Halloween! Man, I really miss having free time and few responsibilities. Hopefully when I'm out of school I can enjoy the holiday a little bit more. We gave out candy to little monsters, but I didn't even have time to carve the jack o' lantern this year (a light-up plastic jack pumpkin had to suffice).
I remember when Raddmann and I lived together. For Halloween, we went nuts with yard decorations. Radd made this great noose and we hung a skeleton from a tree in the front yard. In fact, we were so happy with the skeleton-noose that we put a Santa hat on it and hung it back up for Christmas!
Uhhhh... anyway... Here's today's pumpkin treat followed by an old entry from the archives (a Halloween piece I did for the TCU Daily Skiff).
And now, a special presentation of an old newspaper column...
Well, it’s almost that time of year again. You know, when ghosts and goblins take to the streets in search of candy, “smashing pumpkins” refers to an action instead of a rock band, and many people get upset about exposing children to satanic rituals.
Yes, I’m talking about Columbus Day.
No, I’m not, what am I talking about... Halloween... I’m talking about Halloween!
Halloween was supposed to be, in it’s most recent form, a holiday where kids dress up in something and go door to door asking for candy. Panhandling by children was heartily encouraged and the American Dental Association saw a sharp increase in the number of cavities their patients had.
Now, however, many parents and schools are nervous about all the scary things and have killed the excitement. Something about “satanic rituals in praise of the Dark Lord of Hell” or something silly like that. Never mind that these same parents actually ENCOURAGE their children to watch Barney the Dinosaur and Satan’s best friend, Elmo, from Sesame Street. C’mon parents, it’s all about priorities!
But I depress. Fortunately, there are still people out there who care about Halloween. Who, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you. College students, rich people, pagans, bank employees, the entire entertainment profession, makers of fine candy (and not so fine candy... circus peanuts... BLEAGH!), people who need any excuse to drink, and, of course, evil minions of the Devil who will conduct “satanic rituals in praise of the Dark Lord of Hell.”
If you yourself (as opposed to you himself or possibly you ourselves) fall into one of these fine demographics (or would that be demongraphics), then more than likely you have plans for Halloween night. But what can you do?
Well, friends, let me help.
First off, you must have a costume. (SPECIAL NOTE TO CROSSDRESSERS AND TRANSVESTITES: Sorry, that doesn’t count) If you do nothing else, you must have a costume. Even if you just sit at home and watch every episode of the original Star Trek series (you GEEK!), you must at least do it in costume. Just dressing up like someone else can fill your heart with Halloweenness and brighten your otherwise pathetic life.
In order to properly choose a costume, you must consider a few things: Where am I going? How much money do I have? Will my boyfriend/girlfriend/animalfriend approve and/or find me more attractive so I can get lucky later? Can I be arrested for wearing this? Do I really like Key Lime pie, or am I just saying that so that I don’t hurt Aunt Bernice’s feelings?
The most important questions are the first two. You must choose a costume that you can easily move around in as well as afford. Dressing up like Elvis might be fun, but can you afford it? A cardboard box is easy to do, but are you going to a crowded party? A cardboard box might work for your wallet, but it’s almost impossible to do anything in it. Forget about dancing! A suit of armor would be very cool, but it would be expensive AND hard to move around in. So forget it, pin head.
Try and pick something easy, like a witch, ghost, demon, ghoul, Teenage Morphin’ Ninja Thingy, politician, or any other cliché overused costumes. Store bought costumes are usually entertaining if nothing else. But if you really want to entertain people, create something from scratch out of things you find around your house. Use your imaginations for crying out loud! Did Mr. Rogers teach you nothing?
The most basic costume is whatever you happen to be wearing that day. You could say it’s many different things. For instance, you could be a Met’s Fan, an undercover cop, an alien dressed as a human, your best friend, your evil/good twin, or perhaps a college student. If you are actually in college, the last one won’t be much fun since you are probably pretending to be a student already.
Some other easy to put together costumes include: wrapping yourself in aluminum foil to be a lightning rod, cover yourself in paper and become an IRS audit (oooo... scary), or just grab anything you can find and place it on your body. Any combination you can think of! Sure macaroni, paper sacks, bananas, and popsicle sticks look strange, but hey, it’s a costume.
Now that you have put together a costume, you have to find a place to show it off, assuming of course you aren’t one of those geeks watching Star Trek. Since you are probably an adult now, your options are limited. You could go trick or treating, but be careful, some places have laws against anyone over a certain age doing this. If you can go trick or treating, here are a few tips.
First, wait until later, say around 8 or 9 o’ clock. This gives all the REAL children a chance at getting some candy. Also, some candy givers get a little perturbed by overage people going door to door. So be extremely curteous. Going later in the evening has some real advantages as well. By this time, people usually have a lot of candy left over and are eager to get rid of it. Chances are, you can make quite a haul off of just one street, although, you should expect to get a lot of Tootsie Rolls.
If trick or treating doesn’t sound like fun, you could do other things. One idea is to find a party to go to. Preferably, it’s a good idea to find a party that you’ve been invited to. But, since you’ve got a identity hiding costume, it’s very easy to crash parties. Nobody knows who you are! Now, go spike the punch.
If parties aren’t your thing, perhaps going to a “scary” haunted house would be more entertaining. Here, you can pay exorbitant amounts of cash to see people in rubber masks jump out of a closet and yell “BOO!” Some people find this entertaining.
You could go rent a movie like Friday the 13th Part 95 or Saturday Night Fever and sit at home and relax. My personal recommendation: get a movie with the Olsen twins. They are extremely disturbing.
If you are at home, you can hand out candy to children. Children like candy. As for those pesky overage people who shouldn’t be trick or treating but are anyway, I suggest handing out little packets of ketchup and mustard. Better yet, give them a nice big helping of water from the hose.
I hope some of these suggestions help make your Halloween a little bit more fun. Remember, if you can’t be scary, be silly. Oh, and nobody likes those crappy popcorn balls and don’t backwash when bobbing for apples.