Saturday, October 28, 2006

Nooo!

It's the 28th of October. It's 5:30 in the afternoon.

And people are trick-or-treating.

What the hell, over?

I don't have candy yet -- because it's not Hallowee'en yet. I don't even have a Jack-O'Lantern out yet -- because it's bloody well not Hallowe'en yet.

This is wrong on so many levels.

Come back on Hallowe'en, dammit!

People tell me that they just move Hallowe'en to the weekend "for the children". Little sprogs have school and all that.

*sigh*

And Hallowe'en has become the latest victim of the massive commercial juggernaut that is Chri$tma$ in America.

I say this, because while I was helping Reno put up his Samhain display, we had to go into town for supplies. Stopping at Wally-World we asked a salesdrone where the Hallowe'en stuff was, and we were informed that what we sought was "Just past the giant inflatable Santa Claus."

You know the worst part?

It wasn't that the Chri$tma$ selection -- in late October -- was bigger than the Hallowe'en selection.

No.

What was truly, utterly horrifying was the cute little smiles on every-stinkin'-thing there. Ghosts with charming smiles and great huge ditzy anime eyes. Beaming plastic jack-o'lanterns. And -- the cherry topping the Cake of Despair -- a fluffy, furry skeleton with an idiot's grin on it's soft little squeezable skull.

Oh, the humanity!

Hallowe'en isn't about your little bubble-wrap-and-nerf world. Hallowe'en isn't about pastel colours.

Hallowe'en is the time we set aside to tweak that primal part of our psyche. It is the time we set aside to run little cold fingers up our spines and strum -- ever so gently -- on that nerve marked: Here Be Dragons.

Several years back, Chris and I made a wicked little scene in the front yard. We had a truly evil jack o'lantern set on a man-high stick at the curb. He was wearing a black hooded robe, and was lit by a red chemlight. He was right where the chillins would get out of the car, and the wind made his robe flutter in a really sinister way.

We had ruthlessly dissected one of those little furry dolls with the big eyes that blink, and we had set just the eyes -- lit by red chemlights -- on a branch of a tree in the front yard, so that they'd blink at you as you walked up to the front door.

Swinging gently at the front door was a floating skull with a simulated flame inside.

Just beside the front porch, there was a small trench cut in the lawn where I was laying, covered by a camouflage blanket.

When the sprogs were opening up their bags to get the goodies -- and keeping a weather eye on that evil skull or the blinking eyes -- I'd reach out, grab an ankle and scream.

The shrieks and sprinting children were great.

And they kept coming back. One little bairn and her mom came back to have their ankles grabbed eight times.

For the next six months, people -- children and adults both -- kept asking us if we were going to do it again.

That's what Hallowe'en is about. Goosebumps. Screams. Coming face-to-face with ghoulies, ghosties and things that go bump in the night on All Hallows Eve.

So come back in three days, dammit!

LawDog

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice double-post.

I'm not planning on anywhere nearly that much "preparation" for the 31st. At most, I'll don my floor-length hooded poncho, and sorta aimlessly wander the neighborhood, singing the first verse of "Scarborough Fair" if anyone talks to me.

Not terribly original, I know, but it's the best I've got at the moment, except for egging and TPing, and I don't care for those.

Anonymous said...

Tell you what I saw... today at the Captain D's where I stopped for lunch... a *vampire*. Three days from Halloween... a vampire. I was kinda under the impression she was trying to be sexy with it too. I can understand if a lady wants to be sexy as a witch, but not a vampire. ***shrug***

mustanger98 on THR

Anonymous said...

One of my neighbors bought some size 8 x jeans and Tee shirt got inside them and stuffed the extra space with a bale of hay.

He donned a scarecrow mask and hung his arms on a T shaped piece of wood.

Whenever enough kids walked by he would jump out and scare the piss out them. He even got me once.

Thats what Halloween is all about.

Anonymous said...

I just remembered that other year when I was in Roswell GA... I saw the devil, the grim reaper, and Barney the Dinosaur out there together. The first two are bad enough by themselves, but the scarey part was seeing Barney out there with 'em.

mustanger98 (again)

C. S. P. Schofield said...

Gods forbid the little dears should get to STAY UP LATE once in a while - or jump a few hedges - or have anything to do with any thought that hasn't been sanitized by some kind of councillor.

