Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween Thoughts And Reflections…Kind Of

Today is Halloween and it makes me reflect on all of the Halloweens that have passed and the current ghoulish state of things. A lot has changed since the Halloweens I celebrated as a kid. Change is inevitable, but wouldn’t it be nice if something changed and it actually ended up being better than the way it used to be. OK, maybe patients who had gastric bypass surgery are the exception to this and I’m sure there are a lot of husbands of wives who’ve had breast augmentations that will argue with me, but that’s not really what I’m trying to get at.

Boy the dress up part of the holiday sure has changed. I was at a Halloween pumpkin carving night at Lucy and Ethel’s school Friday night and even though it was preschool, no one was wearing a costume that really stood out or could even be considered scary or on the edge. Again, it was preschool, but let’s ignore that part for the sake of my story. Sure, I saw a Darth Vader or two, but even those gave the impression of the watered down just about to betray the Emperor-tell Luke how much he loves him-take off my helmet so I can see you with my real eyes-type of Darth Vader. I may have seen a Batman, but I’ll just say that if I were the Joker I wouldn’t be too worried when I saw the Bat Light appear overhead.

When I was in elementary school, I showed up wearing my rubber Frankenstein mask and I got to leave it on all day. When my name was called during roll call, I said my muffled ‘here’ through my mask and no one asked any questions. We could go through the entire school day and never see our friends’ faces. That doesn’t happen today and if it did, there’s no telling who would be hiding behind that mask. In high school, I can remember my friends showing up dressed as pimps and they weren’t even asked to go home and change until after lunch. That’s like half a day. They wouldn’t be allowed on campus today!

The whole trick-or-treat racket has really changed too. Our neighborhood used to be the one where people drove to so that their kids could get the good candy and go door-to-door in complete safety. Nowadays they drive to other areas of town. My wife is hoping I won’t stand out in the driveway as I did last year waving my green glow-stick yelling ‘what’s wrong with our street? I’ve got Almond Joys this year! Come by and I’ll give you two of them!” Apparently, that type of action gets you labeled as “the crazy guy that lives in the house at the end of the street.’ Do we take the twins trick-or-treating in our neighborhood you ask? Of course not! Are your crazy? Unlike everyone else, we have a good excuse though. The in-laws live on the new side of town, so we have a legitimate reason to engage in ‘trick-or-treat traveling.’

Speaking of Almond Joys, have you noticed the class system of give outs on Halloween now? The folks that try to be good and hand out pencils, stickers and erasers are looked down upon and are usually the first ones retaliated against by kids who want nothing but chocolate goodness. The folks that give out M & Ms and Hershey bars are seen as middle of the road and middle class while those that give out Mounds, Almond Joys and the harder to get Charleston Chews and stuff like that are the most popular houses. In fact, word gets around pretty quickly when there’s a house on the block giving out the good stuff. It sure beats Charlie Brown getting a rock!

Even our office is watered down for Halloween this year. It’s a Disney theme, which of course helps ensure that everyone will be dressed nice and respectable. That conjures up lots of Snow Whites, Sleeping Beauties, Mickey Mouses and hopefully a Mary Poppins or two. Although…you know, Splash was technically a Disney movie, wasn’t it. I doubt I’ll get to see someone dressed as Darryl Hannah’s mermaid though. Don’t you? Oh well, Happy Halloween and have fun cleaning up all the smashed pumpkins in the middle of your yard or street tomorrow morning. I’ll be spending my evening (until at least 4AM) in the most sincere pumpkin patch I can find waiting for the Great Pumpkin to arrive. As Linus says, it won’t be long now…


Morgen said...

Long Live The
Great Pumpkin!

I just knew you'd have The Great Pumpkin (and our boy Linus) featured today!

thanks ~ mo

The top 12 costume pics are now posted at
It’s A Blog Eat Blog World

NATALIE said...

Love Linus. The most Halloweenish thing I did this year was watch the great pumpkin special. I didn't even really remember it was halloween today until one of my co-workers had on a witch hat. No one else is dressed up at all, no i lie one lady has devil horns. You're right, halloween is no fun anymore. Living in a big city, I don't think anyone has ever rang my bell for candy. Kinda sad....

Violet said...

