My Week 175: Adventures in Rooms

Last week, I went on an adventure. To a castle. I hope right now that you have a vision in your head of mydangblog, dressed in golden armour, engaged in swordplay on the battlements of a stronghold, a handsome squire (named Ken) tossing me a stick with a studded ball attached to it, which the squire insists is called a “mace” and he won’t give me a cooler weapon, or at least one with a cooler-sounding name, but despite my handsome squire’s insolence, I defeat Sir Loin of Beef and his cow army and we celebrate with a barbeque…

OK, in reality, I went to an Adventure Room at Casa Loma. For those of you to whom either of those things is a mystery, let me explain. An Adventure Room is a live-action game where a group of people work together to solve puzzles and escape from a room that they are trapped in. Casa Loma is a stunningly beautiful, ACTUAL castle in Toronto. It was built by a wealthy financier at the turn of the last century, and it rivals anything you might see in Europe. Or Disney. I went with a group from work, and I was really excited to go—the week before. On the actual day, true to introverted form, I was overwhelmed with the usual dread of social interaction. But I’d played it smart—it was $48 and I had no intention of forfeiting that much money just to go home and watch Season 3 of Elementary all tucked up in my cozy bed…which would have been a lovely option too.

But I work with really nice people, and I’ve known most of them for a while, so off we went on our adventure, which actually began with trying to figure out, over dinner and drinks, how to actually GET to Casa Loma. That involved a subway ride, then a streetcar (no one was sure of the stop, so we kept jumping off, panicking, and jumping back on, much to the amusement of the other passengers. Actually, they were more annoyed than amused, but we’d all had a bit to drink at the restaurant, so WE thought it was funny), then a 10 minute walk. In Canada. In the winter. At night. So yes, by the time we arrived, we were freezing, and in need of first, a bathroom, and second, more to drink. The first we got. The second—well, I asked the woman who greeted us if there would be “an opportunity to purchase some beverages”. Her response was ‘No’. Seriously, what kind of adult adventure room doesn’t allow you to sip a nice glass of Chianti whilst codebreaking?

Then we were ushered into a movie theatre, where we were to watch a film that would explain our upcoming adventure, described thusly: “The war is over, the fascists in Europe have lost, and it’s time for celebration in Toronto; or so it would seem. Deep beneath the gothic exterior of Casa Loma, there lies a secret. You and your closest friends stumble upon the soon to be decommissioned Station M. Within the hidden workshop of failed projects and confidential experiments, you find one last mission. Be careful who you trust, and make sure you have an escape plan.” Sounds cool, am I right? We would also be accompanied by a character who was part of the scenario, and we would meet him after the film. “But,” warned the young man who was explaining this to us, “you can’t touch him. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES CAN YOU TOUCH HIM. Do not EVER touch him. Are there any questions?” And all I could do was whisper, “So many…” because then we were ushered into a hallway and I couldn’t ask them, but here they are:

1) Why can’t I touch him?
2) What do you mean by “touch”? Does it count if I accidentally brush against him? Is it OK to poke him to see if he’s real, and not animatronic or whatnot?
3) Can I touch him if he touches me first, like in retaliation?
4) You said, “Under no circumstances”. But what if there’s a fire? Can I grab his arm and pull him to safety or do I just leave him to fend for himself? What if he falls down? Can I help him get up or do I just stand there staring at him?
5) Is this a rule you created because someone in the past slapped him for not giving them enough help with the puzzles? Is he really that unhelpful, or is he just a smartass?
6) What happens if I DO touch him, like he’s being funny and I lightly punch him in the shoulder, like one of those “Oh you!” kind of gestures? Will he taser me?
7) Is this part of the game? Is this a clue? Like when someone says, ‘Don’t think about elephants’, and then you absolutely do? Because now all I can think about is poking this guy, and I haven’t even met him yet.

