Halloween in a Handbasket

Halloween… ain’t what she used to be…. for good or ill. Is it just the neighbourhood or the changing times? When taking The Boy out for trick’or’treating, I experienced a vague yet bitter disappointment in the severe lack of festivity.

I remember my childhood:

  • throngs of children covering the streets
  • cars unable to get down the road for the crowds and fire crackers
  • parents huddled in groups at the end of each driveway with their travel mugs of hot chocolate/coffee/whiskey
  • doors perpetually stuck open because endless streams of children keep parading up the front steps
  • the sky filled with the smoke of fireworks as groups of once-strangers crowded on front lawns to watch the latest gunpowder-driven display
  • passing other motley gangs of kids in the street, and exchanging tips in excited voices: ‘house on the corner – bags of chips!’ or ‘green house is giving out full size chocolate bars’ or the best news in the world when you’ve already trekked a mile: ‘JUICE BOXES!’.

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It’s so dreamy… oh fantasy free me…

On Halloween, I managed to avoid the usual cliche of a dreary, drunken party and handed out candy with my family, and took my little cousin, Noah, out for his first trick-or-treat. Cute, mildly entertaining, not wild.

Then, however, Roommate Shannon and I went out to a Midnight Movie: The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I hadn’t seen the film in over ten years (and I thought it was whacked-out then), but I’ve always wanted to go to a midnight screening. For some reason, this deeply hidden urge has managed to stay off my to-do-before-I-die lists, just like the underrated classic Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure manages to stay off the best films of all time lists. (Although it did make it onto this one.) Perhaps – like Bill S. Preston, Esq. and Ted “Theodore” Logan, RHPS is one of those perverse personal goals that one is almost ashamed to own up to. Well, not ashamed, but in putting it on any sort of list of allegedly important personal achievements said list is somewhat cheapened?

Maybe I just forgot?

Anyway, it was an absolute blast. Something I recommend to anyone and everyone, and something I will definitely do again next year, except next year I’m putting a lot more effort into my costume!