Dear Crabby, Have You Ever Tried an Escape Room?

Dear Crabby,

Have you heard about Escape Rooms? Apparently, they’re all the rage right now and I’m just wondering if I should try one.

Max Exodus

Dear Max Exodus,

Have I ever wanted to escape a room before? You betchya! Especially when it involves Mrs. Crabby’s side of the family. They’re nice enough, but one can only sing ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’ so many times before running naked through a blizzard sounds more preferable. But now that I read your question again, it looks like you’re asking about something entirely different. Escape Rooms, eh? Well, I’m a big enough man to admit I don’t have a cotton-picking clue what you’re talking about! Thank goodness for Google. So, I typed ‘Escape Rooms’ into the search bar and boy – there are a lot of people out there looking to escape reality! For those of you just as in the dark about this phenomenon as I am, let me give you a quick tutorial. Apparently, this craze got started over in Japan, spread through Asia, then arrived in the U.S. about five years ago. According to the Escape Room Directory (yes, that’s a real thing) there are now hundreds of them all over the world and almost 40 right here in Michigan! So, what happens is, you and a handful of people are locked (yes, locked) into a room where you must solve a series of puzzles using clues, hints, and the like to get out of the room, or rooms as the case may be. And you have to do it all in an hour. It’s billed as part game, part theater, and part team-building exercise. What do you win if you make it out with time to spare? The bragging rights that you’re a smarty-pants. And if you don’t make it out in time? Well, then you’re just a loser. No. That’s not nice. I guess it just means the people who were helping you solve the clues are losers – ha! You can escape from just about anything: a cold war bunker, a castle, and even zombies. The list seems endless. My grandson has a friend who is obsessed with Escape Rooms. In fact, he’s done over 60 of them. And before you ask, yes. He does have a job (a good paying one at that) and no, he doesn’t live in his mother’s basement.

Now that I think of it we had Escape Rooms back in my day. Yep. When the country cousins would come visit us in the city, we’d take them to the scariest abandoned home we could find, get them all turned around and then see if they could find their way out. We sure had fun watching them scrambling for doors, yelling things that aren’t fit for print, and then high-tailing it out of there before they could ring our necks. And we did it all for free. These Escape Rooms are $25 to $30 a pop! And that’s person, not for the entire group. Which is why I guess so many people are setting up their own Escape Rooms. According to Google, some Escape Rooms are bringing in $70,000 a month! Not a bad way to make a living. Would I actually ever participate in an Escape Room? Nah. I’ve had my bit of fun, but I could see where others would want to give it a go. Just remember to go with really smart people… unless you do a zombie escape room.

Hope that helps and that you make it out alive!
Dear Crabby

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