vulturesWow. Well, this is a record for a dearth of blogging. I could’ve crossed the Sahara and back again, sans water, and the vultures would have been blogging more than yours truly. I’d say “sorry”, but that seems capricious; I’d say you never missed me, but that hurts my feelings too much. So I’ll just say:

WELCOME BACK, KOTTER! (Sad. I loved that show. My wife’s favorite expression is “Lookin’ Good, Mr. Kott-Air“, doing her best Vinny Barbarino.)

So I love Halloween. You probably already know that, or at least, might remember it. I’m sure I wrote about it. If not, well, I have always—since being a little kid—LOVED All Hallow’s’ Eve. Not because I’m a Satanist, or even a Paganist (like Ferris didn’t believe in isms, I don’t believe in ists.

I fell into lust with the creepiest of nights that sort of qualify as holidays, not because of the candy (although I’d be lying if I said a sackful o’ Bit O’ Honey wasn’t just the ticket for a preteen kid), but rather for the ghouls and ghosts and goblins and gargoyles. MONSTERS. I’ve always loved ’em.

Amazing art by Tom Carlton

Amazing art by Tom Carlton

And any day where it’s okay to let loose, put on a costume, climb out of your own stressful skin for a few hours, and PARTY. I know the first time I go to Mardis Gras, I will never leave. Kauai’i, or New Orleans at Mardi Gras? Tough choice.

But I’ve been Scrooged once too often. When I was in college, bartending, we were told to show up for work that night dressed up. I went all out. Spent a good two hours with makeup, doing a cool skull-face. When I got to the COLLEGE bar, no one else had so much as heavy eyeliner. And not just the employees—the patrons. Two hundred college students, when the drinking age was 19, and it was Halloween on a Friday night, and no costumes. People actually thought I was the oddity. The one-off.

I guess I was.

The same thing happened any time I ever tried to do anything remotely fun at work (of course I worked with a bunch of engineers, so what do you expect?).

hershey-bars-milk-chocolate_lgOne of the things I remember as a kid was the occasional house that gave out full-size candy bars. Not because they were huge compared to their “bite-sized” cousins, but rather because I simply thought “what cool people”. They weren’t ingratiating themselves or trying to lure an unsuspecting child into a chamber of real horrors—they simply wanted to do it. I swore I would be that house some day.

And for the past nine or ten years, we’ve been “that house”. But the kids hardly notice. Oh sure, one out of five will ogle and say something, but mostly it’s a pain to get them to even say “trick or treat” (my wife LOVES to make the older kids follow protocol, and she’s not above holding a huge Hershey’s chocolate bar as ransom to get them to pipe up). It’s no wonder I love her so much.

Problem is, we live on a cul de sac, and not one that is four feet deep—more like four houses AND yards deep. Which is juuuust deep enough to notice no lights are on down in that creepy freaking scrooged-out half-circle of Hell. And we’re to the back and in the corner. Still, each year, my wife and I would pull out the camping chairs, crack a cold one, bring with us some chips and salsa and have a blast handing out what seemed to be a yearly-dwindling crowd of children.

Amy_Halloween_2013This year it was Mother Nature who cracked a cold one, as in “snap”. So my wife donned a pretty (sexy) pink Mardi Gras mask and I my Homer Simpson head, and she in her kerchief and I in my cap—wait a minute, wrong story. Anyway, have you any idea how suffocating a vinyl, over-sized Homer Simpson mask can be? I was sweating like Dom Deluise in a humidor, sans cigars. And not one child between the ages of 10 and, say, 14, knew who Homer Simpson was.

After only giving out perhaps 20-30 full-sized candy bars to some incredibly surly, uncaring young children who could barely contain they’re disdain for having to do anything (including dressing up) and who clearly would have liked it better if we delivered the huge candy bars to their doorstep, like the pizza delivery person, we cashed it in.

