…in which I answer a few burning questions from listeners
Welcome once again to A Scott in the Dark. This blog is based on my Episode 28 podcast, which was recorded on a dark and stormy night in Tampa. This was the perfect setting for the topic I chose for that particular episode—answering questions from people in our listener’s group. For those of you who don’t belong to the A Scott in the Dark listener’s group on Facebook, you should, because that’s where I post everything first. It’s also a great opportunity for you to talk not only with me but with other listeners and haunters. Quite often, they answer questions long before I’m able to get to them. Everybody has great answers. I never, ever claim to be the only one who has answers. It’s a neat little community, an online consortium, for talking about the haunt industry. If you want to join, go to Facebook and search A Scott in the Dark—it’s a public group, so you’ll be able to find it—send a request, and somebody will definitely throw you in there. If you’re already a member of that group, invite your friends to be listeners. The more that membership grows, the more I can do shows on what you guys are interested in versus just what I want to talk about.
A while back, I asked the group to tell me what topics I should look into. I got a huge response—more than I could address in one episode, so that podcast was called Listener’s Choice, Volume 1, which is also the title of this blog. I assume there will be more volumes in the future. I could have done two shows based on what I got from members of the group this last time. I’m going to jump around a little bit with the questions. Some of these things we’ve touched on before, and some we haven’t.
“How Do You Find Inspiration?”
Let’s dive in. The first question was from Patrick. Patrick posts on this group all the time, and he’s an avid listener. Patrick, I appreciate you. He has many, many questions, but the one we’re going to talk about is, “How do you find inspiration? How do you avoid the blank-page syndrome?”
The Internet is a Great Resource
We all find inspiration in different places. It can be anything from movies to books to stories to whatever. For me, I find inspiration by going to the Internet, using my preferred search engine, and hitting those keywords. I’m a visual person, so I get a lot of inspiration from images, photographs, videos, etc. Say, for example, I wanted to do a clown house. I’d begin by searching “clown” or “circus” and let that take me down the rabbit hole, so to speak. I find images, save them into folders, and that swill sometimes leads me to writings about real-life circus disasters or evil clowns or whatever. I use the Internet as much as I can because, again, it brings a ton of visual references into my quiet little office here in Tampa. So, that’s a great place to start.
Make Time to Read
I also do a lot of reading. I wish I had more time to read. Let me rephrase that. I wish I made more time to read. Maybe I’m the only one that feels this way, but I feel if I’m reading, I’m not accomplishing something I should be accomplishing on my timeline. However, the truth of the matter is, if I’m reading, chances are good I’m enriching my mind far more than the stupid video game I’m playing on my phone or sitting there watching a rerun on the game show network—and yes, I do that. So, I can’t say I don’t read enough. I have to say, I don’t commit enough time to reading. This can be anything from classic horror to—again, focusing on the visual—old horror comics, especially from the 1950s and 1960s. Those are so cool, and they have such bizarre, weird, and, perhaps, at times, socially unacceptable storylines.
There’s a company called, I think, Waxworks, that’s done new horror comics in that same style and vein as these classic ones, and each of them comes with a new, vinyl 45-rpm record you’re supposed to play while you’re reading the comic. The timing on the little record is so accurate. When it starts to crescendo is about where you hit the most exciting point in the comic. It’s really, really well done. I’ll look that up, post it on the Facebook group, and give you the exact information about it. If you get a chance to get it, it’s a great inspiration, and it’s a lot of fun. It’s one of those rare occasions where you can combine reading—even though it’s a graphic novel or comic book—with music. It’s like reading with a musical accompaniment, and I thought it was absolutely brilliant.
Research the History of Your Venue or City
What else do I like to look at? History, especially if you want to do something that’s tied to a specific location. Maybe there’s something dark and sinister that happened in your town, or maybe there’s something unexplained that you could make dark and sinister. I’ve used some of these examples before, but when we did the Vault of Souls here in Tampa, there was an entire room that was dedicated to train travel. The period of the event was the 1920s and, although I didn’t make specific reference to it, that room was inspired by a train accident that happened on one of the bridges here in Tampa in the late teens or early 1920s. I was able to take this bit of history and distill it down into just one room in the Vault of Souls.
