My Bitter Nightmare

The nightmare isn't the park, but the party.

The nightmare isn’t the park, but the party.


It’s that time of the year again.  The fake and real spiderwebs are out in force, fake and pumpkin guts are spilled all over and fake and real people are dressed up as fake and real ugly people.  This time of year is the time of nightmares.  As you can probably imagine, there are a number of things that give me nightmares.  Let’s just say I’ve woken up in the middle of the night more than once with the nightmarish sounds of eternally happy people singing.  Usually, I drink some soda and down a pizza or two and get some heartburn.  Then my usual scary serial killer, goblins and zombie dreams come back and I sleep soundly once again.

This weekend I came face to face with one of my real nightmares.  Some people think of this experience as pleasant by osmosis, as a young person gets joy out of turning a year older.  I call a kid’s birthday party a nightmare.  It all started when my son decided he wanted to choose two of his friends to have his birthday party with at Wild Waves, a local waterpark, turned Halloween themed Fright Fest.  We had to get there somehow, so I was trapped in a wheeled box with three seven year olds.  If you’ve never been in a car with 3 seven year olds, be prepared to hear the word poop and pee and high pitched screaming that can only be outsquealed by 7 year old girls.  It is a true test in not wanting to go postal and shoot up the whole car.  I was at my passive aggressive best when I finally decided to turn up the music.  I so badly didn’t want to hear another thing from them, that I turned up the Disney station so I could hear Bieber.  It wasn’t my shiniest moment ever, but when do I ever have a shiny moment?

The loud Bieber music didn’t stop them, so I kept switching stations to see if any of them would stop them incessant noise in my head (them).  Then, like a miracle from deep below, classical music.  It came with violins a stringing and trumpets ablaring as they created an enormous earworm that exorcized the demons for a short time, until we arrived at the amusement park.

Unfortunately, we arrived safely at the park.  It was cool outside and I hoped that it might get a lot colder, so cold that their lips would freeze shut, but alas, that was not to be.  None of the waterpark rides were open (come on, not even one frozen ride?) so we proceeded to ride the regular rides, my son wanting to ride with me on most of the early rides (shhhew, safe for now), but later, after the major roller coaster ride, decided to go with one of his buddies, meaning I had to ride with my arch nemesis, Neighbor Kid.  Much like Optimus Prime and Megatron, or Superman and Lex Luthor having to temporarily team up in order to save the world, I had to ride with one of his friends in order to save his birthday party.  It was a very tense situation where small talk was involved with a formidable foe.  I was just like Lex Luthor, except not smart, and without the maniacal laugh (or any laugh for that matter) and he was just like Superman, except for the strength, courage, or the red and blue tights.

They dragged me like a criminal from kiddy ride to kiddy ride, putting me in the prison of one tight fitting “safety bar” after another.  I had to keep running after them, pretending to care if one of them got lost, pretending to care if one of them got hurt, and pretending to care if they had fun or not.  Lightness faded to dark, and with that, the nightmare seems to almost be over.  I tell the kids it is time to go, because it is too late for the demons to be out until…they request ONE. MORE. RIDE.  NOOOOOOOOOOO!  Whatever it is, please not the Ferris Wheel.  Not the never ending Ferris Wheel.  “Can we do one more ride?  The Ferris Wheel?”

“Of course,” I say through my creepiest looking gritted teeth.  So we wait and wait, then get on and wait.  Then we get stuck at the top and the Superman that isn’t anything like Superman keeps asking my Lex questions.  It keeps talking to me.  I just want it to go away.  I plot my revenge.  What will I do? Push it off the top of the Ferris Wheel? Nope, too obvious.  We finally end the eternal nightmare of the never ending Ferris Wheel.

How does the nightmare end? I remember something.  They haven’t eaten since two hours ago at McDonalds.  And they were given some money by their parents.  Then it all comes together.  A bitter thought crosses my mind.  Yes.  This is how I will get my revenge. “Okay, let’s go to the Candy Shop. You guys can buy whatever you want, and then we need to leave. Just make sure you eat it before we get home.”

Just like a grandparent getting their revenge on their kids with their grandkids, I get them all sugared up, hyped up and then leave the little nightmares for their parents.


Bitter Revengerman Ben


36 thoughts on “My Bitter Nightmare

  1. You’ve done it again, stirred me to verse
    And after you read this, you’ll know it’s a curse
    Being senselessly wordy isn’t my usual style
    So perhaps you should stuff this into the round file!

