared. Because Stan's the only kid in the world
who loves zombies but is scared to talk to people!
Stan has always loved being
scared. If Daddy sits there quietly and then jumps at him or
makes a blood-curdling scream, Stan always laughs. He is never
truly frightened past the first second or so, then he laughs
maniacally. He has never cried or gotten angry about it.
Similarly, he has never been afraid of the dark. When Daddy was
his age, he used to hide in closets and cupboards. Apparently
Stan is the son of Dracula.
As Daddy was putting Stan to bed
one night, he said something that sounded like , "I want Mommy."
"Mommy went to bed," Daddy told him.
"No!" he said, "The Mummy movie!"
Generations of kids have been terrified by Universal Monster movies,
but not Stan. He was mad because he felt like he didn't get a
scary enough movie on Svengoolie this week. The week before they
showed a Mummy movie, but on that episode it was just "Francis in the
Haunted House," which was about a talking mule solving a murder mystery
in a castle (and a castle isn't really a house, and it wasn't really
haunted). It was not scary enough for him. Daddy let him
watch some old Outer Limits episodes to make up for it.
Momma, Daddy, and Stan watched the
first episode of "The Walking Dead" together as a family. Daddy
liked all the zombies, and he wanted to see if Momma did to. He
turned to her when the episode was over and asked her if she liked
it. Stan was sitting on her lap. Before Momma could say she
thought the show was scary and gross, Stan piped up and
enthusiastically yelled, "I liked it!" Why? Because it was
scary and gross, and Stan loves was scary and gross things!
Once when Stan and his daddy were
watching a monster movie, Stan said, "I'm scared!" Daddy paused
the movie and explained that it was just pretend, but that they could
stop watching it if was too scary. "No!" Stan said. Because
he loved being scared of pretend monsters. That was his favorite
Stan was scared of having a baby
sister. You can see it in his face the day she was born. He
looked like he was saying, "I don't know about this!" But then
Daddy said to him, "You know what I like about you?" "No," said
Stan. "I like that you know how to walk," Daddy told him.
Stan thought about this for a second. His new baby sister
couldn't walk yet. Then Daddy ask, "You know what else I like
about you?" "No," said Stan. "I like that you know how to
talk." Stan thought about this too. His new baby sister
didn't know how to talk either. Stan stopped worrying because
there was so much he could teach his baby sister!
When we went to Legoland, Stan was
scared of all the rides, starting with the very first one we
tried. He cried and cried all the way through it, and then on
many others after it. But over the course of the day, he realized
the rides only seemed scary. They weren't going to hurt him at
all, and he started having fun. As we were leaving the park that
day, Stan wanted to go on one last ride... the one he was so scared of
when we first got to Legoland! When we got to Disneyland a couple
days later, Stan wasn't scared of anything anymore. He rode every
ride. He even went to the Haunted Mansion twice!
Stan used to be scared of new
foods. He hated to try anything he hadn't had before. He
was even scared of tomatoes until he realized he had just eaten one on
a bacon burger and it didn't kill him. Another time he ate
sushi. He was scared of it all because it was new and
different. He'd never had raw fish before. He'd never eaten
seaweed or octopus or yamagobo before. But after he tried it, he
loved it. Guess what Stan's favorite food is now? Sushi!