Let’s face it, reality is often stranger than fiction—and certainly more gruesome in many, many cases. If you have the opportunity to utilize local history or history of a specific location that you’re trying to bring to life, doing that kind of historical research creates all kinds of inspiration. Even though you’re writing fiction when you create a haunted attraction, you can use history as a jumping-off point. You don’t have to stick to it religiously—you can change names, change the time period if you want to, and change the order of things. That’s the joy of being a writer and being a creator. You can move things around and make them completely different and unique even though the inspiration came from something quite real and often quite terrifying.
Walk Around Your Space
Closely tied to this is location. Let your location inspire you. Walk around your space. Not only does this give you a more organic approach to creating the scariness, it saves you significantly on scenic, and it makes sense. If, for example, you’re setting a haunted attraction on a ship and you’re in a real ship like Undead in the Water, which we did here last year, why would you want to build something else? You’ve got that theming, so find ways to creatively utilize it. Fill the hold with various and sundry things that people have to walk through. Let your location eliminate that blank-page syndrome and create that inspiration. Be inspired by the patina on the walls, be inspired by the floors. We had a situation on the ship in Undead where the flooring could be lifted out of a certain hold and it was suggested that it be replaced with metal grating. The next deck was three stories below, so we had people walking over metal grating and looking down into a lighted hold three decks below. Anyone who had a fear of heights or vertigo found that quite creepy to navigate. We put sound effects and moving shadows down there and created this almost voyeuristic perspective to what was going on below.
Take Notes on Your Dreams and Nightmares
Also, don’t underestimate what’s going on when you’re asleep. I’m not encouraging people to think, “I’ve lost my inspiration, so I’m going to go take a nap”—although, sometimes, that does help. A lot of really cool ideas emerge from nightmares or dreams. This is especially true in some of the poetry I write. By the way, all three of my books are on sale now on Lulu.com. Go to Lulu.com and search “Scott Swenson.” You can purchase Dreaming in Shades of Fear, Souls, or Left Behind.
Keep a pad of paper next to your bed and, when you wake up, you can write things down from your dreams or nightmares before you forget them—which will inevitably happen if you go back to sleep without writing anything down. If you have a pad next to the bed, when you wake up screaming and terrified, you can write down exactly what terrified you and perhaps use it to terrify thousands and thousands of other people in your haunted attraction. Never underestimate what happens in your subconscious when you’re sleeping.
Just Start Writing
Another way to address blank-page syndrome is to just start writing. Even if it seems like complete garbage, let it lead you somewhere. I’m a firm believer that bad ideas can lead us to good ones. So, if you’re having that issue of, “Gosh I don’t know what to write,” don’t worry about what to write and just start writing. You can edit it later. The writing process is all about the rework and the edit, adding additional voices to it, getting additional eyes on it, getting additional people on your team to look at it and say, “That’s really cool” or, “That doesn’t make any sense at all.” So just sit down, fill that page with something, and then go back and figure out what works and what doesn’t.
“What Are Things You’ve Seen or Would Like to See Used in Queue Lines to Make Them More Bearable?”
The next question was from Austin, who asked: “What are some things that you’ve seen or would like to see used in queues to make them more bearable during those October Saturday nights?” Nobody likes waiting in a queue line, so here are a couple of suggestions.
Use Your Best Actors in the Queue Line to Introduce Your Story
Almost every independent haunt, and most theme park haunts, incorporate really good queue actors. This is where you want to put your primo people, especially your primo people who have an acting background—especially an improv background—because they’re the ones who are going to start telling your story. Of course, you need to make sure, if you put actors in your queues, that they’re telling the same story as the rest of the haunted attraction. In other words, think of the queue as the exposition. Think of the queue as what the guests need to know about the story you’re trying to tell before they walk through the official doors. If you put queue actors in there that are disconnected, they may keep the guests entertained, but they don’t prepare the guests for the attraction they’re about to go into.
For example, if you’re doing a military-zombie-apocalypse story, you queue actors could include a character who’s a military leader—a sergeant or a corporal or whatever—who’s infected but doesn’t want anybody to know it. He’s trying to hide his infection. Or you could have a drill sergeant who’s prepping the guests to be the new recruits to fight the zombies. Don’t just put someone out there who can tell jokes and make people laugh. That’s part of it, but make sure it ties to the story you’re trying to tell. As I’ve said way too many times, the story begins the first time the guests hear about your attraction and ends with their last social media post about it. The queue line is part of that continuum.