    Bitter Sleepy Ben’s Halloween Nightmare
    Hello Bitter Ben, I’m the nightmare of your Past
    It’s a small, small world . . . this tune will forever last
    In your thoughts as I take you on a Memory ride
    To see your bitter ways . . . just stay by my side

    The soda and pizza really must go
    It’s the cause of your thinking becoming so slow
    And it’s heartburn that’s keeping the monsters at bay
    So how can you be Bitter on this Halloween day?

    The party is starting, people are happy with song
    What’s amiss with this picture, surly it’s wrong?
    Bitter Ben at a party, laughing and merry
    Just the thought of it seems to be downright scary

    Let’s whisk you right back before this joyfulness sinks in
    Let another apparition get you to atone your bitter sin
    And quick as a wink Bitter Ben was asleep
    Snoring so loudly he didn’t hear a peep

    Until another visitor appeared in his mind
    Bitter Ben’s nightmare of the Present re-aligned
    Becoming quite vivid with children everywhere
    And birthday hats sitting on each and every chair

    “Waterpark, Waterpark” they squealed in his ear
    “Halloween Fright Fest” they started to cheer
    Clapping their hands and jumping with glee
    You’d better take them quick, you don’t dare to flee

    The Ferris wheel is looming just over your head
    Neighbor Kid’s waiting, what? Are you playing dead?
    Better take you back before bitterness pours out
    There’s nothing sadder than a Bitter Ben pout

    Asleep once again, waiting for the next caller to show
    Sure enough Future Nightmare is starting to glow
    Better bustle Bitter Ben to his future disarray
    Before all his nightmares start commencing to fray

    Is that Bitten Ben, smiling at work?
    He’s playing so nice, not being a jerk?
    The In box was full when first he awoke
    But now it is empty, is this some kind of joke?

    And he’s being so thoughtful, conversing with all
    He seems dreadfully happy, like he’s having a ball
    His ‘Employee of the Year’ trophy sits polished to a sheen
    And check out his photo, he looks very lean?

    And his living room couch is no longer there
    It’s gone with the remote making his TV look bare
    If that isn’t enough to jolt Bitter Ben awake
    There must be more images to give him a headache

    Poof, nightmares are gone, Bitter Ben’s had some night
    Sighing relief, knowing how it gave him a fright
    All that laughter and gaiety swirling around
    Causing his head to swell up and pound

    Thank goodness it’s a dream, Ben can’t lose his bitter
    Everyone knows that Ben’s bitter is no quitter
    So this Halloween nightmare is coming your way
    To remind you to have a Monstrously Bitter Holiday! ©


    • I can’t believe you took all the time
      To come up with such a fantastic rhyme.
      I know nothing of poetry or verse
      But I know that I deserve this curse.
      I spend all day thinking of bitter
      And spreading it all over Twitter.
      I appreciate you taking all this time to comment
      While I sit here in bitter lament,
      What I did to deserve such a great follower
      Guess I will never know it is such a blur.
      Thanks again for kicking me in the rear,
      And making it so hard to choose which comment will be comment of the year.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I thoroughly enjoy the notion that you have a 7-year-old nemesis. Most people don’t understand that you can actually hate a specific child without hating children in general. (Also, I’m sorry to hear that you had to accompany them to an amusement park. I worked at Hershey Park for a few years and definitively decided to never return to any of them ever again. Children are mostly horrible, and if they have money from their parents they’re even worse.)


    • It was a wooden roller coaster that didn’t have any huge drops. And the Ferris wheel was just a plain old boring one. The only thing that was Halloweeny was the Haunted Houses we couldn’t go to because they kids were freaking 7 years old.


  3. A most excellent job of exacting revenge on the unsuspecting parents, Ben. You’ve done your good deed for the year; now rest on your laurels as “Father of the Year.” Fun post–thanks! 🙂


  4. I sooo feel your pain! My daughter just turned 10, and when were discussing her birthday plans, my husband suggested, in front of her, that she invite 5 or 6 of her friends over for a sleepover. He missed the massive stink eye I threw him, but he didn’t miss the flip flop I chucked at the back of his head, and my furious demand for him to not speak unless spoken too when it came to making birthday suggestions. WTF? Six 10 year old girls for a sleepover. Was he out of his mind?


    • He probably knew that he would be out of town or doing anything else that day. My daughter also turned 10, but thankfully she is an introvert and isn’t big on sleepovers anyways, so I dodged a bullet there. Just worried about the boy wanting one of those soon. Hopefully you can just bring them all to Chucky Cheese instead of sleepover. UGGGHH.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I love the rollercoaster. As scary as the boys thought that one was going to be, it didn’t even dip at the beginning, which is always the scariest part. What don’t you like about Ferris Wheels, other than the fact that you have to dangle in the air in a swinging chair for about 20 minutes AFTER the ride.
      Sorry, was it a little over the top bitter?


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