I'll Never Get That Money Back

Melanie wasn’t right for me, but that didn’t seem to stop me. Looking back I think I know why, but there really isn’t any way to know for sure. I’m fairly certain the attraction stemmed from finally being able to play grown-up. College was over, my pockets were flush with cash, and I had a girl that occasionally dropped the hint about marriage. In the end I believe it was the ability to take trips, the eating at fancy restaurants, and the really adult-like sex (Read: Longer than 3 minutes) that did it.

One of our trips was to Key West. She had an uncle who owned a time-share in Key Largo who said we could use the place and I had the money to fly us in. Key Largo is about an hour from Key West, but that didn’t stop us from driving down for the day with plans to drink mass amounts of alcohol and possibly partake in some touristy stuff as well.

We arrived early in the day and found a place that was the on-site equivalent of those brochure racks you occasionally see in shitty hotels. It wasn’t large, but the brochures were plentiful and we nailed down a few things we figured on trying.

One was the kayak trip through the mangrove trees. That was fun. It turned out that we were the only ones signed up for that days trip and it was just the two of us with a guide. Rowing for two hours is lots of fun, by the way. As is hearing about all the stinging badass fish that live in the area before Melanie attempts to get me to swim in the same waters just because it would be romantic.

That was her thing.

She wanted everything to be romantic. She’d want to lay out at night and just stare at the stars, eventually trying to persuade me to sleep under the aforementioned stars for further romancing. I was asked to sleep in a cheap (and tiny) blow-up raft under the stars one night as well. No, not in the ocean in some exotic locale. This was in my buddy Steve’s tiny pool after a night of playing cards and throwing back beers. There was also the time I ruined her vacation to Vegas, which I paid for in its entirety, because I wouldn’t spend a night camping in the red rocks. Umm…It’s fucking Vegas AND I FUCKING PAID FOR IT! I’ll stay in a cheap hotel, lose all of my money to Asian blackjack dealers, and eat at Fatburger nine times, and I will punch someone in the face if they try to stop me!

So it was inevitable that I wouldn’t be escaping Key West without doing something retarded in the name of romance. The crap I had to put up with this particular time was a séance. Yes, an honest to goodness, marketed as real, fucking me out of $60, séance. Melanie just absolutely had to do it.

She was pumped and I was skeptical. Well, skeptical isn’t really the right word, but let’s just say I didn’t decide to go through the process with an open mind.

The first thing they do is take your money. That’s because it would be impossible to convince people to pay you thirty bucks a pop after delivering the steaming pile of horseshit they were about to shovel our direction.

About 8 of us rubes were stamped PAID and walked into a small room where we were prepared to enter the séance room. The first thing they did was tell us the history of Key West, which happened to contain a lot of old pirate and ghost lore. It was about 20 minutes in before they decided it was time to see which of us had the best connection with the afterlife. You would think this would be some sort of difficult process to figure out, but apparently all you need to do is give every person a piece of string with a key on the end and tell everyone that the person with the best connection would see their key swing in tiny circles the fastest.

So let me recap…

You tell people who already believe that it’s possible to talk to dead people that if they have a strong connection they will see their key swing in circles. So would you be amazed if I told you that I watched flabbergasted douche bags sitting there with wildly swinging keys and visibly rotating hands fully believing that they had some sort of power? Yeah, less than 20 minutes in and I already knew I was fucked. People are such fucking dumbasses.

The thing is though, the key swinging thing wasn’t even close to the most retarded thing we did. That would be trumped a few times before we’d be done. The first thing that proved to be even Corkier than Corky was how a glass on a cart, a cart that served no purpose other than holding the keys and a glass that would not be used for anything besides getting knocked over to signal the arrival of a “spirit,” was (gasp) knocked over later and that result was proof (PROOF I TELL YOU!) that ghosts not only existed, but that they were on site! They did knock over a pointless glass on a pointless table after all.

How convenient! I paid to talk to ghosts and one totally showed up right on time for all of us paying customers to see. Awesome!

So the guy tells us to all write down on a piece of paper our name and a question we would like answered from the afterlife. Then when all of those are collected we are shuffled into a second room.

This room has a large table that fits about 10 people, which is conveniently perfect for the number of people they booked and the “leader” of this retarded exercise. There is a thick rope in the shape of a circle laid out on the top of the table for each of us to hold on to while waiting to talk with the afterlife. It also has a flash bulb on the wall that randomly was going off. This bulb, as it was explained to us, would only go off when it detected ghosts and such. We sit down in seats lined up by the speed with which our keys were spinning earlier. Completely scientific.

The lights go off and within about 1.2 seconds the flash bulb goes off and our “host” informs us that Edgar Allen Poe is now in the room.

Umm, seriously?

Within 1.2 seconds of us deciding to contact the afterlife we have, not only a spirit there immediately, but it’s Edgar Fucking Allen Poe? Come the fuck on. I mean honestly, at least try to pretend this whole thing isn't complete bullshit.

The guy then speaks in a really possessed-like voice and basically goes through each of us in the same fashion, cruising through each of our questions as if he has a kegger he needs to get to.



“The answeeeeeer to your quessssstion, isssss yesss.”

At which point the guy just moves right along to the next person.



“The answeeeeeeer to your quesssssstionnnnn is noooooo.”

And wouldn’t you know that as the last person had their question “answered” the lights came right on and they shuffled us marks right out the door and probably immediately began laughing and pointing as we walked away dumber for having wasted our money.

We wandered around and drank beer after beer, probably mixing in some shots. It was after most of this boozing that we realized we either had to drive for an hour to get home, or we’d be needing a place to stay.

We quickly found that there wasn’t a cheap place available that night, and driving was truly out of the question. Melanie, always good for befriending random people (she would meet a random foreigner and give them her phone number and an offer of a place to stay if they ever ended up in Chicago), found a waitress who was now off her shift and the woman agreed to let us crash on the floor of her new apartment. It was close to 2am and I figured that she was small enough that I could take her if she tried anything funny, so we walked back with her to her place.

And by “new” she apparently meant that it was so new she didn’t have any furniture. Nor did she have stuff unpacked from the move from her old place. Thus we slept with our heads on a suitcase and used some jackets as our blanket. Quality sleep, let me tell you.

Early the next morning we snuck out and drove back to Key Largo.

We kayaked through mangrove trees, drank at almost every bar on the key, slept on suitcases and hardwood floors at a complete stranger’s apartment, and all I can think about to this day is the sixty bucks I was fucked out of during that séance. Edgar Allen Poe my sweet ass…


elizabeth said...

hehe so funny. i'm surprised she didn't want you to to have a romantic night in a haunted house, to connect with some more awesome spirits.