First, please take a moment to appreciate these digital photographs. My camera is a real piece of shit and it doesn’t work 98% of the time. Once upon a time, it was a pretty nice, high-end camera, but all that changed after it was dropped on the ground. Anyway, knowing I had a 2% chance that the camera would take pictures, I decided to frustrate and enrage myself for 30 minutes, trying to fix it the same way it was broke–throwing the camera against the futon, dropping it from knee height, and shaking it like a bad child. That’s about the extent of my camera fixing knowledge.
Then I remembered, my grandmother had an old trick. She used to open tight lids on jars by tapping on it with a butterknife, and somehow that always, magically loosened the lid. Well I grabbed a butterknife and whacked the camera a few times. Swear to God, there’s nothing on Planet Earth that can’t be fixed by giving it a hearty whack with a butterknife.
And here is the holy knife:
I think there is a special place in God’s heart for people who go all out for Halloween. The ones who convert their front yards into graveyards, the ones who put on strobe lights and play the laughter of dead children, the ones who hand out real candy, not Mary Janes and Tootsie Rolls. Because likewise, there is a special place in hell for Tootsie Roll giver outers. Unless you’re an old lady who just doesn’t know any better and still thinks Tootsie Rolls are all the rage. Then, I guess that’s forgivable, but only God can judge.
I have an excuse for not going all out–I don’t have a yard. I live in the city and all we have is a concrete slab in front of our house. Some of our neighbors have gotten creative hanging tons of goblins and ghosts from their porch. These people have probably invested hundreds in Halloween decorations. God has a penthouse suite for them in his heart, I know it.
Halloween decorations are holy to me and no one messes with ’em. My roommate complained that the bloody hell demon above “kinda creeped him out” when I cheerily hung it up the last week of September, but I heard none of it. So these are decorations for Halloween 08, so far:
The front door:
This guy was one of those dollar store mistakes–you know–the items that look “pretty good” in the dollar store, but you take it home and realize how cheap it truly is. It was supposed to be a “tree decoration”, but it’s really just a sheet of plastic. I guess my imagination made “tree decoration” sound like SHIT THERE’S A FREAKIN’ MONSTER ON THAT TREE. But no, it was just sheet of trashbag quality plastic you’re supposed to tie around a tree. And I don’t even have a tree. I felt instantly depressed by it. Suddenly, the loss of a single dollar felt like a tragic waste. I’m only slightly exaggerating. But then I had the idea to put him looking out the window. Life was OK again.
This terrifying spider was also a dollar store item, but as you can see, it’s a winner. The Dollar Tree sells them. They are called 5 FOOT PAPER JOINT, and they come in a predictable looking skeleton, a stupid looking witch, and then this glorious spider. I dug through peg hooks and peg hooks of skeletons and witches, and my heart was almost broken. Then buried under a pile of crap, there was one 5 FOOT PAPER JOINT spider left. When I first ripped it out of the bag, I was sure it was another dollar store mistake. The legs hung pathetically down like limp octopus tentacles. But then my inner denomic Martha Stewart came out, realizing how I could dress this thing up with some cobwebs, creating a huge spider nest. I imagined trapping one of the cats in the nest as well, but I didn’t think my roommates would let me incorporate their cats into the displays. There’s always the Nativity scene at Christmas…
More Halloween stuff. A haunted picture frame from Target and some hangy things from the Dollar Tree. Notice I picked out a witch. I’ve never been one for witches, but as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to appreciate their place in the Halloween spectrum. Witches were always girl things, something my sister always wanted to be. They were ugly and warty and the cackling gets old fast. But now I see witches in a different light. I see them as the beacon of femininity in the masculine-dominated world of devils and frankensteins and draculas. Or something like that. I just sorta like ’em now.
Here’s another angle on my hell demon. Now this guy was only $7.99 at Walgreen’s. Can you believe that? Party City or Spirit or any of those other Halloween specialty places sells this kinda wire hanger crap for $40. I’ve noticed the price ratio goes up or down dependent on wingspan and head size of these monsters. I could have gotten a wingspan upgrade for just $2 more, but it was already love at first sight with this guy. How can you not love that face?
But here is the true centerpiece of my Halloween collection, the corner of the living room I carved out as my own, a home for all of the knick knacks that I’ve bought so far.
The star of this table is the Frankenstein candy bowl. He’s got his Thriller jacket on and his head is hollow, and I splurged on him, because he was well above my price of 10 dollars. But I was picturing my future kid’s Halloween traditions when I picked this guy out. I pictured us pulling him out of the basement each year, filling his head with Reese cups, and me drinking an ice cold beer, because I always drink a beer in my fantasies.
So let’s see. Spaghetti with maggots, a rat, a bloody machete. It’s a fairly good collection, right? In the last photo are my favorites, just some cheapo plastic-topped candy corn tubes. It ain’t even Brach’s. They cost a buck each at the grocery store, and they look like the cheap prize you’d get in elementary school for winning spelling bingo. I think they represent the true meaning of Halloween–that is, cheap candy corn that comes in a tube, which you used to imagine you could do something awesome with– like fill the tube with water and call it potion. And you also have a cheap toy that you can play with until you drop it somewhere in the yard in November, and the dog chews up. Oh man, I don’t want to grow up.