I thought the whole idea of dressing up at Halloween was to scare off the ghosts and demons, not to welcome them with cuteness and wholesomeness.

mist1 said...

Gawd, I want an Almond Joy right now.

Odat said...

Nice! I love Charlie Brown...and the gang! I keep watching it every year...and hoping, not for the great pumpkin, but that Charlie Brown gets no more rocks!!!
Oh well...that's one thing about Halloween that never changes...I too would always dress up in the weirdest freakiest costumes...just to be, well weird and scary (and to win first prize at the ball..ha ha). Originality has gone out the window (or winda as we say in New Yawk). Anyway...something new I discovered this year..is...vanilla Tootsie Rolls! OMG I ate all the ones that came in the bags of candy I bought!!! Have fun!!! Let us know if you get to meet the Great Pumpkin!!!

Michael C said...

Morgen: I thought you might enjoy it!

Natalie: Sorry you can't sing 'Ring My Bell' in the big city ;-) The twins and I have watched 'It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown' almost every night and it's been their bedtime story too. They love it!

Violet: You've got a point there. Isn't it funny how times have changed things.

Mist1: Someone brought a bunch of Almond Joys into the office today. They were gone in less
than an hour.

Odat: I think Charlie will always get rocks in his bag...but Vanilla tootsie rolls? Yummy!! It's kinda cold out so I hope I can hold out (hey, that rhymed) long enough to see the Great Pumpkin. If not, I'll probably complain about it all day long at work tomorrow! ;-)

I just got ready to post my comments, but seriously, isn't 'qkrjubbd' just a bit excessive as a word verification! Geeesh! i hope none of yours were as bad!

Awesome Mom said...

We have not even had trick or treaters since we moved here to California. I guess we are just not cool enough or something.


We didn't get any trick or treaters this year. It could be because I turned off all the lights and pretended we weren't home. I'm not sure. Whatever. It means more Reeses for me :)

thethinker said...

I have to admit that I'm guilty of candy prejudice. I just can't help liking a house that gives away Snickers bars better than one that gives out stickers. Though, I'm not going trick or treating this year so it doesn't really matter.

ChiefMommy Owl said...

I’ve got Almond Joys this year!
Ewww, yuck. My Mom used to buy a giant bag of those tubes with the insanely sweet powder inside.

I bought a bag of a Jewish brand Twix bars called Encore and I didn't have one single trick or treater. I'm eating the candy now.

ShadowFalcon said...

Charlie Brown rocks

Aisby said...

We still get old-fashioned Halloween around here. (You know, I'm from small-town south, it takes us at least a decade to catch up.) We have relatively tame costumes, but we WALK around OUR OWN neighborhood to trick or treat.
And man, I can't wait to get into my girls' Halloween bags. Candy, yum!!

the laughorist said...

A finely wrought, pensive reflection -- not unlike Garrison Keillor. Well done, Michael. We had maybe 200 kids, most from a nearby poorer neighborhood. Everyone was polite and grateful and well-behaved. In the rain. But it's a little sad. A young parent or a kid with two bags. What's the other one for? My niece. Where is she? down the street. Why can't she be here? She's a baby. She doesn't need any candy, bye. But it's sad in that -- it's just some stupid candy! Have a good All Hallows' Day.

C said...

I did not know charleston chews were upscale. I love charleston chews - I must be upscale too.

Michael C said...

Awesome Mom: The number seems to decline every year!

Parlancheq: The dark house may have something to do with it ;-) Enjoy the chocolate...and peanut butter ;-)

Chiefmommy: It sounds like we're all getting a lot of candy because of the no-shows this year

ShadowFalcon: I can't say it any better!

Aisby: Sounds like my kind of Halloween! Enjoy the candy, that's what we're doing here!

Laughorist: Yep, it's hard for us to give candy to the parents who are 'representing' their kids!

C: You are definitely upscale!!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I just remembered one year of my childhood when some people came trick or treating to our house on Thanksgiving!! I was about 9 and I was embarrassed for them. Poverty was shameful in those days, and I felt guilty that we had enough to eat. It wasn't pleasant.

I asked my mother about this, as in wtf, but she didn't seem to know what it was about either. I can't remember if she gave them anything. It's a very uncomfortable memory.

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