The annual halloween bone grinding has begun. From ignoring it completely in yr 1 (2005 – that year we also ate lamb for Thanksgiving – we had no idea that would be all that was left) we now go wildy to town. Our yard was already covered in cobweb with pendulous spiders on strings several weeks ago, our zeal only matched by the Swiss family at the other end of the block. We have been the subject of spider envy – our prize spider has long very hairy legs and ruby eyes. We shun flourescent coloured web as deeply vulgar and own a smoke machine. Last year a trick or treater warned other trick or treaters that a ‘real freak’ lived at our house. My husband was thrilled. His dracula disguise is his favourite and our front door creaks, well actually it barely opens without a seismic shove thanks to Mario and his brothers who painted it shut.
Selecting your decor is a genuine pursuit. I have been dodging genteel ladies holding up a pair of skeletons for comparison, as though they were shirts. Night time luminosity, goriness, length of toes, detailing of vertebrae. Heaven knows what they are assessing. A frail older couple stood admiring a disintegrating corpse in an iron cage, “George, thats kinda neat”.
So today started with the hall littered as follows:
red wig x 1
red majestic dress x 1
white pinafore x 1
blue skirt x 1
hedgehogs x 2
alice band – blueish x 1
knave of hearts oversized cards x 2
I had already prepared the girls for the possibility that their flamingo legs might come off which I knew could result in serious drama on the part of my 3rd grade Red Queen and a general melt down on the part of Alice. We had agreed over hasty English Muffins (we don’t call them that in England) that flamingos often stand on one leg so it would not be serious were we to lose a limb, but what do the bloody things decide to do? Half way to school, they drop the supporting leg. We all agree that this does not look realistic. We return home tugging Puffy who is still demanding to meet Halloween and threatening to get another attack of HipCups. Several swathes of postage tape later they are trussed and bound and look as though they saw the wrong end of the Red Queen’s
mallet which they did, so if anything they look more realistic than ever.
As we amble home from the school parade, the flamingo heads are now also lolling, a car draws up with an older couple. The driver’s window is lowered and the woman in the passenger seat calls passed her impassive husband that they are yet again doing the haunted alley this year,but it may be the last. We missed it last year and it is meant to be quite something with real zombies and cauldrons of eyeballs. The husband’s only comment was that it is always maybe the last year to which his energetic spouse replies “he is very patient about it all, aren’t you hun?”. They reminded me of the retired american couples you see all over Europe. She marches ahead all gun-ho having power walked every morning for more years then can be remembered and he, shuffling exhaustedly in shorts, trainers and ‘fanny pack’ worrying about the exchange rate, the heat and wishing that his wife had never caught “culture”. The gun-ho halloween spouse later comes by to drop an almost professional flyer through our door – with the only mild disclaimer, “If no rain”. Clearly rain and spooks don’t wash.
Tomorrow – the Rally to Restore Sanity, should relieve us of all this goulish madness.