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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Review of My Crappy Halloween

Review of Halloween

Note: due to crappiness of blogger, no pictures could be uploaded to this posts for your viewing pleasure. I apologize.

I used to make a half-hearted stab at decorating for Halloween. Christmas is really my forte, but occasionally I’d put up a skull or two, stick a black lightbulb in the overhead porch light and throw around some of that crappy cobweb stuff that you stretch out all over. But there is always someone in town, or someones…who really go ALL OUT for Jack-o-lantern Eve. I wish I had a picture of this woman’s house we were at last night. Every square inch of her (very large) home and yard was decorated with bats, blood, skulls and broomsticks. A lit up, life-sized graveyard filled one side of the front porch and to their horrified delight, kids could go through a dimly lighted maze in her yard, occasionally stumbling over a hand or foot planted in the ground while creepy sounds played from hidden speakers. Seriously, I have to admire dedication like that. And the woman gave out KING sized candy bars. I was wondering how the hell she could afford to do that, especially considering that every damn kid in town makes a beeline for her front door on October 31st. But then again, she lives on Snob Hill… I’ll get to that in a minute.

So, another Halloween is over and done with. Due to the insanity that was my job in the last few days, haven’t watched anything good, and I am still reading the book I’d planned to review. So, for lack of anything better to talk about, let’s talk about last night. I don’t know about yours, but my kids are suffering from sugar hangovers and are still lying sluggishly in bed. I know it’s going to be a battle royal to get their butts on the way to school. My youngest was pissed, as usual, that they dared to have school on such a holy day, and as a fifth grader, declared too old for classroom Halloween parties by the school administrator. Can you imagine? When is a ten year old too old for a Halloween party? I had to agree with him that it sucked big, and it sucked majorly.

Halloween, ahhhh…. a time of breathless running from door-to-door, crisp autumn air, the feeling of your back teeth stuck together with some gummy, taffy substance. Kicking through leaves, breathing in wood smoke, having perfect strangers admire you and then reward you for looking so cute…. It is the perfect childish holiday. Of course, there were the dark sides of Halloween, as well. As Patrick mentioned, we probably all remember the razor blades in apples, how we couldn’t eat anything homemade or unsealed. But still, like Jay reminisced, those were the GOOD FRICKIN’ DAYS.

The planning of the costumes went on for the entire month of October when I was kid. Every detail meticulously planned and then executed at the kitchen table. No one wore store-bought costumes when I was young. If you were extraordinarily lucky, your mom might make you a costume, but store costumes were for an un-seen subgroup (definitely rich kids). When I was four, my mother made me , of course, a cat costume. I wore that damn thing until I was seven, until I had cut off the feet and the legs came down to about my knees, until the sleeves cut off the circulation in my arms, and that tail was just a straggly, sad little nubbin of fabric dragging behind me. But come on. I was a KAAT. That was one damn cool costume. Otherwise I was something like a “Robot” (big box painted silver, with holes cut out for head and arms), or a “Hobo” (grubby old clothes, bandana full of socks tied onto a stick). There was always the old “ghost” stand-by, but who the hell wanted to wear a stifling sheet over your head all night? As I got older, my costumes got more sophisticated, but I think I stopped trick-or-treating when I was twelve or thirteen.

Last night, trick-or-treating, I saw kids that I swear were college students. I was trying to figure out what this one guy was, and I was admiring the realistic fake stubble he had put on his cheeks… until I realized that it wasn’t fake. This dude, who was sprouting facial hair, and thick facial hair at that, was holding out his bag, shoulder to shoulder (or rather hip to shoulder) with my 5 year old goddaughter.

And the store-bought costumes? Well, apparently not just for the rich or unusual anymore. Three-quarters of the tricksters last night were decked out in obviously pre-made and purchased outfits. Lots of Supermans. Lots of ninjas. More fairies and princesses than you cold shake a magic wand at. My son, who had dressed warmly in a hoodie sweatshirt and jeans, and broke a fake blood capsule open in his mouth, was asked again and again, in total confusion… “What are you?”