Use Creative Video in the Queue Line to Bring People into the Story
There are also a lot of technical opportunities to consider for queues. Almost all guests look at queue video now, so that’s probably the low-hanging fruit. Let’s face it, anybody can shoot stuff on their phone, edit it, and create that kind of “found footage” as a way to start telling your story via video. It’s also true that people want video. They want visual stimulus when they’re waiting in the queue, because that’s way more interesting that looking at the people in front of and behind them. Video is great, and it’s most effective if you’re able to use actors in the video that guests will see in the haunt. Guests already feel afraid of these people or that they can trust them or that they’re suspect. Of course, don’t tell the whole story in the video, and don’t just run your commercials in the queue video. Use it as a tool to both entertain and initiate the story the guests are stepping into.
Create Social Media Live-streaming Opportunities
I’m not an app developer, but I think there are certain things you can do utilizing that kind of technology. One thing that might be fun is to have someone posting social media in real time, so you have someone above or within your queue streaming live imagery on your Facebook or Instagram page. Think of it as a Jumbotron or Kiss Cam at a stadium, where the camera zooms in on somebody. You can zoom in on somebody who’s waiting in your queue, and post on your social media page that they’re the next victim. People can go on social media and leave a comment, like, “Oh my gosh, that’s me!” Or someone could Tweet, “I’m the next victim!” and then everybody in the queue is looking around wondering if they’ll be next. This also starts communication amongst the people waiting in the queue. There may be some laws against this, so check that out. These are ideas that could work, but I’m not saying they’re legal. Maybe you could post a sign as guests enter the queue that says, “Your image may be utilized throughout social media,” and I think you’d be okay, but have your lawyers look into it.
Find Ways to Get People in the Queue to Interact with Each Other
This brings up another subject: Something that’s sorely missing in a lot of queues is getting the people in that queue to interact with each other. This is something actors and video can facilitate. The Blue Man Group used to do that. In their Chicago theater, they’d ask certain people questions and those folks would have to find other people to answer them. For example, someone in the Blue Man Group would say, “Martha Jones is celebrating her birthday today. Find her and wish her a happy birthday.” I’m sure there are clever ways to do that with haunted attractions to get people invested and talking to each other. It also saves you on labor, by the way. You could instruct guests via video to ask the person next to them if they’ve had a paranormal encounter—especially if you’re doing a paranormal house. Get them to start talking to each other, which means they’re entertaining one another. Get people talking to each other about things specifically related to your haunt rather than, “Can you believe how long we have to wait?”
Gamify the Queue Experience
We’ve talked about interaction, and we’ve talked about immersion. I believe the next wave—which is already here—is gamification. Figure out how you can gamify your queue. This can be super high-tech, but it can be low-tech as well. For years, Disney has had something called the Hidden Mickey concept. If you go around any Disney property, there are hidden Mickey logos throughout the entire property. People try to find them and post them on social media. Try to do hidden things with scenic in your queue—make your queue interesting to look at, have artifacts, have bits and pieces of your story that take place in your queue. See how many people can find X number of things before they reach the front gate. You could have hidden letters. Guests find those letters while waiting in the queue and, when they get up to the front, they say whatever the letters spell. Of course, jumble them up, because audiences are much smarter than they think they are. Say, for example, they figured out the password to the special entrance is, “I’m not going to die today.” That sort of gamification keeps them involved as they go through the queue. Obviously, you’d need a video, a sign, a person, or whatever to explain this to them, and you may want to change what those hidden letters are and what they spell throughout the course of the run. People like to talk and share information, so capitalize on that. Also, if guests feel they’re accomplishing something or might win something by playing a game, you’re going to keep them entertained—especially people under a certain age and people who are competitive.
Or, Better Yet, Eliminate the Queue Completely
Another way to make the queue situation significantly better is to eliminate it completely. The way to do that is through timed ticketing. I realize this won’t work for every haunt. It can be costly and requires a great deal of planning, but if you’re able to do time ticketing, it reduces the guest’s negative experience of waiting in a queue. You can do this through scheduling when each guest or group goes in, and make sure you get people in at the time scheduled. That way, you can have people wandering around buying beverages, merchandise, or involved in carnival games out front. Sell the tickets in 15-30-minute windows and, when their window comes up, that’s when they enter the queue. That way, you don’t have somebody standing there for 2-1/2 hours to go through your 10-15-minute haunted attraction.