We wrap them up in cotton wool, stifle any hint of competition, feed them carefully monitored 'healthy' foods, and are so hyper-vigilant that they can get suspended from school for sharing headache tablets.


And then we wonder why they grow up to be little butterballs, seething with resentment and a desire to make something in their plastic foam world BLEED.

The hell with the Lawyers. They'll wait. First we hang all the guidance councillors, psychobabblers, healing enablers, and similar twits who are attached to American children like nightmare leeches.

Rabbit said...

There were a couple of twentysomething moms with kids in strollers in little costumes wheeling through the neighborhood trick-or-treating this afternoon about 1ish, goodie bags suspended from the stroller handles.

Geez, I hadn't even finished my second pot of coffee yet. When they saw me glaring through the front door they kept right on going. Guess I should go get some M&M's or something in case they come back Tuesday - if I'm not out jumping over bonfires somewhere.

Good Samhain :D

Regards,
Rabbit.

Anonymous said...

Now for a truly EVIL All Hallows Eve, Chocolate covered Espresso Beans (in 2 ounce bags), and Jello Shots (or Airline Bottles if you feel rich) for mommy and daddy. Let the goblins (THEIR Kids) bounce off the bulkheads for a few hours while mommy and daddy nurse their jello shot hangover.
Next year they will NOT be back (or they will if they’re twisted).

Rat Bastard

Sailorcurt said...

The most significant observance of 31 October for me is the fact that it's payday.

Ghosts and Goblins don't pester me the other 364 days of the year (365 on leap years) so they don't concern me on this one. Use it as an excuse to give other people's ill behaved brats that throw trash in my yard and terrorize my dogs free candy?...give me a break.

Don't even get me started on Christmas.

FroneAmy said...

I love Halloween. Love it!

That said, I'd be pissed as all get out if someone rang the bell for candy when the entire community decided beggar's night is TUESDAY, not Saturday.

Matt G said...

5:30 PM on Oct 31 was still daylight. That ain't right for trick-or-treating, either.

"So many levels," indeed.

Anonymous said...

I used to dress up as Jason (from Friday the 13th) on Halloween to scare the kiddies. But I stopped that because one time when I stepped out of the darkness between houses two kids ran out in the street right in front of a car. Fortunately, the driver was able to slam on the brakes and stop before hitting the kids. I was relieved, as I'm sure I would have been prosecuted to the full extent of the law if the kids had been hit by the car. So much for "harmless" fun. :-(

-- Jason Voorhees

Graumagus said...

The whole "Christmas crap out before bloody halloween" thing pisses me off as well.

Although I am going to have fun with my Santa hat/devil horns combo and garland wrapped pitchfork (I'm walking around as "Satan Claus")

The last time I walked around with the kids in costume, three people gave me beer. I'm hoping for a repeat...

Anonymous said...

Sad to say I've given up on Halloween and the house is staying dark with locked gate like last year. Too many older needing-a-shave kids showing up later at night with no costumes and pillowcases for bags, whose 'That's ALL?' indicated they were not politely thankful for candy received.

Anonymous said...

I admit it. We hide. When it was all about the neighborhood chillin's, we did it. When parents started taking their kids all over the freaking country--that was the end of it.

PS: I saw the newest James Bond trailer--he looks like a dispeptic Alfred E. Newman in a Punk haircut. He "pouts". AAUUGGHH!!!

Anonymous said...

to 5:40pm anon,
"is that all?" is answered by
"unless you'd like a load of buckshot"

Anonymous said...

I watched a report on the news the other day about a Halloween parade at an elementary school. Seems the tradition was that one afternoon the kiddies would put on their costumes and parade around the block of the elementary school and all the parents would also dress up and watch their kids and as they say a great time was had by all. Well your typical dingbat chick scared of her shadow man hater principal decided that such a thing was far too dangerous for the kiddies. Seems that someone might start sniping the sprogs from the bushes with a high powered rifle, with parents or spectators being being masked they couldn't ID everyone and there might be pedophiles looking at the kiddies mentally molesting them I suppose, or I guess someone might swoop in via hang glider and carry one off to bugger a 4 grader in mid air. Who the hell knows what goes through her demented mind. She's evidently been watching too many of those movies on Lifetime and the Lifetime Movie Network. Hell, this paranoid bitch wouldn't even let the news people into the school for the interview. She went to city hall for the interview instead. Guess she thought there was a bomb in the camera or the sound guy was going to start molesting kids in the bathroom.

shooter said...

