Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Halloween in January

Non-haunters who know me ask politely how the plan is coming for Halloween. I tell them it's coming along. I may have mentioned that Mr. ShellHawk and I were at a friend's for dinner and I was asked the follow-up question that often comes from the man of the house: "Did you plan your wedding like this, too?"

Of course the answer is yes. Both Halloween and weddings require maximum planning, so things will go as right as they can on the big day. (Halloween is actually better, I think, because you can put the decorations out a month in advance and almost forget about them until the week of Halloween.)

I think the Military should contact a hard-core Haunter or two the next time they need to plan manoeuvres in an urban setting. But I digress.

I joined the northern California chapter of CalHaunts (tag line: "If You Build It, They Will Scream." Catchy, huh?) at the beginning of the month, so I could have some fun time with people whose eyes don't glaze when I start talking about my plans for Haunt 2009. We had our first meeting last weekend, and I walked away with a brand new gravestone popper that we constructed at the make and take, and the very peaceful feeling of belonging somewhere. Everyone was very kind, and helped me through my power-tool challenges. I made it through with all my fingers, and that's always a good day in my book. I also am learning about animatronics, which was something I had planned to do in that nebulous, "someday," we all dream about, and I am happy that someday is now.

I'm on the waiting list for a clay sculpture class at the college (wal
king distance, no less!), and today is day one. I plan to go and hang out, and hopefully there will have been a few people who have dropped out of the class. I'm really looking forward to it, to further my fine art and for Halloween art, as well. I feel very fortunate that I have this opportunity available to me!

Finally, I was on HauntForum the other day, discussing the sad loss of certain Halloween traditions we had as kids. Some folks had the costume parade (I did!), and most dressed up for Halloween at school. We all know Halloween has been under attack by various groups intent on sanitizing the holiday for the "benefit and safety of the children." Some cite the urban legend of candy poisoning as a reason to stop trick-or-treating and take the kids to a city-run party instead.

I wondered where this rumor of cyanide and razor blades had started, so I went to Snopes to do a little research. Of course, the rumor was FALSE! Amazing how much we believe without checking facts ourselves... Essentially, one child was poisoned by his dad for insurance money, and the dad tried to make it look like a random act. Snopes also has numerous other cases listed of police and media overreaction to the tragic deaths of some children around the holiday, but having nothing to do with poisoned Halloween candy.

So the next time your church or school tries to abolish trick-or-treating, send them the link to the Snopes article, and hit the streets.

I hear you can still get Pop Rocks with a soda at some places...

1 comment:

  1. The "razor blades in apples" story has been around since I was a child. The only effect seemed to be fewer apples given out and more candy :)

    I'm happy to say that trick-or-treating is alive and well in my part of the world.


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