When I was working at Busch Gardens, we believed that the amount of time a guest has to wait in your queue directly correlates to their expectations of the haunted attraction. If someone has to wait three hours to get into your haunt, there’s nothing you can do that will compensate for that long wait, in my opinion. I don’t want to wait three hours for 15 minutes of the best haunt ever. They have to give me a car when I leave if I’m going to wait three hours.
So, if you can, eliminate the queue completely by doing time ticketing or using pagers. There are a lot of Christmas events that use pagers. Waiting in queue with your friends is painful, but waiting in queue with a small child is purgatory—or perhaps even Hell—because that child wants something to do. Theme parks now often issue pagers to visit Santa Claus or to meet some recognizable TV character from Christmas or whatever.
In addition to using timed ticketing or pagers, have an open area where guests can mingle while they wait to be called—where they can have a good time, party a little bit, and then go into the haunt. By elevating the pre-haunt experience, guests are going to enjoy the haunt more.
“What Do Your Non-haunt Friends Think about What You Do?”
Okay, next up is Matthew. Matthew asked a ton of great questions, but I’m only going to focus on one right now, which is, “What do your non-haunt friends think about what you do?” Well, that’s a very interesting question. What do any of our non-haunt friends think about what we do? For some of us, the real question is, “What do you mean by ‘non-haunt friends?’ I don’t have any of those.” But, we all do, in reality.
I’m Not Just About Haunt
What I do involves haunted attractions—that’s’ where my heart lives—but I also do festivals and events pretty much across the spectrum—everything from Christmas events to music events to communications classes for universities and large corporations to teaching improv and basic communication skills. I have a very corporaty side to my business, as well. Most of the time, when those people find out I do haunted attractions, I get one of two different responses: “That’s the coolest thing in the world. Let’s talk about weird stuff” or, “I’d never do that in a million years.” I have friends who see my posts on social media and tell me, “Don’t ever post that again. That image is burned into my memory, and it terrifies me. I absolutely hate that. I can’t look at your Instagram feed during this time of year.” Either way, I’m thrilled. If what we’re doing is terrifying them as a non-haunt person, that means we’re doing something right, and, for those people who are interested in haunt, it gives me another foot in the door, another unique and unusual thing to talk about to help expand my consulting business.
There are a lot of people out there who are closet haunters, and I let my haunt experience open that door. I’m all about having them come to me and fly their freak flag. One of my clients actually said, “I never realized how much of a haunt guy I was until I started working with you. You brought out the inner haunt guy.” I really did. He looks at everything now through that lens. He says things like, “We could put somebody over here who’s doing something really creepy and maybe making a small ticking noise. Then, we’ll put somebody on the other side of the hallway who will jump out and scare the crap out of people. This is great, Scott. Oh! What if we do a laser effect?” Everywhere we go now, he’s become a haunt guy. So, rock on, Bill. You’re a haunt guy.
It’s All About Creating an Emotional Experience for the Guests
My non-haunt friends get it, they recognize it, and they understand that all I’m doing when I’m creating haunts is creating an emotional experience for the guests. It’s the same thing I’m doing when I create Christmas or do corporate training programs—which is to get people involved on an emotional level, to tell a story. The only difference with it being a haunt is, the story is terrifying, if we’ve done our jobs correctly.
“I’d Like to Hear You Have a Rational Conversation with an Unrational Guy”
Tater, another listener, made this request: “I’d like to hear you have a rational conversation with an unrational guy.” My response is, “Since we’re both going to be at Transworld, you and I will sit down, record an episode of A Scott in the Dark, and we’ll call it, “A Rational Conversation with an Unrational Guy.” For those of you who don’t know Scott “Tater “Lynn, he’s with Froggy’s Fog as well as being a haunt actor extraordinaire and various other things that happen in the haunt industry. He’s one of those “various other things,” so that could be a very interesting episode. So, Tater, we’re going to put that question on hold until such time as you and I can sit down with a microphone in front of us and open the flood gates to complete unrationalness.
“What Are the Venues on Your Bucket List of Places You Want to Haunt?”