I made my first Ghillie suit my junior year in high school. I was so excited right before deer season that I had to try it out. As the kiddles would tromp through the high grass between our house, I would give 'em a good scare.

Anonymous said...

Besides Samhain being a very somber holiday, I love the whole dress up and scare side of it. I'm sad because kids have not figured out that there are several kid -at-hearts hoping to have their doors knocked on in my condo community. I wind up eating candy I buy for just in case. That in itself is a good and bad thing..

By the way, whatever happened to TV or cable channels showing nothing but scary movies the entire month of October?

flintlock tom said...

I remember complaining that the stores were putting out Christmas stuff before Thanksgiving, now...

Bernard Brandt said...

Just a bit of perspective:

Samhein, ladies and gentlemen, was the pre-Christian Irish Celtic New Year, a harvest festival, and the one day of the year when the laws were extinguished, along with all of the fires (and those were the days when all fires were kindled either from flints or from previous fires.)

So basically, Samhein was the one day of the year when any sane Celt was indoors in a darkened and unheated house, and where the other Celts were outside, carrying on merrily or crankily, as the case may be.

Oh, one more thing: when the laws were extinguished, they also extinguished the laws which separated the living from the dead. Things apparently got a little interesting for that one day.

I'll take Hallowe'en any day over Samhein, thank you. There's a difference between someone doing a light strum on your nerves and someone thundering on them like Jimmy Page or Eric Clapton on a Fender.

Cybrludite said...

Compared to daily life back then, all that was likely to be a "light thrumming" of those nerves... ;-)

David said...

There's nothing like a dark porch, a few props, dry ice and some sound effects. One Halloween I had a group wouldn't come up to get their candy even after I turned on porch light and took off my mask.

I love Halloween....

KCSteve said...

Ah Halloween!

We give out bags with some small toys and plentiful good candy. We want our neighbors to like us.

We also always include a 'fun' noismaker - we don't want them to like us too much. ;)

We've lived in our little house long enough now that we have a second generation trick-or-treater. Her mother was there for the first couple of years before she outgrew those sorts of treats, and a couple of years ago her daughter became old enough for the journey. Yes, she did marry young but she's from a big, happy, apparently Catholic family and now lives across the street from her parents.

My best Halloween costume ever was deceptively simple. Just a long black hooded robe and black gloves. Oh, and a black face mask with red LEDs rigged over the eyes. Combine that with standing very still most of the time and you can have much fun. Particually fun was standing outside a friend's door and only moving when the child - but not the parent - was watching me. Well, I'd also change position while she was chasing the kid back to curb after dragging them to the door, but only enough to make her wonder...

Anonymous said...

At least you get to do the Halloween thing. I haven't for the past few years.

I can't hang out with the Pagans on their high holy day anymore because the ones I used to run around went stupid and imploded.

When I lived in the apartment hive, though there were kids in the complex, not 1 came to the door. The only knock I ever got on the 31st was from some chick lost on the way to her party and she needed to use the phone. And she didn't even take one piece of candy for the road.
Now I moved to the trendy, upcoming neighborhood, and I've not seen one bairn. Not even one Jack O'Lantern (so the sign saying "Have a Nice Day" written in skulls is just plain out of place).

On top of that, my promotion means come month end I spend extra time at work making sure all the finances are balanced. And every month it eats up a huge chunk of my evening. This one even moreso, since the bosses from corporate were present, and they wanted to go out for a business dinner.

No costume, no candy, no Pagans, no witches. All the recognition of Halloween at the Fortress of Doom was watching a Japanese horror movie Kwaidan (which is quite good actually). So sad. I found myself wondering if that bigger paycheck was really worth the loss of my Halloween this year.