Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Square Peg - Halloweenie



The Square Peg - Halloweenie
© S. Bradley Stoner



Yep. It’s that time of year again. All the little spooks, super heroes, pirates, punkins, witches, and Star Wars characters are preparing to hit us up for all those goodies for which the stores charge highway robbery prices. That’s right... they saw us coming and stuck it to us going. We can’t help ourselves, though. I mean it takes a real Grinch, or in this case, Halloweenie to not remember his or her own childhood and that one special night when you get to hold up folks while remaining completely anonymous in your disguise. Let’s face it, it feeds our larcenous side. Oh come on, you know you have one. And Halloween, Christmas (or Chanukah or Kwanza... your choice), and your birthday are pretty much the only times that’s legal.

To be honest, I kind of miss the good old days... you know, when folks spent a week or more preparing for All Hallows Eve, hand making costume and decorations, not to mention toiling over Rice Krispy bars, popcorn balls, candied apples, special cookies with ghost and goblin icing, homemade fudge, and more, all wrapped in colorful plastic wrap sold only at this time of year. And then there were the parties, mostly for grownups, but the kids liked to watch... heck, you might see Somber Sam make a fool of himself bobbing for apples when he got a bit tipsy. Besides, there was always the collection aftermath where you and your siblings or buddies all got together to have a trade fest. You had a real shot at getting the goodies you liked best, although nobody wanted to trade away their Rice Krispy bars. Heck, that all made Halloween a real family celebration Now? Not so much.

I used to make my own outdoor decorations. Yep... scrap wood tombstones; gauze spider webs; worn out sheets turned into ghosts flying eerily from tree branches and house eaves; cats cut from cardboard and lovingly painted black with fiery red eyes... things like that. I even made a stove pipe and paint can Frankenstein one time, but after two years of getting rained on, he rusted beyond repair. Now I’d be embarrassed to put things like that out on my lawn. They just don’t compete with those air powered pumpkins and creatures, the molded plastic tombstones, anatomically correct, life-sized skeletons, lifelike rubberized witches that cackle evilly, and light projectors that turn your abode into a house of horrors... all sold at the local discount store. One of my neighbors has a blow-up wiener dog with a blow up Snoopy in a witch’s hat and cape sitting on it. I think it looks stupid, but apparently the little kids next door think it’s adorable. So, there’s two gauzy orange and black, store-bought witches gracing my front porch. Nothing else, but I’m no Halloweenie.

Luckily, Bob got most of his Halloween decorations out before his accident and Duncan helped him with the rest. Bob won’t be up to his usual antics though, that sling and walking cast have really slowed him down this year. He even had to cancel his Halloween party. His wife will be giving out the treats this year while Bob sits miserably in his Lazy Boy, The neighborhood is a little poorer for that, but that doesn’t make Bob a Halloweenie.

There are the usual warnings to parents to check the candy the kids collect to make sure it hasn’t been tampered with. That business with the razor blades in apples some years back is what helped to kill all the homemade goodies. And that a$$hole wasn’t a Halloweenie either... that individual was a psychopath.

In our neighborhood, folks who give out candy post their addresses on our HOA intranet and leave their porch lights on so kids know where to go. There are a lot of unlit porchlights on our block. Some are real Halloweenies, but not all. Take Charlie. It’s not that he wouldn’t like to participate, it’s just that by the time he is able to get up from watching Monday Night Football and grope his way to the front door to answer the bell, all the kids have given up and moved on. 

The same is true of some of the other retired folks here, but there are real Halloweenies out there too. Some of them just don’t like kids. I’ve heard them talk, and what they have to say isn’t nice. I wonder if they were ever children or if they were born old. Some are religious whack jobs who don’t believe in celebrating anything. They lead dull lives and want everybody else to live dull lives too. And then there are the spinster sisters... two dried up old prunes who never crack a smile. I’m pretty sure I know why, but that’s another story. Some younger folks just don’t want to be bothered... they have better things to do, like play Warcraft or Grand Theft Auto... you know, important stuff. Yep... Halloweenies.

Anyway, here’s wishing y’all a spook-tacular Halloween filled with scary movies, eerie sounds, and lots of costumed kiddies... and here’s hoping none of you are Halloweenies!