Bewitched and Befuddled
by Brian Davis (OD)
The only thing I know about Canada is what I learned from South Park. So when I found out via the HBS stalking network (aka Classcards) that Stef was from Canada, I was not sure what to expect. One thing I did know that women from any country hated to be picked up late. So I left at 4:30, giving myself plenty of time to pick Stef up by MIT around 5:00. After two detours, a lap around Copley Square, and a trip over the Longfellow Bridge I was there-it was 5:30. A mere omen of what was to come.
Like those Intraviewers before me, I strove to find something creative and something out of town. Unfortunately, also like my Harbus Intraview brethren, I got lost. The 45-minute trip to Salem took an hour and a half. The upside was we saw several nice towns, and the leaves were beautiful as the sun set. The downside was I almost killed us doing u-turns into oncoming traffic trying to find the way.
At 6:59 Stef spotted a parking spot on Main Street in Salem, and we sprinted off to our 7:00 pm Salem tour. After accosting several tour groups, we happened upon our intended tour, bought a candle, and blended in with the group. At this point Stef was thinking, “Who is this country bumpkin who could not find his way out of a phone booth?” I kept telling her it was all part of my planned spontaneity-I don’t think she bought it. It did not help that no less than three other HBS people were on the same tour-so much for originality!
The tour was nice, we did learn all about the Salem Witch Trials, and how they all began; however, the tour included stops in an alley, a bank parking lot, and a busy pedestrian mall-neither historic nor romantic. I managed to cause a stir when my Styrofoam cup, meant to catch the wax from my candle, spontaneously combusted and nearly caught my shirt on fire.
Now fully versed on Salem lore, we went off to find a bite to eat. Stef mumbled something about needing a good drink. The Luna Caf‚ was our choice based primarily on the fact there was a full bar. Turns out the food was good, the drinks were huge, and I think the waitress was drunk.
After dinner, we decided a trip to a haunted house was in order. After a waiting in line behind a three year old kid, and wondering who takes a toddler to a haunted house, we made it in. Now Stef claims that I positioned her in front of me as we walked through the house; however, she did not realize that I was actually protecting her. Okay, I was scared.
With my fresh pair of underwear and the night winding down, we chose to finish our date at a genuine witch spell casting. The witch in charge was a bit cynical and even stated this was a no-frills spell casting. As we all thought of a spell for her to cast, I just hoped to find the car and our way home.
Over the River and Through the Woods
by Stefanie Kudrac (NK)
The phone rings… Apparently Brian has gotten into my building without having to ring the doorbell (note to self: check security) and is wandering aimlessly, unable to find my apartment. After a game of Marco Polo, we finally meet and head off for an evening of intrigue and horror (no, not the date) in Salem’s Witch Village.
It is now about 5:20, plenty of time to get to Salem for our 7 pm tour. Or so we think. Brian left me in charge of the directions, and forty minutes into what should’ve been a 25-minute ride, I get concerned that if we do reach Salem, Brian may actually burn me at the stake. It’s a race against the clock as Brian proves to be equally directionally challenged but he reassures me that it’s “all part of the master plan.”
We park at 6:58 pm and run the 500m dash to make the tour on time. Success. Tour operators pass out candles encircled by Styrofoam cups as they begin relaying Salem’s history. Our tour stops, however, include intersections and bank parking lots because “there are too many tourists this time of year.” The tour guide was pretty bitter about it. At one point, I look over at Brian and his face is stark white. I thought maybe he’d seen the apparition of a witch, but soon realize Brian’s Styrofoam cup is engulfed in flames. As he panics and I laugh, the flames are smothered, and we move on to dinner.
Dinner was at a caf‚ called La Bella Luna, although it was more like La Bella Looney. Our waitress tells us all about her friends, who, after having cheated on their spouses, decided to “do the right thing,” divorce, and marry each other. She is absolutely shaking with anticipation (or due to something more synthetic). We need a drink! Brian orders a Jack and Coke; I order a CC and Ginger. Our drinks appear in pint glasses and are as strong as typical tumbler size drinks.
After our behemoth cocktails, we figured we should walk before attempting to drive home, so we stumbled on to the Haunted House. It is your basic, campy haunted house, complete with smoke and eerily dressed teenagers jumping out from dark corners. Brian demonstrates his belief in women’s lib as he uses me as a human shield to protect him from said teenagers. Who says chivalry is dead?
Next, we’re off to the Witch’s Spell Casting. When we go into this no frills “sacred witch space” a somewhat bitter witch tells us, “I’m hot and tired, and I’m not wearing the stupid robe.” We also learn that, due to the high volume of visitors, she won’t be doing a customized spell but rather a mass production group spell for love, prosperity, and the ability to stand up again.
I could write volumes about this date but, limited by space, I must merely highlight one of my funniest dates ever. Brian is a great guy with a good sense of humor, thankfully. Ladies-if you are lucky enough to be asked out on a date with Brian, say “hell yeah” and go-equipped with a GPS Tracker.