Monday, October 30, 2006

Halloween ...

The days around Halloween are a dangerous time. Candy in the house?! Luckily, a steady stream of kids will darken my door tomorrow and I'll be able to dump it all in plastic pumpkin buckets and pillowcases.

I don't go to Halloween parties. I haven't worn a costume since, what?, eighth grade? I've never been a fan of scary things. Not that Halloween is scary anymore. How scary can such crass commercialism be? But haunted houses and haunted hay rides and haunted corn mazes? I keep my distance. Which is weird, because I'm fascinated by the paranormal. My mother and I are convinced that a spirit dwells in her house, and that doesn't bother me at all, to hear it walking around. But if someone makes me watch a scary movie, I spend the whole time peering through my fingers. I am, in a word, a wuss.

This year, though, for the first time in I can't even remember how long, I carved a pumpkin. Well, I pierced a pumpkin. I impaled it over and over and over with an awl and an apple corer. I figure, this way, its life is extended beyond tomorrow night. A jack-o-lantern is out of place in November, but an artfully punched pumpkin can carry me through the remainder of fall. Or until it starts to collapse, whichever comes first.

I tried taking a picture of it tonight, but I need more exposure to capture it well. As it stands, the picture is pretty much black with a line of glowing holes in the middle of it. Not much to look at.

When I was little, my brothers always made me pull out the pumpkin guts. I never minded. And today, I was struck by how ungoopy the guts were. And later, once I'd created my design, I took the time to separate the seeds from the strings, washed them off, tossed them with a bit of melted butter and sea salt and roasted those little babies. My house smelled like I was roasting a turkey. (Clearly, that smell is more about the butter than the turkey.) Ah, crispy, seedy goodness. And, as my mother said, "Fiber!"

As I stabbed my pumpkin (apologetically), I listened to the soundtrack from "The Nightmare Before Christmas," and tonight, I had the movie on in the background while I did other things. It's so sweet. And Tim Burton is a freakin' genius.

The candy assortment consists of Snickers, Almond Joys, KitKats, Whoppers, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Mr. Goodbars, and Dots. Dots might be the 8th Wonder of the World. Fresh Dots, that is, fruity and chewy. Stale Dots can be used as emergency ammo, I'm sure. Though the lemon Dot tastes exactly the way Lemon Pledge smells. That can't be good.

And so I leave you with this Halloween treat, just about the cutest flippin' thing I've ever seen. This shot was snapped in Tokyo, as part of a pet parade. What could be cuter than a little dog dressed as a pumpkin, with the pumpkin head jauntily askew, I ask you? You can't think of anything, can you? Neither can I.

Have a Pagan good time.


Blogger Jeff Hunter said...

The stale dots are the best. Pop one of those red ones into your mouth and suck on it until it gets gooey, mmmmm... Don't even get me started about crows...

8:35 AM  

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