It’s coming. This most awful time of year means Halloween will be with us shortly. I know people that at the mere mention of Halloween go crazy, as if they were on the Price is Right. I don’t like all the masks, bad makeup, nor do I like idea of ghosts, monsters and some drunken girl dressed as a sexy mouse. I’ve seen ghosts and they were not looking for candy. And I’ve seen Jerry the Mouse dressed as a female and that was all the temptation I needed. And by the way, I’m sick of the princesses that invade from every direction. I just plain don’t like Halloween.
The scary movies on TV are not the classic Dracula, and if they are on, it’s the Christopher Lee Dracula. His movies are always lame. They have slasher movies on. That’s all too real for me. I don’t think a real vampire will bite me. But I could be chased by a crazed man with a huge butcher knife and a hockey mask again but this time it won’t be at a Rangers game. I don’t want to see that as a scary movie. I don’t like being frightened. I spent the 70s thinking the world was a huge eye ball starring right at me and I don’t want that feeling again.
I don’t mind handing out candy to the little ones. Some poor old guy bought my kid candy all those years, so I’ll do my fair share. It’s the bigger kids that bother me. You know, the kids who got the night off from work to go trick or treating. These are the same kids who have pillow cases instead of bags. The ones who have a shot glass in case you are out of candy or threaten some horrific event like having your windows egged. Halloween is for little kids, not ones who have to shave before going out -- and that’s just the girls.
The word Halloween first surfaced during the 16th century as a celebration of All Hallow’s Eve. All Hallow’s Eve used celebrations of the pagan harvest festival and a bash that recognized those who have passed on before us. But sometime after that, the public begging for candy started and it’s been all downhill from then.
People now celebrate All Hallow’s Eve with trick or treating all around the world. Adult parties that may include bobbing for various fruit and trying to scare the heck out of me crop up on every other block. When invited, I go to these parties dressed as a priest. Last year at a Halloween party, I heard three drunken confessions from a French maid, a chorus girl and Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz .... who may have been a man. I christened a guy whose eyes were so glassy you could have skated on them. And I gave last rights to my brother-in-law who drank a bottle of Crown Royal. Performing sacraments, now that’s what Halloween should be about.
There are going to be popular masks to wear on the day of free candy. The Mitt Romney mask will be similar to the Nixon mask, only it will have a shorter nose and tighter pockets. The Obama mask will be all ears, as if the President was a drunkard’s two handle coffee mug. Here is a good idea, have a Clint Eastwood mask that comes with its own empty chair. But there is nothing better than a good pirate costume. Tri-corner hat with an eye patch and some baggy knickers is a big hit at the home or work party. It’s a great idea because you get to say things like, "shiver me timbers" and "’Rrrrr’ you having a good time?"
And I think that’s my problem with the holiday. Since I was a youngster, I haven’t really enjoyed Halloween. It’s a time when you buy way too much candy and hope for a small amount of door knocks. The only Halloween tradition I have is listening to the War of the Worlds 1938 Orson Wells-CBS radio broadcast. When Martians land and destroy the eastern United States. Hey, that’s scary enough.
Father Carrier is a freelance writer and will be hearing confessions at a party near you this Halloween.