We hit up the Spirit Halloween store this weekend, this year courtesy of the former Blockbuster store. And yeah, somehow our town still had an actual Blockbuster up until about six months ago.
Imagining I’ll buy something big and awesome at Spirit is my annual Halloween tradition. I love Spirit’s selection of overpriced animatronics and always tell myself this is going to be the year I pull the trigger on one, but then I remember the neighborhood kids are scared crapless to walk up our driveway when it’s only me in a lawn chair wearing a mask. Even when the wife is sitting next to me dressed as Minnie Mouse, advertising a gigantic bucket of FREE CANDY at them, they’re still frozen, terrified. If I introduced a twelve-foot-tall electric chair and violently convulsing dummy to the mix, I’d probably give them PTSD.
Well—except for the one smartass kid (and there’s always one of them) who walks up defiantly and says “you don’t scare me.” One of these days, kid. I will get you. One of these days.
So instead, I came home with the zombie gnome pictured above. I’m seriously considering leaving him up all year round. For 2013, Spirit has a great line of “zombie versions of tacky lawn ornaments.” The line includes zombie riffs on classic, iconic ornaments such as flamingos, owls, lawn jockeys, and of course, gnomes.
The gnome was in the running with these other three:
I like cheesy, cartoonish gore, but this one just about crosses the line to disturbing gore. And that thing about giving kids PTSD. And it was $39.99, which for that price I could take the wife out to a fine dining experience at the Red Lobster instead.
Somehow a frog oozing blood from the mouth is less disturbing to me.
The Lawn Jockey:
There’s about two or three layers of racial and class contexts to lawn jockeys, and I sort of liked the idea of ringing it through a postmodern zombie meme, but then I remembered it’s Halloween and not a college essay for American Studies, so I passed.
Also, in a dusty low corner section of the store, I somehow managed to find something on clearance. For $9.97, I picked up this cheesy fortune telling ball:
It’s one of those things that has about five different sayings—that all blare out embarrassingly loudly and harshly—so that when you’re testing it out in the store, you’re that person. And I’m pretty sure that explains why it was on clearance, just to get it the hell out of there.