Halloween is a bit of a strange holiday to begin with, but it evolves into something more ghoulish every year: COMMERCIALISM. Is that a word?? I guess so… but it’s not like communism, although sometimes it seems equally repulsive. My friends call me a “tree hugger.” I guess I am. I go around hugging trees all day long and tell them I love them. Well maybe I don’t really do that… but all of the products that have sprung up for holiday celebrations have me wondering just how much more of all this manufacturing madness Mother Nature can take.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy jack o’ lanterns and fake skeletons and stuff like that there, but lights?? We never had Halloween lights when I was a kid. Christmas lights, yes. But Halloween lights?? Sounds like an oxymoron to me. I mean, Halloween is all about having the wits frightened out of you by witches and hobgoblins and such. So all these happy Halloween lights are making big brightness of the night which transforms a perfectly scary evening into orange-on-black-holy-cow-look-at-all-the-lights-on-that-house happy joy dead monsters fun world.
Yes, they are cool in their own Halloweeny way… but I’m thinking maybe some of our neighborhood home owners have electric meters that are going so fast they’re ready to blow an axle. Our “neighbor” Mike (about 2 miles up the road) has quite the awesome display this year. I even stopped to tell him so one night on my way back from Whitehall. Never knew his name before then, but he was abrim with joy when he described the acquisition of each part of his remarkable display. I must say, it’s pretty impressive!!
But back to my traditionalist whining: how in the heck do you sneak up on someone when the yard is blasting out all that light?? Sheesh. Now you wanna hear something really weird, when we were kids it was “cool” to walk around on Halloween with a big fat sock full of flour. Why? So you could sneak up on people and bop them with it!! Makes a nice big mark that is really fun to apply, and easy to get off. And it looks totally cool when you swing your sock full of flour and connect with someone’s back or maybe their booty. A big POOF and white powder all over the place, and of course a sock print on the point of impact. And this prank relied on darkness. You can’t sneak up on anyone in the midst of blazing Halloween lights and bop them with anything.
Simpler times… I know. Those days, Frankenstein’s monster scared the living crap out of us, because we knew he was lurking in the dark and was gonna jump out and rip us all apart if we didn’t scurry from house to house with our pillow cases to get those yummy Black Cow suckers, Jujubes, Neccos and Mary Janes. And if you were lucky enough to hit a well-to-do neighborhood, you could even score a fair amount of chocolate! Once in a great while you’d stumble upon the “bad kids” who actually had eggs. And you always knew that bad kids… and worse yet, you knew they would actually throw the eggs. At other people no less!! And again, successful egg tossing required a secret ingredient: darkness.
Well, Frankenstein’s monster is considered a big wuss now. Sure, in movies of yore the monster did indeed kill people, and the villagers told of his awesome strength and the ability to tear men apart with his bare hands. But these days, such a movie would flop unless the monster was shown opening his victims’ bodies with a machete, eating their kidneys, and washing them down with a Mountain Dew. And it’s all because of those stupid Halloween lights I’m tellin’ ya!!
OK, maybe not.
Awright, awright awreddy!! I give in: I really do enjoy looking at everyone’s light displays. And the gigantor skeletons. And the inflatable monsters. My Beautiful Girlfriend and I have seen some pretty elaborate displays lately, and we both wonder aloud, “Where do they store this stuff?? And how long does it take to set it all up??”
The grandsons are 14 and 10 now, so trick-or-treating won’t be quite the same as when they were little tykes all wound up about traipsing through neighborhoods asking for candy. Oh, they want their candy alright, but some of that sparkle is a bit more subdued. Sounds like our daughter and son-in-law are switching gears a bit this year and just taking the boys to a local neighborhood for a much reduced trick-or-treat session.
I hope all of you have a safe and Happy Halloween. It will be here before you know it!! Enjoy the lights, gigantor skeletons, and inflatable monsters. Oh, and don’t forget your flour filled bopping socks!
Believe it or don’t, this week’s video is one that gave me goose bumps when I was a kid. I mean hey, I was pretty young when this was on the old black and white…