Musings From Halloween Week

Posted: November 2, 2010 by ajbrown in Announcements, Uncategorized

Whew…

Time to take a breath…

Seriously.  I’m exhausted. 

The last few weeks have seen my son get sick, a massive migraine that needled me for three days after it first occurred, an eye issue which may or may not have been an allergy that affected a lot of what I did in the last week.  There were other issues, but the health ones are enough.

So, sit back and let’s look at some observations from the last week or so.

First off, if you missed a moment of awesomeness, go back and read about it here: 

https://typeajnegative.wordpress.com/2010/10/28/a-personal-moment-of-awesomeness/

***

Last week, in my first offering of Musings I mentioned the differences between men and women.  They are obvious in many ways, but not so much in others.  I stated simply the main difference between the sexes is in how they stab you and what they do after said stabbing.  Most men will deny it, try to hide the body or just run away after the crime has been committed.  Women, however, gloat about it.  You know what I’m talking about:  “That’s right, I stabbed you.  And I’m gonna do it again, punk.”

I would like to add some evidence to my claims.  If it pleases the court, I would like to enter into evidence Exhibit A, the song and video ‘Goodbye Earl,’ by the Dixie Chicks. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gw7gNf_9njs&p=3BFC019FCE091592&playnext=1&index=23

(Yes, in order to see this particular video, you have to follow the link.)

This song laments about Maryanne and Wanda, the best of friends all through their high school days.  Maryanne left to explore the world while Wanda stayed in town and met Earl, who she married.  According to the song and video, Earl is a Richard (if you don’t know what I mean, please refer back to referenced link above).  He abuses Wanda and puts her in the hospital.  Upon hearing the news, Maryanne hurries home to be by her friend’s side.  Maryanne is such a loyal friend.

How loyal, you ask?

Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, I say she was loyal enough… to commit murder.  Settle down.  Settle down.  I know it’s hard to believe, but I tell you no lie.

The friends conspired to murder Earl and they did so one muggy night by poisoning his black eyed peas (not to be confused with the group of the same name).

Okay, as the video shows, Maryanne and Wanda did indeed kill Earl (and I think, in this case it was justified).  If you will, fast forward to the 2:02 mark in the video.  Is that Wanda poking Earl with a fork??  Not only does she poison him, but she also pokes him with a fork to see if he is done.  Both Wanda and Maryanne are smiling.  But, look at the lead singer for the Dixie Chicks.  She looks pissed, as if poisoning him wasn’t enough. 

Now, if you will, fast forward a little further to the 3:18 mark where there are many folks dancing, including a zombiefied Earl.  It is at this point where I feel the lead singer is just a bit crazy.  She taunts dead Earl with:

Let’s go out to the lake, Earl.  We’ll pack a lunch.

Stuff you in the trunk, Earl.  Well is that all right?

Good!  Let’s go for a ride, Earl.

Really, does Earl have a say in this?  He’s dead.  They are genuinely happy that Earl has been killed.  Not that Earl didn’t deserve it—he did.  But, listen to the song, listen to how the words are spoken.  These are happy women.  These are women that are saying, “That’s right, bitch, I poisoned you.  And if you weren’t dead, I’d stab you as well.”

Women—they’re just a little more sadistic than their male counterparts…

So, the case becomes a little stronger.  Next week, Exhibit B will be entered in as evidence.

***

Halloween isn’t the same anymore.

Before I go to the good stuff about Halloween, let me lament for a moment or two.  Halloween fell on a Sunday this year.  Folks, listen to me.  Would you try to switch Thanksgiving from a Thursday to, say, a Tuesday?  No.  Thanksgiving always falls on a Thursday.  How about Christmas?  What if Christmas falls on a Saturday?  It is in the middle of football season after all.  Would you try to get it switched to a Friday?  Or even a Sunday?  Nah…  So why, if Halloween falls on a Sunday, would you try and get the trick-or-treating to be switched to a day that was not Halloween? 

