As many of you have learned by now, I’m a hard-core Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark fan.

One of my favorite stories, albeit not one of the scarier ones, is “Harold.”

Two farmers, Alfred and Thomas, decide to make a scarecrow for their garden. They name it Harold, after another farmer who they hate (Stephen Gammell’s illustration is delightfully creepy, because what kind of scarecrow has a damn belly button?)

They don’t treat Harold with much respect (granted, this is a scarecrow we’re talking about). Punching, kicking, and even smearing food on his face when they’re feeling particularly crass.

Harold comes to life and ends up merking Thomas, skinning him and drying his dead skin in the sun.

There’s a valuable lesson here. Treat scarecrows the way you’d want to be treated.

Is the story particularly scary? Nah, not really. Unless you believe that scarecrows can come to life and skin you in response to treating him or her (see, I’m inclusive) like shit.

Okay okay, I believed that when I was eight. Back then you couldn’t catch me even giving the stink eye to a scarecrow.

The story cracks me up now, though, because it makes me think of one of my former Waffle House bosses.

No, he wasn’t a scarecrow, but his name was Harold (people who worked with me during my WH days will know who I’m talking about, but I’m not going to mention his last name because I’m not a complete dick).

Although if THIS Harold had been a scarecrow come to life, I wouldn’t be worried about him skinning anyone.

He would probably just stride over to the nearest Waffle House and screw a bunch of the servers, none of whom are his wife (unless times really got tough for that family).

Imagine that story on the news.

“This just in: Giant scarecrow apprehended at local Waffle House for participating in sex acts with one of the servers. Video at 11.”

I quit working at Waffle House almost six years ago, but all those Harold memories still stick in my craw.

That’s what happens when you’re a hypocritical douche.

“I can teach you how to be a better manager, and a better person.”

Yes, a guy who ran around on his wife actually said this to me.

He also told me once “I wouldn’t hire you to shovel shit, and that’s a pretty easy job to do.”

Classy stuff, right?

I guess all I’m saying is Harold the scarecrow > Harold the former boss.

And Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark > Waffle House.

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