I always appreciated getting a little toy in my Halloween loot, like a skull ring or a candy corn scratch n’ sniff sticker. It was the variety that made Halloween special. To honor that, I’ve also been picking up a few cheap toy items to give away to the kids this year.
From your comments, I suspect that many of us are skeptical of children today. They have it too good. They have flavored Tootsie Rolls. They have their choice of plastic severed limbs. Okay, and they have their own cellphones, laptops, and iPods.
Laptops. Growing up, our computer took up a whole wall of the living room.
I must sound like a fuddy duddy. The fact that I used the words “fuddy duddy” is telling. I just hope children can still appreciate simple, stupid things, like a Halloween Stencil. Some of you have children–tell me, do they still like this shit?
Well, I’m certainly charmed by it. Halloween Stencils!
Halloween Stencils! Two words that together created the need for the exclamation point. Sure, there’s nothing groundbreaking about them. These are ultra-generic, “Spooky Place”, and they only cost a dollar. I expected them to be crap.
Toy stencils are often poorly made, the traceable lines too small to even fit your pencil tip through. Or the plastic moves around while you trace, messing you up, and you end up with amorphous doodles.
Stencils could make you feel stupid. And as you know, I’m not the most patient person–I want to be able to trace the pattern as quickly as possible–and I want it to look perfect after the first time.
So I was surprised that these stencils worked pretty well:
The first one I tried was the pumpkin smack dab in the center of the paper. “Smack dab” is another phrase generally reserved for fuddy duddies.
Being the first one I tried, you can see my tenativeness, barely putting any pressure on the pencil. By the time I got to the cat, I was much braver. I was even drawing my own faces. The happy bat looks a little rough. His armpits could use a touch up. The ghost is my favorite.
Well, that’s all I got about Halloween Stencils. Halloween Stencils! So let me tell you about the time I was a Ninja Turtle for Halloween.
I decided to be my favorite turtle, Leonardo. I liked Leonardo best because he was a leader and he kept a cool head. The others were always throwing hissy fits. “Hissy Fit”, another word for Fuddy Duddies.
For whatever reason, I couldn’t get a licensed costume. It was probably too much money. My mother convinced me to get a generic turtle costume, which could be converted to a Ninja Turtle costume. The first problem was the front chest part, which wasn’t muscular-looking like a ninja Turtle, but brown and soft, like a cuddly Turtle. However, my mother assured me that this didn’t matter and that I would look just like “Leroy” on Halloween.
Red flags were everywhere.
The next problem was the weapons. Leonardo’s weapons were a pair of katana blades. In the 80s, they didn’t make toy katana blades, so I ended up stuck with the pirate sword from the previous year’s pirate costume.
But the biggest problem was my head, which wasn’t a turtle head. My stupid human head. Without a licensed mask, the only thing I could work with was a blue bandana cut from an old t-shirt.
I had a t-shirt wrapped around my eyes, a foam turtle suit on, and a pirate sword in my hand. I remember looking in the mirror. I wasn’t a Ninja Turtle. I was Leroy the Swashbuckling, Cuddly Turtle.
So here we are, the end of the first week of the Halloween Countdown. I don’t work on the weekends, so I’ll see you Monday. Next week I got finger fries, severed ears, and Fun Dip. Oh, and more of the timeless disappointments of childhood.