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It’s Holiday Season Again: Halloween


Let’s face it.  Halloween is one of those holidays that people either love or hate.  There simply is no middle ground when it comes to All Hallows Eve.  As I grow older I find myself in the crossroads of hating and loving Halloween. 

 When I was a kid I loved all things Halloween.  The costumes, the trick-or-treating and especially all of the candy.  It was the one time of the year that my folks would let me run loose around the neighborhood soliciting sugar high-enducing treats.  My parents were so cool that they didn’t even go through my candy claiming to pull out the unsafe looking pieces while secretly culling out the good stuff for them selves.  Nope, I was free to tear into every razor blade-infused apple, every drug-laced, unwrapped candy, and even those nasty ass candy corns.  Although I have it on good authority that they would sneak into my stash once I finally crashed from my sugar high. 

As I grew a little older the trick-or-treating would give way to just running wild through the neighborhood wreaking havoc on people’s Halloween yard art and kicking in the faces of their lovingly carved jack-o-lanterns.  Rather than begging door to door for candy I would simply steal the candy of a younger ‘treater.  Yes, I know this is wrong, but kids did it to me and by God, I was going to have my revenge.  Plus, I couldn’t return home empty-handed and dressed like a zombie. 

As I entered the high school scene Halloween would shift gears significantly.  For me and my crew it was all about property damage.  We would steal pumpkins and drive around hurling our loot at unsuspecting brick mailboxes and parked cars.  Trick-or-treating would become underage drinking-themed house parties.  This trend would continue on into college with the property damage portion of the evening eventually fading away.  Call it maturation if you will, but I credit binge drinking and girls dressed in slutty costumes.  Who wants to toss pumpkins when you can stare at coeds while drinking your way to tossing your cookies just before you pass out on a stranger’s couch.  Man, I just realized how much I miss college.  These first 3 phases of Halloween are what I always loved about the holiday. 

In the years after college the fun would begin to fade.  Dressing up for costume parties would become a source of stress to have the most kick-ass costume.  Binge drinking would become a liability as we all had jobs and responsibilities.  I would also develop a hatred for overaged trick-or-treaters.  Why won’t those teenagers just move to the next phase?  Get to a party, get to stealing other kids candy, or get to smashing pumpkins.  Either way, just get off my porch you greedy little bastards!  Essentially, I begin to hate Halloween at this point in life.

Enter marriage and babies and the cycle begins again.  This time it’s my children entering phase one of Halloween.  It is such a great feeling to see the pure joy on their faces as they are handed a piece of candy from a complete stranger.  Their little eyes just light up at the sight of that dum-dum being dropped into their oversized plastic pumpkin buckets.  Watching them fight through the completely ridiculous costumes that we force upon them while trying to run to the next house brings forth a hearty giggle.  And perhaps the best part of the evening is when we have made our way home, candy buckets dumped onto the floor, and we drop the big one on them.  We tell them that they can have one candy before bed, and one candy only.  Their little, round faces become serious with the weight of the decision that is upon them.  Despite their selection we all win.  They get delicious and hopefully unlaced candy and we get to feel like good parents…for a night.  I think it’s safe to say that I have come full circle on Halloween.  Hell, I think I am gonna go smash my neighbor’s pumpkins and steal some poor kid’s candy just for the nostalgia.

 

My Little Zombies

 

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It’s Holiday Season Again…Where’s My Shotgun? (Prologue)


     Ah yes, it’s that time of year yet again.  The leaves are turning, football is in full swing, and all of our coats have been unpacked and dewinterized.  For many folks, fall symbolizes the start to the best part of their year.  They look forward to turkey, taking time away from the stresses of work and exchanging in pleasant fellowship with loved ones. 

 I can just see them wrapping up in that new “Snugg Life” Snuggie that they got for Christmas with a nice hot mug of cocoa as they settle in to watch Miracle on 34th Street for the 97th time.  Doesn’t that sound lovely?  It’s like a Lifetime original movie and you are the star.  Too bad this pumpkin spice-scented dream simply does not exist in my world.   In my world that same scene would be more like me drunkenly stumbling my way through a maze of toddler toys as I half fall-half sit into a 1/2″ layer of kid snack crumbs on the sofa in an attempt to rub one out to Sue Heck’s Hello Kitty-concealed jugs before I pass out. (I know Sue is under age, but I love me some Hello Kitty!).  While that scene may not be entirely realistic, (you all know I am too cheap to buy my kids toys…or snacks) it sets the tone for the holiday season in my family.

As I sit in jail for domestic abuse, I have some time to reflect on what it is about the holiday season that sends me down the path to suicide each year.  It’s the three-pronged attack of holidays that starts, and keeps the beating ball rolling.  Think of it in military terms.  The first wave of attack is Halloween.  If you survive the attack, you find yourself staring Thanksgiving right in the face.  Many do not make it through this second wave, but those that are unlucky enough to survive are rewarded with the shock and awe of Christmas.  Just the string of those three words has me ordering up my autoerotic asphyxiation kit…hold the lemon.

This year, in an attempt to keep my sanity, I have decided to chronicle the holiday season with my family.  I  will provide a detailed account of each holiday wave of attack.  Hopefully, I keep the shotgun out of my mouth long enough to finish this endeavor.  Wish me luck and stay tuned…