Happy Halloween, everyone. Hope you have your Silver Shamrock masks on!
I have to say, Halloween tends to be less fun each year. And I don’t think it’s as simple as the change in perspective that comes with age; the holiday just doesn’t seem to be what it once was. Many people like to bemoan the commercialization of Christmas, but it’s always been that way, and to no real detriment. So what gives?
Even children don’t seem to enjoy the day anymore. The other night I was passing out candy to trick-or-treaters–you’d think these kids were expecting razor blades and arsenic, such was their enthusiasm. A knock on the door and there they are, slump-shouldered, treat bag hanging open, and an expression that says Look, we both know why I’m here, so can I have some candy? I have midget porn on my computer to get back to. Seriously, you’d find more pep on the streets of Calcutta. Are kids really that cynical these days that the prospect of barrels of free candy cannot excite them? Only one child–the last one, in fact–even bothered with the words “trick or treat.” Oh well, at least everyone was polite and said “Thank you.”
Maybe it’s not the kids’ fault. Adults seem to be sucking all the fun out of Halloween, whether it’s relegating trick-or-treating to the sterile safety of the local mall (because there’s nothing more exhilirating than a handful of warm chocolate from the Hot Dog Hut) or discourage costumes that are even remotely scary (to say nothing on the moratorium declared on costume “weapons.”). No wonder these kids aren’t enjoying themselves.
Me, my Halloween was pretty good. I got to spend the afternoon with author/filmmaker Greg Lamberson (PERSONAL DEMONS and JOHNNY GRUESOME, and who also orchestrated my grisly demise in his film SLIME CITY MASSACRE) at his book signing in Erie. Despite the heavy traffic flowing through the store, there wasn’t much of a turnout–bad for Greg, good for me, as I got to pick his brain on both publishing and indie filmmaking. One memorable soul was the guy who got an inscribed copy of PERSONAL DEMONS and (we’re pretty sure) wandered to the back of the store to ditch it–thanks for the support, dude. Between this guy and the Obama/McCain debate last year, Greg can count on at least one crackpot in Erie.
You probably missed it, but last night my work was featured on Prof. Hyde’s Traveling Snake Oil Halloween Show, an Internet radio program hosted by my good friend Tim Denman. Featured was my never-before-seen story “Caveat Emptor” and some holiday-appropriate haiku, as well as plenty of other goodies. You can check out the archives at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/Tim-Denman/2009/10/31/Prof-Hydes-Traveling-Snake-Oil-Halloween-Show.