The good, the bad and Halloween

Posted by art@cushingcitizen.com art@cushingcitizen.com
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10/29/2016


One of the talking heads from behind a news desk in Oklahoma City a few nights ago dropped this bombshell on us.
“Apparently most people are going to celebrate Halloween and do their trick-or-treating on Monday.”
Really?
Why on Earth would you celebrate Halloween on Halloween?
Perhaps the manipulations of Halloween that certain cities in Oklahoma have done in recent years has everyone — included the bubble-headed bleached blonde — confused.
Surely we shan’t celebrate Halloween on Halloween?
Yes we shall and don’t call me “Shirley.”
Slapstick movie quotes are like rhetorical questions.
Who can avoid ‘em?

Norman and Stillwater in recent years have staged their private Bedlam battles by treating Halloween like a pawn in a gigantic game of chess.
Halloween has been celebrated as early as Oct. 29 in Stillwater and Oct. 30 in Norman.
Don’t ask me why. Just listen to cash registers ringing.
The Almighty Dollar in recent years has knocked Halloween off its pins.
It’s nothing short of ghastly.
And, obviously, led talking heads to newly found levels of uncertainty.

Now that we have Halloween observations at the rightful time,we can sit back, munch on some gummy bears and dream of Halloweens past.
A nod to the members of Jamie Coffelt’s class at Cushing Middle School for noting no apostrophe in “Halloweens” and the proper use of same in “Coffelt’s.”
Don’t stress if you don’t know.
It’s an inside joke.
Munching and dreaming lets the ghosts of Halloweens past flash through my gray matter.

I easily remember those days from the late 1960s and early 1970s when my misspent childhood misspent many Oct. 31 nights. I have no idea why we thought at the time that smashed pumpkins and eggs hurled against various structures were cool.
I can vividly remember those days of vandalism but not those farther back in time when I pitched woo to the neighbors seeking candied treats.
Maybe it was logistics. We lived a quarter-mile from the nearest neighbor during the first years when Halloween should have been a big deal for me.
Whatever, about the only memorable highlight of my trick-or-treating days is the year my mother broke out the Singer and crafted for me a Superman outfit.

A generation later, I remember the get-ups my mother-in-law produced for my children.
The daughter went as Ariel. You know: from “The Little Mermaid,” the delightful, animated Walt Disney film of 1989.
The son was Sebastian. The crab that sang that stick-in-your-head ditty “Under the Sea” in the same flick.
Bonus trivia for “Mermaid” lovers: Ariel’s hair was deliberately colored red to distinguish her from Darrell Hannah’s mermaid character in “Splash.”
Yes. THAT Darrell Hannah. The one who got arrested for throwing her body in front of land movers working on the Keystone XL pipeline — yes, THAT Keystone XL — while alongside a grandmother from Texas.
To this day, I feel the need to apologize to my son for parading him about the neighborhoods of western Claremore while adorned as such.

Beyond that, the memories of Halloween are few.
I can recall throwing a pillowcase over my head and, just for grins, knocking on doors in Stillwater and shouting “Trick or Treat!” when someone answered.
Oh, college. What memories you birthed.
I remember the time a friend sat silent and still on his front porch dressed as a goblin of some sort and scared my daughter — she must have been about 9 at the time — by grabbing at her when she curiously approached.
I think my biggest complaint about that was that she got over her fear far too quickly and wanted to go back out within five minutes or so.
Halloween, it seems, creates memories of the fuzziest sort.
Nothing much iron clad.

I do remember, however, that we went to the store and purchased enough candy to feed half the population of a Third World country.
I remember that our neighborhood is a dentist’s delight on Halloween.
And I remember that this year we will do our part to promote tooth decay.
The wife and I have vowed not to follow our lead from a few years back. We will not turn off lights inside and outside the house and pretend we are away.
We are interested to see if our dog, a Puppy School graduate, again will be tormented by ghosts, goblins and Gremlins who appear at our door.
Maybe that will be a Halloween memory made.