Halloween is my favorite so-called holiday.
What’s that? Oh, ha ha ha! Yes, I’m dreadfully aware of the triteness of that statement. Seems like everybody and their undead brother digs All Hallows Eve. Well, everyone except for Indira Ghandhi and maybe a handful of weirdos who believe October 31 is when atheists and pagans get together for bloodlettings and orgies and guzzling cat semen from a hollowed-out goat’s horn.
Fact is no one crafts ceremonial goblets from horns or antlers anymore. It’s unsanitary.
My love of Halloween goes back as far as I can remember. Had I been forced to give up every holiday but one, well… OK, I admit Christmas would have won out, but that’s only because stale candy corn and “Fun Size” Milky Way bars can't match the resell value or negotiating power of a Green Machine and a couple dozen Hot Wheels. I mean, I could recoup the loss in candy just by charging kids to ride my Green Machine!
But Halloween consistently held a higher fun factor because, shiny new Xmas toys be damned, I got to go out after dark. That’s the coolest thing ever when you’re eight. Makes you feel bigger and braver and more… mature (though not so mature you’d say no to a little moonlight rope-swinging or tree-climbing!) I enjoyed the dark to such an extent that I suspect my mother could have saved a lot of money at Xmas simply by wrapping a chicken-scratched coupon book granting me several hours of after-dark outdoor playtime. Letting me wear my Halloween costume year-round would have worked, too, since being a flesh-eating zombie for only one day out of the year is such a bummer.
Which reminds me: have you seen the super-hero costumes with the muscles built right in? How frelling cool are those? If they’d have made this when I was a kid, you’d have had to shoot me with a tranquilizer dart to get it off of me. Removing the real Spider-Man’s mask would have been easier. No lie.
Mom couldn’t stand the schlocky costumes offered at Pay-n-Pak and Chubby & Tubby, so she invariably busted her behind each year making me a custom costume. For all her sewing prowess, however, she had effectively no knowledge of monster or super-hero lore. She did make me a Spider-Man costume once; it was green. It did not have built-in muscles. (But seriously, go read that post instead. It’s way better than this one.)
Anyway, in a few hours time, I don a hooded cowl and take up a scythe in one skeletal hand and a bowl of treat-bags in the other for the soul purpose of adding just a bit of extra excitement to Halloween for the six or so trick-or-treaters who may or may not show up.
You know, maybe I’ll retire the Reaper costume next year. The Party City store down the street has an adult-sized Spider-Man costume. With built-in muscles. I wonder how Karin feels about dying her hair red…