I loved this next question. It’s from Wixy, who said, “I know that last year you finally got the chance to do a haunt in a real church (this was at Dark in Fort Edmonton Park in Alberta, Canada), and I’m curious to know of other venues you have on your bucket list of places you want to haunt.”
I love to walk into pretty much any space and go, “Hey, we could haunt this.” Think about it—for those of you who’ve been listening (and reading my blogs), you know my approach to a haunted attraction is it’s some place, some thing, or some story that’s gone horribly, horribly, horribly wrong. So, you could use any location, but let me think of some specifics. I’d love—love—to do a haunted attraction in an abandoned laundromat. Now, you’re probably thinking, “What’s scary about a laundromat?” It isn’t—unless you’ve been in a laundromat when it’s closed, with all the lights out, and are faced with those rows of big dryers in the walls. First off, the glass doors reflect when it’s dark, so you constantly have faces looking back at you. This is usually your own face, but, if you’re freaked out enough, you never know. In my head, a haunted laundromat would be really scary. I’d make it as interactive as possible, so people could explore, open all the washers, open all the dryers, and try to find clues to the horrible, serial-killer murders that have just taken place in that laundromat. Just imagine what could be spinning in a dryer, you know? You think tennis shoes make a clunk-clunk, clunk-clunk, clunk-clunk sound, but think what a skull would do.
I did do a laundry room room in one of the attractions for Howl-O-Scream several years ago. I’m not going to say which one, because I want you to go to the Facebook group and post, “What’s the haunted house that had the laundry room that Scott did at Howl-O-Scream?” I think the house was there for three years, maybe, but I don’t remember which years. See if you can tell me what the name of the house is that used a laundry room.
I’d like to expand on that, because you can do all sorts of cool things with irons. I love the idea of exploring what a hot iron does to human flesh. Actually, I don’t love that idea, because it makes me sound like a complete psychopath, but, from a haunt standpoint, there are opportunities for scent machines, audio effects, and fog or steam effects. It’s cool to think about what happens when you’re pushing through racks of hanging laundry, especially if you can make it wet. That could be really fun. And I always wondered what goes on in the manager’s office? The manager’s office in most laundromats has this little speakeasy, secret-service door with a tiny window that’s often made of two-way, mirrored glass. The manager can see out, but customers can’t see into the office. There could be all kinds of creepy stuff going on in there. So, if there’s anyone out there who owns an abandoned laundromat and would like to have me come out and create an immersive or interactive haunt for it—maybe even an escape room—let me know.
A Castle—or a Hunting Cabin
What other locations? Obviously, everybody wants to do a castle. I think a castle would be super cool, even if it’s a just a minor castle, not Buckingham Palace. That would never work, but some little abode where the queen used to go on her hunting outings. Oh! A hunting cabin. That would be cool, because you could do all kinds of creepy taxidermy stuff.
A Multi-site Haunt
I’d also like to do a haunt that takes place in multiple locations around either a city or an area—a pop-up haunt that has one room over here and one room over there. You go in and out of the haunt experience, but you’re never quite sure if you’re in or out. I like the idea of blurring that reality. Wouldn’t it be cool if guests came out of one haunt space and were heading for the next one, and actors had been hired to follow them? I probably just gave away the million-dollar idea. Well, if you steal that idea, at least give me credit for it—the multi-location haunt that has atmosphere actors outside of the actual rooms and takes guests all around an area. There’s a perfect place for this in almost every city. In Tampa, it would probably be Ybor City, and 7th Avenue is the party avenue. In Austin, there’s that great party street that runs through it. In Atlanta, it’s the Atlanta Underground, if it’s still there. Do a haunt that has one room in one location, another room in another location, and another room in another location. That could be really fun.
One other place where I’d just love to do a haunt is a library. I want to haunt a library. I have a concept that I’m not going to share with you, just because I may get to do it someday, but the idea of a library, after dark, after everyone has gone home, with the rows of computers… I want an old library with lots and lots of bookshelves filled with books and those narrow aisles between them. I love the smell of old books, so that would have to be part of it. If it was a real library, chances are good it smells that way anyway, or if it wasn’t, I could find old books at the Salvation Army or other thrift store and they’d have that smell.
“Can You Talk About How You Prepare to Teach a Seminar?”