The answer…“I’m a kid in a sweatshirt with a bloody lip,” made me laugh, I have to admit. He and his friends, a leprechaun and a “maniac with a bullet hole in his forehead”, respectively, went sprinting out as soon as dark fell over the neighborhood. Once they’d made the rounds of our street, already carrying approximately ten pounds of candy, they begged me to drive them up to Snob Hill. I didn’t name the place, no, that’s what everyone calls it. The houses up on this hill are big, they are lit-up with pumpkin-scented yard candles and purple and black rope lights, decorated with artistically-rendered skeletons and frankensteins, and strung with designer cobwebs probably spun in France. Most importantly, they give out Full Size Candy bars up there, none of those snack-size snickers like I’d bought. The maze-and-graveyard palace I mentioned before is up on Snob Hill.

Unfortunately, it became clear quickly that the little niggling thought that I might have a leak in my truck, that I might have been smelling fuel for the last week, in fact turned out to be a definite yes last night. People ran, choking, away from my vehicle as we drove slowly from house to house. I heard one boy yell, “Watch out you guys, it’s that gas truck” when we pulled up to one driveway. It was lovely. Keep the windows up and choke on the heater-driven gas stink? Shut off the heat or roll down the windows and freeze (and still smell the gas stink)? All of us were dizzy from fumes by the time the last house had been hit and I am getting a frickin migraine, courtesy no doubt, of the leaking gas and the stinky air I breathed, all in the name of getting cavities for my kid.

So today I look for a mechanic, and some drugs to combat my head. I envy those of you who, dressed to the nines, went out to crazy Halloween parties and got really, really drunk, without feeling sick today. You’re my heroes. I went out and froze last night, and I’m sick today, from gasoline, not alcohol, but it was worth it to watch my son spread out his amazing pile of crap food with glistening eyes. The things we do for our children. Of course, it helped that he gave me a popcorn ball. I can be bribed. Quite easily.

I want to point out that if my post is dull today, I can claim the Butterfly Teddybear Defense. See, I was innocently working yesterday when this woman, an acquaintance of mine, came in the front. In her arms she was holding a teddybear with what looked suspiciously like a butterfly perched on the end of its nose. Heh, I’m thinking, that’s kind of stupid… I mean, cute. At the same moment, a friend of mine, with her six trillion children, came in the back door. They met in the middle and amid much squealing over the bear it was revealed that the bear was a gift for the woman’s sixteen year old daughter. She was going to take it to the school in a minute. A sixteen year old, ok? Next, to my absolute puking-guts-disgust, it was revealed that this bear, when its paw was squeezed, played, at a VERY high volume, the hideous country and western song known as “Butterfly Kisses”. A very badly recorded, scratchy version of it. And did I mention that there was no volume control on the bear and it was playing very, very loudly? The butterfly on the bears nose waved its wings slowly, in time presumably, to the music squawking from within the bear’s chest. The children were charmed, I was immobilized in confusion and alarm from the loud sound of the song, and the paw was squeezed, over and over, and over… and over… again. I hope to be over the experience soon. Hopefully no tumors were created. I have cat-scans scheduled for tomorrow, and I pray, my friends, that you never face this creature like I had to.

P.S. I found him. Online. His name is Henry…second one down. Oh god, they’re going to be everywhere….

5 Comments:

Blogger Jessie said...

Crappy Halloweens must be going around... Here is the link for the picture meme http://hunna.blogspot.com/2006/10/8-things-i-find-amazing-in-picture.html

11:43 AM  
Blogger Jay said...

The only house I've ever known to give out full sized chocolate bars in the Prime Minister , and yes, he actually answers his door to hand out candy on Halloween.

1:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

our kids school - a charter school - gave the kids the next day off. i think it just happened that way as they have monthly teacher meetings

on a side note i had a super long and stressed day at work. i got home. the kids were alrady out. so i shut off all the lights and ate dinner. my wife got home with the kids and we got into a tiff because i wasn't "participating" i argued, there's no one to participate with.

whatever.

I'm thinkin Hawaii. beaches. sun. tropical drinks.

8:20 AM  
Blogger Meowkaat said...

The Prime Minister- that's pretty cool. He's trying to get closer to the common folk with his big candies, huh?
Hawaaiiiiiii.... someday, I'm going to live there. I mean it. in the meantime, Portnoy, maybe you're lucky that your wife wants you to participate. I don't think I'd even consider asking my husband to get involved in Halloween. Thinking...thinking....nope, nope, wouldn't even consider it.

8:41 AM  
Blogger Orhan Kahn said...

Christmas is also my forte. I think it has something to do with lights, I'm a sucker for bright shiny things. A chore to decorate but a pleasant result you can leave out and about for atleast a month.

6:14 PM  

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