Friday, October 30, 2009

All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Go

Happy Fright Night to one and all!

What are your Halloween plans? Have you been invited to a fabulous costume party by your dearest of friends, where you'll wear that fantastic  costume you've put together? Great!

Perfect Wife and I haven't.

A few years back, we hosted a fantastic All Hallows Eve bash. We went all out (well, PW did) with decorations and all kinds of ghoulish goodies. Friends/family and total strangers from as far away as Florida came, and a good time was had by all. At least we think so. Our memories are fuzzy on the details of what happened as the evening progressed. The majority of the attendees are still alive and kicking as of this writing, and no one got pregnant, so we presume all went well.

The party was such a Galapalooza, that we were too exhausted to host another the next year. We were still full of the  Holiday spirit, though, and hoped one of our friends would host a bash. No one did. We surmised that perhaps they didn't think their party would measure up to ours, so they didn't even try to compete. As the years pass however, we still have not been invited to a Halloween bash. What's up with that?! Are we the only people in our circle of chums who have the Halloween spirit? Before you say, "Perhaps your friends are having parties, they just don't want you there", let me assure you nothing could be further from the truth. PW and I are delightful party guests. We always bring something (PW's Taco Salad is always a hit), and, to my knowledge, my shenanigans are the hit of every party we've ever attended. We also recycle our empties.

You may also wonder why we just don't host our own Halloween party if we're so fired up for one? Well, we would, but our new place can't really accommodate the crowds we would expect. Also, since our last party, Rocco the Wonder Dog has joined the family, and he is not a "party" kind of guy.

So, this year, it looks like we will be sitting at home, watching some appropriate programming, with our ears cocked for the rare Trick or Treat-er

Unless you'd like to invite us to your house...

Please note: The above piece was all in jest. You don't have to invite us to  your party. For me, spending an evening snuggling with PW and watching scary movies is better than any party could ever be.

Unless you're having a REALLY good  party...

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Trickin' Treats!

The highlight of the Halloween Holiday is, of course, the "Trick or Treating" ritual. Oh, how I loved this when I was a kid! I loved getting in my costume (My Ben Cooper™ Mickey Mouse costume was the best! I wore it three years in a row.) and wandering the neighborhood collecting candy from our neighbors. It was more fun when I was a kid than it is now. Since parents back then apparently were not concerned about the safety of  their children, you could roam the streets without adult supervision. Nowadays, thanks to overprotective parents and a nationwide surge in the kook/pervert/nutjob population, kids are forced to drag some lame grownup along for their "safety". What fun is that?

Now that I am an "adult" (Save the derisive comments), I still enjoy Trickin' and Treatin'. I love seeing the little kids in their cute little costumes, especially the ones who are too young to really understand what they are doing. "Why am I dressed like this?", they must wonder, "and why do Mom and Dad keep pushing me up to strange houses?" They are so innocent, it is adorable. It's such a nice contrast to the sullen teens who come to your door without a costume, and just thrust out a pillowcase without even  saying the obligatory "trick or treat". It feels like you are being robbed by a door-to-door candy burglar. Here's a note to these "kids": By age fourteen, you are too old for Tricks and/or Treats. Why aren't you out drinking and getting high behind the convenience store or something? 

Of course, the most important aspect to this ritual is the CANDY! At our house, we take pride  in offering something really good, that we ourselves would enjoy. This is because we care about the children. It has nothing to do with the fact that we always have a lot left over and end up eating it ourselves. Really.

There were a lot of candies I looked forward to getting. I loved Dots™, Twizzlers™ and Dum Dumlollipops. Also,  Reese's™ peanut butter cups, Hershey™ bars, Baby Ruth's... actually, anything with chocolate as a main ingredient was okay by me. Unless there was coconut in it. No Mounds™  or Almond Joy™ for me, thanks.

That brings me to things I didn't enjoy getting. A big no-no was anything homemade (A lady in our neighborhood used to make and distribute Rice Crispie Treats™. We avoided  her house on our  route). The fact of the matter is, if you pass out something homemade, kids will think you're a witch and  are trying to poison them. I know we did.

Also, no fruit please. Even if there isn't a razor blade in that apple, no kid wants something healthy on Halloween. Don't give out non-candy items either. No toothbrushes, crayons or stickers. These put a crimp on the fun, and there may be retaliation. 

Worse than all of that stuff, though, is the crummy kinds of candy. While I hate coconut, I recognise that there are some out there who enjoy it, so I can understand giving out candies containing it. Especially if you anticipate leftovers. No one, however, wants rubbish like Bit-O-Honey™, Ribbon Candy, Granola Bars, Paydays™, Mallowcups™ or, worst of all, MaryJanecandy bars! These are the  candies your Grandma serves, and you know the kind of crud Grandmas eat.

