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Today we went to “Space farms”, in nearby Wantage Township. It seems that no matter where you live, this place is right next door, and yet, (and I’d swear this on a stack of Bibles) it’s at least one hour from even it’s closest neighboring town. In New Jersey, that is a serious wrinkle in the time/space continuum.

Maybe that’s why he named it “Space Farms”.

It’s a place I remember from the television of my childhood, when Mr. Fred Space (whom has since kicked the eternal bucket) made very bad and very regional commercials for his zoo and enigmatic “museums” during which he tried desperately to figure out what to do with his hands.

This had to have been one of his last commercials, it’s 1990 and they had obviously made the executive decision to focus the camera on his face.

I was excited to go. I was excited to go in that way that one can only become excited when you were denied something as a child and intend to make up for that injustice as an adult.
There we were at the entrance. Just as promised was Goliath

Mmmmm... Taxidermy

Mmmmm… Taxidermy

supposedly the largest bear in the world, all gigantic and taxidermied. In fact, there were half a trillion creepy taxidermied animals up and down the cathedral ceiling, staring down for all eternity at disconcerted parents eating shitty pizza.
On each side of Goliath was a staircase, of which my children made quick use. At the top of the stairs was a glass case full of Native American Artifacts that Mr. Space seems to have dug up while creating Space farms. It was the 30’s, after all, anything goes. Take a right at all the artifacts that ought to have been in a museum, and you hit the “creepy dolls with eyes that seem to watch you” section.

What do you mean "Incinerate them"? These creepy dolls should be on display!

What do you mean “Incinerate them”? These creepy dolls should be on display!

This was a big hit with the kids. Luckily, my children are already possessed by malevolent spirits. This section of his “museum” is a loop. You come in and go out at the creepy dolls.


Next on our tour of alarming displays that will give my kids nightmares is a wall full of dusty jars.

Isn’t it funny how the quicker you try and shuffle your kid past something, the heavier and slower their little feet become until you’re just dragging dead weight along in slow motion? That was us, walking by the hall of deformed fetuses and body parts preserved forever in mason jars filled with formaldehyde.


It might have been a kitten… Once.

“Mommy, what’s in that jar? Is that a kitten? Can he breathe in there?” K asks mildly.
My mind is racing.

“Ummmm…yyyes? He’s very happy in there?”

“Mommy? Is that a piggy? Does he really have two heads?” J asks.

“Ummm, no it’s a hologram. Look over there.”

According to the sign, this is a beaver.

According to the sign, this is a beaver.

Mommy’s going have two heads after I use that ancient Native American ax to split mine in half. Fuck. Move it along. Fuck.

As luck would have it, our shitty pizza was ready.
We got a table. When I refer to this pizza as shitty, (X-treme pizza. You’d all do well to remember the name) understand that “shitty” is the most X-treme euphemism these fingers have ever typed.
So we sat, and just as I realized that there was no adjective to describe the pizza before us, my husband whispered to me:

“look at the walls.”


Wow, the pizza is suddenly fantastic. It’s so good. Mmmmmm…

From 8ft up, were tens of thousands of rifles on the wall. I experienced my very own, very horror movie “slo-mo” moment and turned 360 degrees in the dining area. I had never eaten shitty pizza at gunpoint before.

I guess we better try and like the pizza.

Not possible.

In fact, my husband and I sat there, at gunpoint, trying to come up with a situation in which the consumption of that “pizza” (I use that term loosely) would be acceptable. I suggested that we uproot the business and send it to the starving countries my mother was always referring to when I was a kid and didn’t want to eat my dinner. Nothing doing, it was just so nasty.

I packed up the kids sippy cups, and onward.

End of Space Farms part 1
Space Farms part 2 “the zoo” coming soon.
I’d appreciate it if you’d sit on pins and needles until then. Thanks.