I think we’re done. Ebenezer, you win. We already shy away from Christmas, and always will, for reasons most of you understand. We can’t bear the thought of a day that represents the birth and death of a miracle son. And not Jesus. Ours.

I even donned Homer-blue pants.

I even donned Homer-blue pants.

So I am trying to find the positive in a night that smacked an undesired exclamation point on a night I used to love. Bad parents, raising ingrate children, who will surely carry on the family creed.

Gimme, gimme, gimme, and, oh yeah (just still within earshot), screw you. Bwahahahaha.

Maybe it’s not that bad. The sad thing is people drive their hordes of young ‘uns into our neighborhood, only to have them shrug off our offerings of fun and candy as if we were asking them to sit down for an hour of Pre-Algebra. It saddens me, but I would bet most of you have seen the generational culture shift, if not on Halloween, then in some other area of your life. It reminds me of the lines below, from The Breakfast Club, another John Hughes classic (a writer/director who got teen angst RIGHT, infusing the spectres of children without direction with shades of young adults on the verge of becoming decent human beings):

Richard Vernon: You think about this: when you get old, these kids – when *I* get old – they’re going to be running the country.

Carl: Yeah.

Richard Vernon: Now this is the thought that wakes me up in the middle of the night. That when I get older, these kids are going to take care of me.

Carl: I wouldn’t count on it.

AHS_Covenx600So instead of watching the classic Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein, as has been our custom for years, we’ll instead view American Horror Story: Coven, on our DVR, before racking. It’s a good show; more hip to the times, which (as Dylan sang) are a-changin’.

I also think I’ll pick Kauai’i, and plan to take care of ourselves.

Plus donate the Homer Simpson mask to a museum.


The blank page is dead (finally!!)…long live the blank page.


Rubber Chicken Arrow Through Headv2Author known to use spontaneous satire, sarcasm, and unannounced injections of pith or witticisms which may not be suitable for humorless or otherwise jest-challenged individuals. (Witticisms not guaranteed to be witty, funny, comical, hilarious, clever, scintillating, whimsical, wise, endearing, keen, savvy, sagacious, penetrating, fanciful, or otherwise enjoyable. The Surgeon General has determined through laboratory testing that sarcasm can be dangerous, even in small amounts, and should not be ingested by those who are serious, somber, pensive, weighty, funereal, unsmiling, poker-faced, sober, or pregnant.)



4 Responses to Halloweiner (Or: Does Scrooge Hate Halloween, Too?)

  1. First, the Ferris quote is brilliant. I once wrote a college paper on the painting Cameron stares at in the museum. I also wrote papers about films like THE TERMINATOR. But I digress.

    Second, the kids didn’t know who Homer Simpson is? I thought that franchise was still going strong.

    But the entitlement you observed is disconcerting. We could wax quasi-eloquent about it ad nauseum and nothing would change. It’s interesting how growing up and having everything you want at your beck and call breeds bitterness and ingratitude. One day, it will bite them in the ass. But like you said, enjoy Hawaii. (My folks visit every other Christmas.) Keep on truckin’, brother. Thanks for sharing.

    • rsguthrie says:

      Thanks, Ryan. It’s good to be back (I think). Blogging is good for the soul, I believe, and I have been silent for too long. Let the little hooligans hear it from me—you’re SUSPECT! 😉

      Once we make the move to Kaua’i, we’ll make a standing invitation for dinner with your folks (and you, because I know you’ll have to come visit, too)! 🙂

      Good to hear from you.

  2. Caleb Pirtle says:

    Any time I can wake up on a Friday and find your blog waiting for me, I know it’s gonna be a good day and probably a great weekend. Trips are often a long way between towns. Writing, sometimes, is a long way between words. But you were back in time for Halloween, and that’s the only thing that counts.

    • rsguthrie says:

      Thanks, Caleb. Even after a groundhog’s silence, I can count on you to raise my spirits! I appreciate you ringing in—that makes MY weekend!

      And on that note, have a great one, my dear friend. 🙂

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