Of course, there is one other thing that is even worse than crummy candy, and that is no candy at all. As a child, and to this day, I HATE the childless neighbors who turn off their lights, and pretend they're not home so they won't have to be "bothered" giving out candy. Kids, if you encounter a grouch-house like this and suspect the occupants are hiding inside, don't let 'em off easy! Ring their doorbell hundreds of times, then knock continuously, for fifteen minutes or so. If they still don't surrender some candy, this means war! If you brought toilet paper and/or eggs with you, now's the time to use them. If you'd like to try something a bit unconventional, that will really teach them a lesson, I recommend pouring a chocolate milkshake on their windshield. As a finishing touch, write "Happy Halloween" in it with your finger. I can tell you from experience, this is a major pain-in-the-pumpkin to clean up, and it may teach those "Hallowscrooges" the error of their ways. 

Or you could get arrested.

Whatever you do, keep it happy, safe and fun!

...And stay away from witches with Rice Crispie™ Treats!

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Terror in the Aisles!

It's Halloween time. The time of year you can participate in all kinds of spooky fun! You can decorate your house with all sorts of ghosts and ghouls, got to a haunted house or hayride. They even have haunted theme parks where you can go and be startled by teenagers in crappy rubber masks. In the spirit of the season, Perfect Wife and I had a truly frightening experience.

We went shopping at our local Wal-Mart™.

The existence of this big box store and its effects on small business is terrifying in and of itself. No trip to a haunted house, however, could ever compare with the thrills 'n' chills (well, chills anyway) of a visit to a Wal-Mart™! Let me make it clear that I abhor a lot of the company's business practices on principle, and would never go here if we didn't believe the chain's claims of "low, low prices". Sadly, we were looking to save a few bucks. Sorry Mom & Pop stores.

After we arrived and found a parking space (only a mile or two away, not bad), we warily entered the store. Although there was no signage indicating it, apparently the location we visited was hosting an event entitled: "Big, Fat, Ugly and Stupid People Day". I know it's not nice to judge people based on their physical appearance, and beauty in in the eye of the beholder and all that. The fact remains that there were a lot of big, fat, ugly and/or stupid people there on our visit! There were plenty of celebrants there.

 There was also a large (if you'll pardon the expression) group playing the popular shopping game, "Wander-About-as-Slowly-and-Indecisively-as-You-Possibly-Can-While-Others-Are-Trying-to-Get-Past-You". There were several fierce competitors,  so many that even PW and I were swept up in the game.

The employees at Wal-Mart™ added to the horrifying atmosphere. They seem to take a curious pride in being unfamiliar with any general knowledge of anything having to do with their place of employment. No one we spoke to could tell us the location or availability of any of the items we were searching for. After many trips 'round the store, we finally did locate most of the things we were searching for. I now believe I have more knowledge of Wal-Mart™ than Sam Walton himself ever did. If you must know, the bathrooms are in the back of the store, to the left.

The are employees are pretty surly too. We can forgive that. After all, they are working at Wal-Mart™.

The most terrifying thing about our trip? The prices really weren't that "low, low"! A buck-fifty for a bottle of Diet Coke™ ain't a bargain where I come from.

So this Halloween, if you're looking for a convenient source of Holiday frights, check out your local Wal-mart™. Tell 'em Bill sent you!

They will have no idea what you are talking about, but they are used to that.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: Yes, this cartoon did take me all of five seconds to draw. As I am still recovering from our trip, I am too creeped out to do a nice picture. Sorry.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Boo to You!

It's October. Halloween Month. The only thing scarier than Halloween, is how long it has been since I've had a new post. Sorry about that, Dear Reader, I have no excuse.

Now that I am back, though, I'd love to celebrate the Spooky Season by writing a column about the scariest movies you can watch. Films that will enhance your enjoyment of this festive season.

I already wrote a list of films that I consider scary last year (check out the archives). This year, I'd like  your help. Although I have seen more movies  and TV shows than most mortals, I am sure there are one or two super creep-fests that I may have missed. So, please, Faithful Friends, leave your recommendations for the scariest film(s) ever in  the comments section of this blog. I'll review them  all, and at the end of the month, I'll post a whopper of a list of  "The Scariest Things to Watch Ever!"

A couple of guidelines, though:

• It doesn't have to be a movie. It can be a TV show. Goodness knows, there was an episode or two of Kolchack: The Night Stalker, that flipped  me out.

• I am a funny person, and I'm sure you are too. I am also sure you share my abhorrence of  lame  jokes, such as suggesting Legally Blond as a scary film. I admit, it is horrifying, but that's not what we're looking for here.

Likewise, film titles that don't exist, that attack my character, will not be considered. So forget about, The Thing That Doesn't Flush the Toilet, The Diet Coke Fiend or The Terror of the Underwear Hamper!.

• Yes, I have seen the film Freaks. We are going for scary here, folks, not "creep you out till Christmas".

With these things in mind, please post your suggestions. Tell your friends/loved ones/ hated high school rivals to do the same. By the end of the month, we might have a heckava list.

Or, I'll just do another post about Rocco the Wonder Dog.

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