Okay, there’s one final question I’m going to answer, which is another Patrick question. He asked, “Can you talk about upcoming haunt shows and how you prepare for them, especially if you’re teaching a seminar?” I have a speaking engagement coming up at the end of March, and I’m sure you can all guess which one that is—the Transworld Halloween and Attraction Show in St. Louis. I’m going to be all over that show, and I’m really excited about being there. I’m presenting a seminar on Saturday with my dear friend, Robbi Lepre. I’m not sure which Saturday, but you can go to the event website and you’ll find it. You should definitely check it out, and I’ll post more of this information on the Facebook group as well, so you can read it all there.
In prepping for this particular show, Robbi and I have been working together, because we’re doing a seminar about creating seasonal events that take place all year long. In other words, our approach is to take the four different seasons and suggest best practices from Halloween that can be applied to Christmas, Spring, and Summer. The seminar is called, “Hey, Why Don’t We Do This All Year Long?—the Four Season of Entertainment.”
For those of you who don’t know Robbi Lepre, she worked at Busch Gardens with me for years. She was part of the initial Howl-O-Scream team and, just like me, she worked on it for many years. She was also part of the original Christmas Town Team at Busch Gardens in Tampa. She’s truly an industry icon. I’m so lucky to have her be one of my mentors as well as my friend and coworker. Team teaching with her for the first time in many, many years at the Transworld Halloween and Attractions Show is just a thrill for me. If you have a chance to be a part of that, please come out and join us, because we’re going to have a good time.
First, Have Lunch—and Brainstorm about the Presentation
As far as the preparation goes for these kinds of shows, the first thing Robbi and I did was have lunch—because that’s the fun thing to do—and talk through our presentation. We’re using Keynote, which is the Mac version of PowerPoint, making tweaks and changes, and getting together handouts so everyone has something to take home with them. That’s super important. The folks at Transworld work so hard to get that done, so we’re working diligently to make sure we get all that in on time so everybody has something to take home with them or to take notes on while they’re there.
Have a Booth at a Major Trade Show
Also, for the first time at Transworld, I’ll have a booth for Scott Swenson Creative Development LLC—and, of course, A Scott in the Dark will have a little something-something there, too. To prepare for that, I’m putting together a sizzle reel, a video reel, because I don’t really have a product to sell. The only product I have is me. To make it possible for people to talk with me and learn more about what I do, I’m going to be there at the booth, which is booth 309. Transworld of the granddaddy of all Halloween trade shows—and now, with Christmas, it’s even bigger—so you really ought to go if you can. If you do, stop by. Not only will you see my sizzle reel, I’ll also be talking about future projects. Actually, if you’d like to schedule an appointment to sit and chat on the trade show floor about your specific project, an upcoming project, or perhaps get a quote for me to help you out as a consultant, please email me at [email protected] and request a time you’d like to meet. I’m always looking for new adventures.
Over and above all that, I’ll be providing the opportunity to play a brand-new game called Scottzy! Yes, I will be sitting there with five black dice, and you’ll have three chances to get five of a kind. If you do, you’ll win some sort of A Scott in the Dark swag. It might be the ever-popular A Scott in the Dark logo, which is pin that’s just about everywhere. I may have some books there, too. Come by, sit, and chat. That’s what my booth will be all about—sitting, chatting, picking up a flyer, grabbing a business card, dropping off your business card, and, who knows, we may have some kind of raffle or drawing for something.
Another thing I’ll be doing at Transworld that I’m really excited about is hosting the Oscares. This is the Haunted Attraction Association awards ceremony and banquet. I’m thrilled to honor all the great work that’s done within this industry throughout the year. If you’ve never been to an Oscares event and will be at Transworld, stop by. I’ll also be around at the parties and such. Please, walk up, say hello, and let me know you’re a listener or a reader.
So, the way I prepare is, I put together all the stuff I need to and try to talk about it to everyone’s face at trade shows in general and, especially, Transworld, because it’s so big. I’ve gone to Transworld pretty much every year for over 20 years. It’s a great opportunity for everyone to come together and do business, because Transworld is all about the business side.
By the way, several people have asked if I’m going to be at Midwest Haunters. I’m sorry, but I’m not, because I can only go to so many shows per year.
If you’d like to ask questions, suggest topics, or even make comments on what I’ve said or written on any podcast or blog, show, please go to our Facebook group, go to AScottInTheDark.com or my website, or email me at [email protected]. Until next time, rest in peace.