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Send in the clowns

The best Halloween ideas are the simplest. A friend once shivered at a Fort Niagara event, seeing a dead War of 1812 soldier sidle up to her friend and croak, “You’re not going back to your car.” Brrrr! And Buzz recalls trembling on a rope bridge in a Clifton Hill funhouse, wreathed in darkness and wild lights. But Cheektowaga’s House of Horrors and Haunted Catacombs (motto: “We Scare the Yell Out Of You”) has hit on an idea that’s simply perfect. Quoth they: “Taking full advantage of many people’s fear of clowns (the official term is coulrophobia), Dark Carnival is a twisting, turning dark maze where killer clowns stalk their would-be victims, either jumping in front of them or quietly following them, just inches behind.” A clown, quietly following you! One coulrophobic friend confides, “I would drop dead.”

Cry Fowl (er’s)

Life is not always a bowl of chocolates for Buzz. We can’t, just can’t seem to get over a big recent bummer, that a gal pal got to go on the Fowler’s Factory Tour and we didn’t. Fowler’s Chocolates opens the doors to its South Buffalo factory on just one day out of the year, Columbus Day. And while we sat shackled to our desk, chocolate-less, lucky holders of Golden Tickets (Fowler’s really does sell Golden Tickets, for $3), took the tour, wearing the shower caps Fowler’s makes you wear over your hair and shepherded by Willy Wonka himself. And with tricks came treats. “You got to see the sponge candy naked!” our friend marveled. “Before they dipped it in chocolate.” How many days till Columbus Day 2014? We want to buy our Golden Ticket now!

Writing in tongues

Buzz loves reading the Buffalo Evening News from 100 years ago – the front pages from this date a century ago are kept under glass here and changed daily – because we wonder: What was on their minds back then? The answer, same as today: Supermarkets! An item on the front page read: “In yesterday’s News in the advertisement of J.N. Adam & Co. the types were made to say that salted beef tongues could be had at the market of that firm at 11 cents a pound. It should have been 15 cents, and it is desired that the error be corrected so that customers of the great establishment be not misled or have any confusion of tongues.” We won’t have this kind of fun with Trader Joe’s.

All keyed up

The Piano Guys, who played UB’s Center For the Arts last week, have 16 kids among the four of them, a factoid that fascinated Buzz. Hence their easy, devil-may-care sense of humor. Jon Schmidt, at the piano, explained why he took up music: “No matter how ugly the guy, if he got into a room with a piano and started playing, the room would fill up with girls.” Steven Sharp Nelson, not to be outdone, made an animal sound on his cello and asked the audience what mammal it was. “A seagull,” someone yelled. “A seagull’s not a mammal,” Nelson said. “You don’t know that?” he asked the packed house. “They must not have a zoology department at the University at Buffalo.”

The buzz

As long as the Piano Guys were picking on UB, Buzz will chime in. What is with the miles of tundra on the North Campus, forcing ticket holders to walk a mile from car to concert? We don’t normally mind, considering all the calories we take in, but in a cold rain, we can’t help but wish for covered walkways. … At The King and I, the Thai restaurant in Snyder, how tempting to order dishes just for the fun of saying them. Our favorite: Pud Prig Pow, a meat stir-fry with bamboo shoots.

Quote

“She asked me to tell her the three little words every girl wants to hear. So I whispered, ‘Let’s Go Buffalo!’ in her ear.”

– E-card making its way around Facebook

email: mkunz@buffnews.com