I LIKE YOUR HAT.
Dylan came home from his scarer job at Field of Screams with an interesting story. Apparently, he and his colleagues had been insulting the customers.
His boss – a woman who takes no crap – got complaints about their behavior.
Dylan’s colleagues – who are between four and ten years older than he is – were nowhere to be found when she decided to unload her wrath.
“If I ever hear of you doing anything like this again, you’re out of here!” she told Dylan, who was standing alone, as he often does.
The people who help him with his section of the trail often gallivant about, not doing what they’re told. So they weren’t there to be reprimanded – not that they’d care if they lost their jobs.
But Dylan wants to work at Field of Screams. He gives it everything he has. He puts his whole heart and soul into it.
Unfortunately, he is only 14.
“I thought I was allowed to say whatever I wanted, as long as I was in character,” Dylan said later.
“There’s no reason, ever, to be rude,” I told him. “Being negative and insulting might be fun for you, but even in a situation where you are acting like someone mean, you don’t ever have to actually be mean.”
I described the scariest thing that happened to me on that same trail – years earlier, when I dared to traverse it, squeezing Bill’s hand way too hard the whole time. “Some guy walked right up to me, looked me dead in the eye and said, ‘I LIKE YOUR HAT’ in this majorly creepy voice. It scared the crap out of me. But see? You can be nice and terrifying at the same time.”
Dylan took it to heart. He scared the heck out of people all night the next night.
“I complimented everybody the whole time,” he said. “I went right up to someone and said, ‘YOU LOOK LOVELY!'”
He sounded a bit creepy, just repeating what he’d done.
And he learned a valuable lesson: you can – simultaneously – be a perfect gentleman and a complete psycho.