I was trying to clear the cobwebs from my mind, and all I could find was random thoughts about Halloween (a.k.a. Hallowe’en, a.k.a. Allhalloween, a.k.a. All Hallow’s Eve, a.k.a. All Saints’ Eve, a.k.a. the Holiday That Is Bankrupting the Federal Witness Protection Program).
My son and I recently lamented that there are only a handful of well-known Halloween-appropriate songs, and they’re played to death. (What I’d give if Queen had taken the time to record “We will…we will…EMBALM you!” Or if the Bee Gees had recorded “How Deep Is Your Grave?”) Beyond “Thriller” and “Monster Mash,” a lot of what we’re subjected to at Halloween are just sound effects (clanking chains, etc.). That would never fly at Christmas – unless you think there’s a market for “Sounds of Rudolph leaving a ‘package” or “The Elf on the Shelf scoots onto a splinter.”
Speaking of music, one of my sources claims Halloween is responsible for 25 percent of the revived sales of vinyl records. (“Sure, toss a vinyl record in the bag, pops. It’ll taste better than that candy corn you gave out last year.”)
Did you ever suspect that the Grim Reaper would be a little less grim if those robes were sweat-wicking, and if he modernized his scythe to something more mechanical? Reaper, ever hear of an American inventor named Cyrus McCormick? Of course, you did; you mowed him down in 1884. Never mind.
Are you guilty of asking trick-or-treaters inane, clueless questions while dispensing candy? You know, questions such as “And who are you supposed to be?” Don’t be surprised if one of the little cherubs comes back with a response of, “I’m supposed to be the third and last child in my family, but mom and dad had too much to drink at last year’s Halloween party, so … Got any more nosey questions?”
Granted, some homeowners are a little too kid-savvy to put up with any guff. (“We gave our grandkids a $400 toy submarine for Christmas last year, and they played with the box. So, here’s a Snickers wrapper. Knock yourself out.”)
Do you think ghosts ever regret not leaving more explicit instructions about the quality of their burial shrouds? (“I wouldn’t be caught dead in anything less than a 250-thread-count sheet. Except I have been caught dead in this bargain-store knockoff!”)
Wouldn’t you love to see a witch simply fly like George Reeves as Superman? (“The poisoned apple didn’t kill her! Quick – let’s throw one at her!”) I’ve seen cartoons of witches riding a vacuum cleaner instead of a broom, but why do they have to ride any sort of cleaning apparatus? I usually expect a witch to be taking names and kicking derrieres when she gets to her destination – not sweeping up dust bunnies and scurrying to set down a drink coaster for guests. (“Lost track of the futures market on gingerbread? There’s an incantation for that.”)
Everyone is on edge about accusations of cultural appropriation when selecting Halloween costumes. Double down, I say. Dress as the whole United Nations General Assembly. (“I’d love to take that toilet paper out of your trees and clean the eggs off your vinyl siding, but I’ve got diplomatic immunity.”)
Political correctness? You can’t even make fun of Dr. Frankenstein now. (“You’re a ‘mad science’ denier.”)
Coming soon: Why didn’t Foreigner record ,“I Want to Know What Fruitcake Is”?