I’ve heard the arguments that trick-or-treating should not be done on Sunday, the day of rest and church going.  I get that, but I’ve also noticed a good chunk of those folks complaining don’t go to church.  What?  Really?  Yes, really.  To some, the day is considered evil.  Ummm… yeah, okay… you folks need to do a little research on the day…

What I want to know and I have said this a couple of times this Halloween season:  For those of you complaining, weren’t you all kids at one time?  Don’t you remember the excitement of Halloween?  The anticipation of going house to house and then arriving home to dump out your pillow case full of candy so you can see what you got?  Don’t you remember wanting to get dressed up as your favorite character or whatever your parents could afford to dress you up as?  Seriously?  Hey, adults, Halloween is NOT about YOU.  It never has been. 

I am a parent and there is a measure of joy that goes into watching my children run up to houses, knock on the door and yell trick-or-treat when the door is opened.  There is a measure of happiness that goes into seeing the excitement on my children’s faces as they put on their costumes and get ready to head out in the darkness. 

Again, adults, it’s not about you.  Let the kids have their fun.  To sound cheesy:  don’t be a Halloweinee.

Now, on to better Halloween thoughts.

My son dressed up as R5-D4 from Star Wars.  Please, do not confuse that with R2-D2.  He will correct you… with attitude.  If you don’t recall R5-D4, he is the robot in the original Star Wars that Luke and his Uncle chose along with C3PO.  As they walked away, he blew up, thus paving the way for R2-D2 to play a significant role in the movie. 

My wife made the costume out of craft foam, a colander and a flashlight.  It was definitely a sight to see and my son loved it.  Many males noticed and commented on the great R5-D4 costume.  As we walked around a friend’s neighborhood trick-or-treating (on Sunday, by the way), my son made bells and whistle sounds, like the droid itself did.  However, at one point, my son grew tired of walking and after complaining for a few minutes he finally said, “R5-D4’s oil is leaking.  He can’t go on much further.”

We laughed.  I spoke up.  “Well, if R5-D4 breaks down, Daddy gets his candy.”

I’ve never seen a robot perk up so quickly…

My daughter went as a zombie bride.  Again, my wife made the costume by combining a few things, including coffee, into a mixture and spraying it onto a dress my daughter has only worn once in the three or so years she has had it.  It gave the dress a stained look, albeit with a strong coffee aroma.  With grayish-white makeup applied to her face and the fake skin scar put on her head, all that was left was the blood.  The stuff that comes in the plastic white tubes is awesome—it looks like real blood, even drying out the same. 

We took the kids to the Halloween at 5 Points event and, astonishingly enough, my daughter was the only child with blood dripping from wounds.  Really?  There were tons of princesses and super heroes, but no other zombie chicks walking around.  She got looks.  She got scares.  She got a ‘what the hell?’ from one parent whose kid looked terrified to pass her.

The small child—maybe three or four years old—at Little Caesars refused to step through the door as my daughter stood holding it open for him.  His mother nudged him, told him to go.  He shook his head.  Chloe stared at him, in a daring manner—go ahead kid, walk by me.  I’ll stab you…  Finally, the mother nudged him through the door and he ran… Yup, that’s my girl. 

One other thing:  Hey lady in the black outfit with the bat wings, it’s okay to dress up, but shouldn’t you cover your boobs just a little??  You attracted more attention than your kids did—and it wasn’t because men thought you were hot…

As I stated earlier.  Halloween just isn’t the same.  Sure, my kids had fun and so did Catherine and I.  But, things just aren’t what they used to be.  When I was a child, our parents didn’t go with us.  We were told where we could go and that we couldn’t eat any of the candy before we brought it home and let our parents go through it.  Other than that, Halloween was wide open for us.  There were pranks played, other kids scared, houses visited and candy eaten—before we got home.  You didn’t have parents driving their cars down streets where kids were.  It was a no-no.  You also didn’t see kids getting into those cars and the parents driving them to the next house, where they would get out and run to the door for their treats only to get back in and do it again at the next house.  Half of the fun of trick-or-treating was going from door to door—walking, not being driven around.

