Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Halloween Redux in the October Country

 Well, it's almost Halloween, and since I'm once again facing the terrifying prospect of taking my children trick-or-treating tomorrow night, I thought it appropriate (and appropriately lazy)  to re-post my Halloween Screed from last year. Because it still irritates me.

However, even though it was titled "Assholes and Autumn People" that post wasn't entirely about stupid people. It was also about October, which (along with November and May) is one of my favorite months, and Halloween, my favorite holiday, and Ray Bradbury, one of my favorite authors. Also, at the suggestion of Steve Bodio in last year's comment section, I'm adding the intro to Bradbury's classic short-story collection "The October Country" (photo above).

Anyway, enjoy. Or not. I don't really care.

A few random observations - both impolite and wistful -  on Halloween and the month of October...

First, a bit of a post-Halloween screed...

Since when did trick-or-treating with your children become a strictly vehicle-based activity? One in which the parents - who apparently can’t be bothered with the tiresome act of removing their lardasses from their vehicles and physically walking down the street with their children and, you know, engaging with them – instead kick said children out of the vehicle and slowly cruise along the street ignoring their kids and other pedestrians, updating their Facebook status on their phone and creating huge traffic and safety hazards.

Thanks for that.

What the hell, people? Is this what we’ve come to? Can we not, for one night a year, just one friggin’ night out of 365, park our cars – just this once – and take a walk instead of willfully disassociating ourselves from the opportunity to have a real, tangible, organic experience with our children?
You horrible, self-indulgent, fat, lazy, no-good, stupid-ass mo-fos; you squawking, shit-for-brained, lemming-like creatures whose asses are apparently connected - Avatar-like - with the heated, air-conditioned Corinthian leather seats in your steel cocoons, here’s a hint: Not only do you ruin the experience for the rest of us who still use our lower extremities for something other than operating a gas pedal, you ruin it for your own children, too.

How? By teaching them to grow up to be just like you. And if there’s one thing the world doesn’t need right now, it’s another generation of self-absorbed dickheads.

And this is just my opinion, but I’m pretty sure that, deep down, most eight-year-old girls don’t really want to be tarted-up pixie streetwalkers for Halloween. That’s your fantasy, and if you've secretly always harbored some Penthouse Forum daydream about rockin’ the stripper pole, hey, that’s cool, but maybe you shouldn’t be living that dream vicariously through your child. Just sayin’…

Just had to vent a little. I'm good now...

Last night, after we got home from trick-or-treating and got the kids out of their costumes and into bed, I grabbed a wee nip and curled up in the reading chair with some Ray Bradbury.

October is a restless month. It has always made me - even as a child - wistful and pensive, with a touch of fear at the transition it represents, not just of season, but of mood, being and mind. It’s the one month in which even this hoary, jaded old adult still feels some residual tug of an ancient, pagan magic we all once believed in as children, but which gradually lost its grip as we grew into adulthood.

And I don’t think there’s ever been a writer that captures the essence of, and speaks so eloquently to, my (for lack of a better term) ‘Octoberism” than Ray Bradbury. Reading “Something Wicked This Way Comes”   (or any Bradbury story) as an adult reminds me, just a bit, of what it was like to be a child who still possessed the capacity for wonder.

That and a stiff glass of scotch also makes a perfect balm for having to deal with assholes all evening...


  1. That IS October isn't it? Suspect I will recycle it...

  2. It makes me sad that we don't get so many trick or treaters anymore. Yeah, a lot of those that do get out are chauffered by the parents... and now they carry cute little personalized goodie bags. Heck, we carried pillow cases, and filled 'em up full.