And then I did meet him. He was in his early twenties and dressed in an old-fashioned suit. His name was ‘Steven Rutledge’. He claimed to be a spy or a secret agent or something, but I’m not really sure because I was trying not to touch him. We were in a room that was full of really cool antiques and things, but it was hard to concentrate because everyone else was running around looking for clues. I wasn’t sure for what, since I hadn’t really been paying attention, but suddenly someone yelled in triumph, a door opened, and we were all in ANOTHER room. Apparently the first room was like the launch pad for the actual adventure in ‘Station M’, which was to save a scientist from his Russian kidnappers. We had to get a radio to work, so I said to Steven, “What’s the frequency, Kenneth?” in an attempt to lighten the mood, but he gave me a weird, kind of dirty look. I wasn’t sure if he was just ACTING like he didn’t get it, or whether he really didn’t get it, so I said, “R.E.M.? It’s a pop culture reference,” to which he replied, “Pop Culture?!” and rolled his eyes. Then I knew why we weren’t allowed to touch him, because with THAT attitude, he would get slapped a lot.

Anyway, we solved a lot of puzzles, and Steven was actually pretty helpful, dropping cryptic hints and whatnot, until finally we were at the last puzzle. The timer was counting down, people were running around, it was madness, there was an air raid siren going off, lights were flashing, Steven was trying to avoid being touched, and then—we ran out of time. It wasn’t really a letdown, except that the scientist was still at the mercy of his Russian kidnappers, but it was a lot of fun. Casa Loma has two other adventure rooms, and I would totally do it again, because it finished early enough that I still had time to watch Season 3 of Elementary in my own cozy bed afterwards. With a nice glass of Chianti.


28 thoughts on “My Week 175: Adventures in Rooms

  1. OMGaaaawwwd! Thank Lord, I work alone this morning… I was reading your post, and when I got to the “Do NOT touch him” part… the questions started to pop before I read yours… Geeeez I don’t remember the last time I laughed so hard!!

    I think we got our brains at the same store!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. HAHAHAHA! This post was hilarious, and so badly I wish you would have touched him just once. I am positive you wouldn’t have been tasered (bahahaha) but damn, I REALLY WANT TO KNOW. Sounds like you guys had a blast, and now I want to fly to Toronto just so I can touch Steven. Thanks, a lot. So funny!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This is hilarious: my wife and I did one of these this week too. Here they’re called “Escape Rooms”, which sounds much more harrowing, and you can’t harrow with a mace, but that’s another story. We’ve done four of them so far and have successfully completed two. They get easier the more you do. Of course watching Elementary probably also helps.
    And a few drinks will help you if you ever go up against Sir Osis Of Liver.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I wish people watched a film before they met me that explained that I should not be touched.

    Not that there are a lot of people trying to touch me, in part because I must give out “Don’t touch me” vibes. The ones who do touch me are clearly nuts.

    I know REM references, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel the same way–I wish there was a film telling people that I don’t want to know if it’s their time of the month. People insist on sharing that information with me–I don’t know why. Is there a vibe for that? Or an REM song?


  5. You are SO on my team for the zombie apocalypse! Your mind is filled with the same inquiries I would have in that scenario, and also, I’m sure that attitude is everything! We’d have the best time, lightly-to-mildly grape beverage affected, laughing our way through our problem-solving on the road to triumph! “What’s the frequency, Kenneth?” laid me out.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I had some friends do that recently; I missed the boat. I can’t remember why… they were half-sauced, too, and also failed (terrible word … I meant “they left it unfinished!”) at the last moment, but I think they were free to touch whomever they please. It’s possible there was no one else in the room with them, so they probably touched themselves.

    Uh, you know what I mean. 😉

    They’re called “danger rooms” or something like that here. Escape rooms. Danger rooms are places where the X-Men work out to test their powers. They touch things like crazy in there.

    I digress.

    Sounds like fun week! I gotta try one of those, soon. I’m pretty good with puzzles. Or at least words. I could fail vociferously. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • It was actually a lot of fun, once you realized the way the whole thing works. They have two other rooms at Casa Loma–a tower and an underground submarine station. I’d do either, even without the touching. Not without the alcohol though…

      Liked by 1 person

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