Don’t tell anyone this part, but I don’t have my complete, totally finished ghost detective license yet. I’m really close. Just a couple more classes. But if people knew that I wasn’t a complete, whole, legitimate paranormal investigator, they’d flip. Can you imagine? If someone found out I wasn’t certified? That’s the kind of scandal that could bring the whole ghost detection industry to its knees.
The class I’m in right now is about capturing sounds during a haunting. We use these big microphones that kind of look like dicks, and we plug them into these recorders that also look like dicks. The microphones looking like dicks makes sense to me because a lot of microphones sort of look like dicks. But why the recorders look like dicks, that part I’m not sure about. It might be another test to see if we’re ready to be ghost detectives. If we’re mature enough that when we see something that looks like a dick, we don’t have to run around and tell everyone about it.
Our class met at an abandoned factory for our final. We were supposed to go in there, record some sounds, and then edit the tapes to show if there were any ghost noises.
I got partnered up with the the worst guy in the class. His name is Vance, and he’s this hardcore ghost guy who always wears a shortsleeve black shirt that’s so tight you can see all his muscles. Which sounds okay, but I can see the outline of his bellybutton too, which also has muscles. I don’t think most people have muscles on their bellybutton. Mine’s just a hole.
Somehow, seeing a bellybutton muscle through a shirt is worse than seeing it regular. Like how it works with nipple rings. Which Vance also has.
We go into the factory, and Vance leaves me with all the recording gear, and he starts doing this thing he does all the time. He has this method he worked up that’s really annoying. He calls it “going aggro,” and how it works is he yells at the ghosts to make them come out.
“Come at me, bro!” he yells. “I ain’t afraid of no ghosts!”
When he yells, he throws his arms up so you can see that the muscles in his arms are really big. There’s a way you can put up your arms that’s regular, and there’s a way that’s to prove you have big muscles. Vance does it the big muscles way all the time.
He looks over at me to yell something too. This is why I hate being partners with Vance. It’s hard to think of something that sounds good to yell. And I sound stupid when I yell at ghosts because I’m not a very good yeller. And all of this is being recorded on my ghost microphone, so it has to be good.
“Any ghosts in here are…toast,” I say. Not the best thing, but at least it rhymed.
Vance sticks out his bottom lip, nods his head and kind of gives me a look like, “Not bad.” At least, that’s what I think the look is. I never get looks where someone tells me I did a good job, so I just have to guess what’s going on here.
We walk around in the factory for a while, and I hold the microphone out in front of me while Vance yells. I yell a couple other things, and then Vance says, “You know, rhymes aren’t tough. They’re just…rhymes.”
I wanted to say something about how lots of rappers are tough and THEY rhyme. But instead I just shut up and try to record ghosts some more.
I don’t know what it is about haunted places, but there’s a few things they ALWAYS have inside.
They always have mannequins inside. A mannequin room, a closet stuffed with mannequins with no heads. Even places that don’t have any use for a mannequin, you’ll find one in an office somewhere. If you ask the people who used to run the place, they’ll tell you the boss at the factory used to hang his suit coats on a mannequin to try and make it keep its shape or something like that. And then you knock over the mannequin on accident and it turns out that it’s the preserved torso of the boss’ missing wife that he mounted on a pole and dressed up and slow danced with, and it’s a pretty safe bet that this torso mannequin is why there’s a ghost running around in the factory saying stuff like, “OooooOOOOoo,” and, “I’m a ghoooOOOoost,” and “My torso is in here in my husband’s OOOoooOfice!”
They don’t always say that last one. I wish they did. It would be a lot easier if they could just say what the fuck they wanted. Instead, you walk around until you knock over the mannequin, like I said before, and then you get a good scare. And also it stinks really bad.
Sometimes you solve a ghost case by just being clumsy as hell. That’s how I do it, anyway. People will make fun of you for tripping and falling into the answer all the time, like it’s so easy. You fall on top of a preserved old woman corpse that bursts open with juices like an old bag of garbage from a slaughter house. You do that and tell me how easy it is, smart guy.
Another thing these old factories always have is some kind of weird machine. A machine where someone who worked there, they’ll be like, “Oh, that’s designed to screw caps on soda bottles.” But then you look at it and it’s got crazy drills and killing machine parts and a reservoir filled with virgin’s blood. And everyone is all surprised when the machine kills someone. Well, maybe if you didn’t put a bunch of weird knives and lasers on a machine that absolutely didn’t need them, you’d be a lot safer.
The other thing these old factories always have is a bathroom. It’s not always spooky. Most times it isn’t. Most ghosts will tell you that scaring someone while they poop is low-hanging fruit. Plus, they might be ghosts, but they don’t want to see someone stand up and make a run for it mid-log. Even if you’re a ghost and you’re all gorey and stuff, there’s some stuff that’s still gross. It’s one thing to be into floating around with your arm chopped off or having blood come out of your mouth. It’s another thing to see someone with poop smeared all over their ass.
I’m not telling you about the bathroom because it’s somewhere you need to check out for ghosts or something. I’m telling you about it because when you go on these things, if you’re like me, you’ll probably have to take a pee at some point. And by “if you’re like me” I mean “if you’re like a human being who consumes liquid and then pees it out.” Because you’ll always end up drinking a lot of coffee so you can stay up until really late and record ghosts, and you’ll also want to try and not hold in pee because there’s a chance that pee will get scared out of you. I always say, “Peeing while you’re calm-headed is always better than peeing when you’re panicked. Mostly because when you’re panicked and peeing your pants and underwear are still on. And your socks. And if you don’t know why I’m mentioning socks, you’ve never REALLY hosed in your own pants before.”
I say that all the time, but I wish there was a better way to say it that wasn’t so many words and was maybe catchier and would fit better on a t-shirt or something. I tried “Keep Calm and Pee On,” but by the time I caught onto that whole “Keep Calm” trend it was pretty much over. There were really old and unattractive people wearing shirts that said “Keep Calm and” and then the rest of the shirt would say something about how it’s funny to be old or to fart, or sometimes a shirt would say “Keep Calm” and then something that I bet Cathy said in that comic strip she was in. Which was called “Cathy.” And I hate it.
Vance was yelling something to this big open room about how ghosts probably can’t even bench three-thousand pounds or something (I can’t remember the amount of pounds he said and I have no idea what’s a good amount of pounds to bench press), and I told him, “I’m gonna go find the bathroom.”
“Good idea,” he said. “Probably lots of ghosts in there.”
I said, “Yeah, probably.”
He said, “Me? I never go in the bathroom. Don’t have to.” And then he patted his hip. I didn’t know what it meant, and then he patted his butt. I didn’t know what that meant either, so I followed his lead and patted my stomach.
He said, “No, man. Diapers.” He grabbed a piece of his crotch, and I heard a crinkling sound. “I wear these bad boys so I can piss and crap myself and I don’t have to worry about missing out on confronting a ghost just because of a little pee.”
I said, “That’s really hardcore.” That seemed to satisfy him, and he went back to yelling around.
I don’t know if wearing a diaper is really hardcore or if it’s just stupid. But it probably doesn’t matter. Nobody ever said something stupid isn’t hardcore just because it’s stupid. If you think something can’t be stupid AND hardcore, I would tell you about this time I met a guy who pierced his eyeball. Like there was a ring in his eyeball. I would tell you about it, but most of what I wanted to tell you you know already now. He had a ring in his eyeball, and that’s everything important about when we met and what I want to tell you about him.