Sadly, many neighborhoods don’t do trick-or-treating.  They turned their lights down, hid in the sanctity of front rooms, dens and bedrooms, behind closed doors.  They cringed at the sound of feet on the sidewalks, laughter and that inevitable knock on the door.  And many kids don’t say trick-or-treat anymore.  They just stick their bags out and walk away after the candy or whatever is given.  Many don’t even say thank you. 

With the lack of houses with lights on, a lot of kids didn’t even bother going to some neighborhoods. A friend of mine said he had no visitors all night long.  “I thought about driving around and finding some kids to give the candy to.”

Yeah, that would have worked out well, don’t you think?  Can you say stalker?  I picture a car driving along the streets, its driver hunched over the steering wheel, face to the windshield, eyes narrow as he searches for kids.  Out of the corner of one eye, he spots them—a group of four or five little ones dressed as various characters, none of them the traditional monsters. He pulls along side the kids and rolls the window down.

“Hey, you kids want some candy?”

They back away from the car, their eyes wide in fear.  Their mommas told them about his type.  He extends a hand full of chocolate bars.  “Come on, take some.”

They scream and run away.  He gets out of the car.  “Where are you going?  I want to give you some candy.”  He runs after them throwing candy bars in their direction.  “Take the damn candy,” he yells.

And on the eleven o’clock news the anchor tells of a crazed man chasing kids.  The streets are safe again—he has been arrested…

It is what it is. 

There were the standard Halloween shows and marathons as well.  I particularly liked the all day showing of The Munsters on Halloween. 

And then, there was The Walking Dead… Holy intense series premieres, Batman…  The hype is well deserved.

***

Beneath the Surface of Things, By Kevin Wallis, received a great review from the Horror Fiction Review, even if they did get his name wrong at the end of the review.  Still worth checking out.

http://www.freewebs.com/hfrzine/november2010reviews.htm

Also, Beneath the Surface of Things can be purchased at the Bards and Sages Publishing website at:

http://www.bardsandsages.com/kevinwallis

***

Currently playing at SNM Horror Magazine, is my short story, The Long Walk.  Check it out here: 

http://www.snmhorrormag.com/snmnovemberissue2.htm

***

I will end this on a rather somber note.  Fifteen years ago on Halloween night, a teenager named Christopher Keith Dunne was murdered.  I won’t go into specifics, but he was a good kid who never had it easy.  Halloween was one of his favorite ‘holidays.’

Hey, Chris, I lift my Snickers Bar in memory of you…

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Comments
  1. Annemarie Bogart says:

    What a shame you had so many stick in the muds. We had lots of ghouls and zombies walking round. haha, we had Johnny dressed up as Chucky when he was two, cardboard knife with blood and all…he looked exactly like him! Still does, eerily. Maybe we should tell him tochange the striped shirt and put down the machete once in a while.
    I hated all the car traffic! Like wth…and God forbid they go extra slow on the one day droves of kids are out to have fun.

    We have drive by trick-or treaters from the hood…just like the car trick-or-treaters you descirbed…most of them above fifteen and without costumes.

    I loved Halloween being on a Sunday! I wish it would be so every year. Trick or treating then football 🙂

  2. Catherine says:

    You are so right about the adults dressing up. I get that it’s 5 pts, but if you’re going to dress like a skank, save it for later when the kids have cleared out and it’s dark. That way it’s harder to see you.
    Very cool that you mentioned Chris. He did love Halloween and probably would have snatched that Snickers right out of your hand if giving the chance 🙂

  3. I laughed so hard at the description of your friend driving around trying to give away candy! Maybe it’s just late and I’m tired, but I’m still grinning like an idiot. And your daughter the zombie bride — awesome! Thanks for this.

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