The Early Bird and All That …

So, even though it’s a month away, the stores are already selling Halloween candy by the bags full. Which is A-okay by me, quite frankly. This is one time when I appreciate the commercialism that drives this great country of ours. You’ll be impressed, I’m sure, to hear that in a self-serving an industrious effort to binge on sweets be prepared for fright night, I got my first round of inventory of candy today.

Okay, fine. If I’m being perfectly honest, I don’t think this batch is going to make it to October 31st. Ah, well. As my mother used to say: if at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.

 

Late Night Boogeyman Revisited

So with Halloween right around the corner and enough horror movies marathoning on t.v. to make my twisted little heart skip a beat, I’ve been thinking about monsters and ghosties and boogeymen more than usual. I thought I would revisit an entry I did a while back…to sort of garner a bit of sympathy or empathy (?) for the “other side” as it were.

Original Post ——

There was this movie that came out in 1989 called Little Monsters starring child-actor-of-the-decade Fred Savage and Howie Mandel in a career defining role as Maurice, the monster who lives under the bed in a world full of ghouls and goblins. Sort of like a live-action Monsters Inc. In the movie Fred Savage’s character gets taken into this netherworld and learns that those scary spirits under his bed are by and large pretty fun-loving dudes who just want to live their life and have a good time.

Why did this thought come to me? My mind is hard to shut off sometimes and one night when I was attempting (unsuccessfully) to doze off, I noticed the light in my bedroom closet had been left on. I didn’t remember leaving it on and couldn’t recall even being in the closet at all that day. It made me think about just how long the light had been burning before I noticed it. And then, as so often happens to me late at night (or any other time if I want to be completely honest), my mind wandered off the rails.

Lying there in bed I thought that maybe it wasn’t me who turned it on. Maybe it was a boogeyman. And if it’s a boogeyman, what if he’s afraid of the dark? What if all these monsters children grow up fearing are simply misunderstood creatures that have been swept under our beds or crammed into our closets because eons ago humans forced out all the boogeymen so we didn’t have to cohabit ? Is it possible that the monsters under our bed are refugees? Did we put them there centuries ago and now they only come out at night when they know we’ll be asleep so they won’t run into the scary humans?  But….they’re afraid of the dark.  So once in a while as the others are huddled around trash-can fires in their ghost world, a few adventurous boogeymen (probably children boogeymen…because I doubt the grown up boogeymen can control their kids at all times any better than we can control ours all the time) step out into a human’s closet and, frightened by the shadows and odd shapes that the clothes and sundry items make on the wall, they turn on the light.  Perhaps they are just misunderstood, much like Maurice and his brood, and we should really just hand them a flashlight instead of screaming at moving shadows.

That would definitely account for why my closet light is on…I mean it makes sense, right?  And if there really is a boogeyman in my closet who is afraid of the dark, who am I to get up and turn the light out on him thereby frightening him to death?  So I stayed in my warm, cozy bed, looking at the soft light beaming out from under the closet door and I pondered the various underworld creatures who might benefit from some night-lights and a little empathy.

Yes folks, this is what I think about as I’m trying to pass out after a long day. Maybe instead of worrying about spearheading humanitarian efforts to create a cross-species allegiance between humans and monsters I should just go to Walgreens and buy some Zzzzquil.

Please sir...can you spare a flashlight...??

Please sir…can you spare a flashlight…??

Happy-Merry Hallowgivingchristmas

Have you been to the stores lately? Have you!? It was bad enough when the stores were putting out their Halloween candy in July.  July, people. But now, now our treasured holidays of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are being merged into one mega-holiday season. I don’t know if this phenomenon has hit your area yet, but in my town the stores have Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas decorations in adjacent aisles. Really retailers?  Just why?

There can be only answer: money. Retail stores will do 30% of their annual business during the “Christmas Season.” It makes sense to make the Christmas Season last for almost 70 days.  Even though the habit is being dialed back, many large retailers are now even open on Thanksgiving Day, denying their employees anything to be thankful for except overtime pay…and even that is not a guarantee given the existence of sneaky Scrooge-like scheduling gurus.

In a stroke of extreme irony, stores now have mega-sales on what is now known as Black Friday; the day after Thanksgiving. People wait in line all night to be among the first to buy something, anything that is on sale. On Thursday they give thanks for what they have, on Friday they are savagely punching and fighting people to get an X-Box or flat screen TV.  Finishing off the Thanksgiving weekend is White Monday. This is the online shopper’s day to stay planted in front of a computer searching for audacious online deals. Using this logic, I expect to see Magenta Tuesday for people to have their own Holiday Garage Sales.

Although, I will interject here – one of my favorite concepts is Giving Tuesday. Giving Tuesday is the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and is a day of actual GIVING – to charities big and small…so Magenta Tuesday better back the hell off.

I don’t want to sound curmudgeonly, but I really feel that the flattening of the traditional holiday “spikes” turns the last quarter of the year into an amorphous blob of festive displays, shopping guilt, jammed mall parking lots, and a false fear that I might forget to buy a gift for someone.

Someone somewhere is bound to capitalize on this frenzied commercialism by inventing color-coded bins for us to stash our stashes of gifts and decorations: Orange and Black for Halloween; Brown and Orange for Thanksgiving; and of course, Red and Green for Christmas.  This will allow us to keep order in our frenetic final days of the year. Sheesh, I can feel the stress coming on already.

Of course, this begs the question, “When will the madness end?” I don’t want to be forced to buy a brown bin with leaf decor for all the Autumnal Equinox goodies, or a pink bin with red hearts for all my Valentine’s Day gifts.

Am I being unreasonable? I just want to focus on Halloween until it’s time to focus on Thanksgiving.  When that’s over, I can set my sights on getting into the Christmas Spirit.

 

Jumping the Chocolate Loaded Gun

Okay, now I know it’s in the retailer’s best interest to get a jump on the competition, and as for the holidays, well, stores are getting an earlier and earlier start every year on when they put out their seasonal displays, that’s true. But come on people! This is getting freakin’ ridiculous!

 

So, yeah, this is the seasonal display at my local grocery store.

 

Trick or Treat anyone? Who cares if it’s 110 degrees out? Or I don’t know, that it’s July!?

 

I thought it was supposed to be “Christmas in July?” Not this “Halloween in July” bullshit.