Well, another Halloween has passed us and man, what a great holiday. I don’t think it’s technically a holiday, but it’s a damn good excuse to moon cars on the freeway and get away with it. It’s like being a kid, only less mature. Yes, the kids have fun dressing up and getting candy. But it’s really a day for us adults, and I’ll tell you why.

  1. Scary movies
    What a great pastime. Every year around this time, network and cable channels alike air all sorts of flicks that will scare the pee out of you: Psycho, The Blair Witch Project, Thelma and Louise. All of those scared me. And you learn things too: shower with the lights on, don’t venture into the woods alone, and don’t ever let your date pick out what movie to see, especially if you’re paying. Kids can’t watch scary movies. They have to watch stuff like The Great Pumpkin and The Best of Scottish Theatre (our TV got stuck on PBS one year…boy did that suck. You ever see King Lear in a kilt? It was like watching B.A. Baraccas in a halter top. “I pity the fool who don’t buy me dinner first!” Yes, I just compared Shakespeare to the A-Team. Too bad the ol’ playwright didn’t have a cool theme song.)
  2. Good times
    Halloween is one of only three holidays in which adults have more fun than kids while being festive*. We can’t do that with any other holiday. We don’t run down the stairs at 6 AM on Christmas morning to rip apart wrapping paper and then get pissed at Grandma for giving us another sweater. Not anymore…we’re adults now. Baseball card stocking stuffers have been replaced by candles and monogrammed socks. Stupid adulthood.

    On Valentine’s Day, we can’t cut out paper hearts and give them to every girl we meet, whether you like ’em or not. I always hated that in grade school. Everyone got a card. Everyone. What’s so special about that? The girl you like is giving “Be Mine” messages to every guy in school-that little slut. In this age of reality TV, kids should be allowed to give out 4 cards only. Whoever has the most by the end of the day gets to leave early with no homework. Everyone else gets writeoffs. “I will try to be more likable”…one hundred times. In pencil. No ditto marks. Ah, who cares…Valentine’s Day is good only if you work for Hallmark. Hallmark should stop making cards for that day and invent a decoder for us guys, so when you hear “You don’t have to get me anything” you actually hear the underlying true statement of “You better buy something you bastard or get used to watching late night scrambled movies on the dirty channel while sitting alone on the couch!” Note: loose translation.

    *By the way, the other two holidays are St. Patrick’s Day and my birthday-January 14.

  3. Safety
    What’s fun about safety? Nothing, unless the crossing guard is cute. Anyway…I think parents are overly cautious nowadays, wanting to X-ray all the candy their kids get. Isn’t that whole story about a razor blade in the apple an urban legend?
    What’s next? Are we gonna preach to our kids to not say “Candyman” three times in a mirror? Besides, if your kid gets an apple as a treat, he won’t eat it anyway. It will instead wind up through the window of the neighbor who gave it, probably attached to a note: “Suck it, Fruitboy!”
    So next year, don’t give out fruit, or at least give raisins. They can’t break glass. But you know what…at some point, somebody’s child is going to question our logic. “We have to X-ray the treats that I got in our own neighborhood, but in two months we can allow some fat stranger with a bag to come down our chimney and into our living room in the middle of the night?
    Something doesn’t add up.” As adults, we could give a rat’s ass about safety on Halloween. Like when Ralph Macchio turned a hose on Johnny at the Halloween dance in The Karate Kid. What the hell was he thinking? He hadn’t even learned how to wax on yet, but he still threw caution into the wind, God love him.

  4. Costuming
    Yes, even dressing up is for adults. Designers spend more time and energy on costume kits for grown ups. Some people even go so far as to wear elaborate make up so it looks like there actually is a metal spike protruding from their nose, in which case they instantly become a zombie, a mad scientist, or the teenage checker girl at Big Lots. Tongue ring and gloomy attitude sold separately. Even the simpler outfits are fun. Stuff like “prisoner” and “monk”. It’s even fun to mix them…a monk with a ball and chain, for example. But monks aren’t allowed to marry, are they?

    Kids have incredibly simple costumes. Superman…a cape and little sister’s red tights. Not only stupid, but if your child wears that to school on any other day, you better teach him a game he can play: see how many punches he can take before passing out, then try to break that record the next day. There is also the “ghost” costume. A sheet with two holes in it. Who the hell wants to wear a white sheet? People in Mississippi, don’t answer that. If you really want to dress up as a ghost, try this: Corey Feldman’s acting career.

    I wore some crazy costumes growing up. My mom was very creative. It wasn’t good enough for me to wear a Darth Vader mask and some jeans. That was way too simple and unimaginative. One year, she made me wear a scarecrow outfit. An okay idea if I weren’t allergic to certain things…like hay and straw. By the time my swollen face and throat returned to normal size, all my chocolate had melted. The next year she altered the costume so it didn’t require straw. She used yarn instead. So it wound up making me look like Raggedy Andy. Once again, it may have been an okay idea if I hadn’t been allergic to certain things…like punches to the face. Which brings me to my next reason…

  5. Bullies
    Bullies are precisely why Halloween isn’t for kids. Kids get picked on and persecuted by bigger kids. As adults, we may comment on other costumes, but nobody really cares because some hot babe just walked in dressed as a French Maid, and those babies are real. Which brings me to my next point…flirting. Costuming is a great way to meet people (remember the “moonwalk” in Revenge of the Nerds?). It gives you an opening line. “Hey, nice French Maid outfit. Wanna dance?” On any other day, you have no opening line because a girl’s outfit is usually indicative of her job. “Hey, that meter maid costume is outstanding. Wanna do some shots or something?” Note: a coin bag to the head causes temporary blindness. Kids can’t flirt nor do they want to. There are way too many distractions. “Hey, Cindy…nice ballerina costume. Do you want to…HEY, a blue Skittle!!!”

  6. Pranks
    Good pranks are for adults. And they never grow old. Yes, soaping a car or egging a house may seem immature. But how else can you express your displeasure with someone after she broke up with you? You already got in trouble for repeatedly calling and hanging up. Stupid caller ID. Besides, pranks help the economy. Why else does toilet paper mysteriously go on sale every October 30? Hmmmmm.

So I hope you enjoyed your Halloween, folks. It’s rare that we have a day when we can kick back and have a blast. Because it’s soon back to the cubicles and the traffic jams. When in traffic, it’s often fun to quote master philosopher Homer Simpson: “Honk, break, gas. Gas, honk, punch!” Of course, you could also quote him while in the cubicle: “This game sucks. Let’s play Hungry Hungry Hippos.”

But don’t get too depressed. My birthday is right around the corner, and everyone is invited to my place, especially the French maids.

Categories: Columns