Wasted Words 4: Halloween Edition

Recommended Download: Originally performed by the Misfits, but AFI did it better. AFIHalloween

Bonfires burning bright.
Pumpkin faces in the night.
I remember Halloween.

Dead cats hanging from poles.
Little dead are out in droves.
I remember Halloween.

Halloween is upon us. Bonfires, trick or treating, costumes, caramel apples, popcorn balls, and most of all, haunted houses. Ever since I was a kid I have loved Halloween. My Mom, my brother, and I would go together to pick out the perfect pumpkin. Then we would go home and carve the scariest jack-o’-lantern we could think of. My brothers, my cousins, and I would get dressed up every year and go trick or treating together. We’d do our best to hit all the neighborhoods and we always remembered the best houses and tried to hit them again. One year, a house was giving out Pepsis. At the end of our journey and we were thirsty again, we went back for seconds. Every year as we finished our rounds, we would head to my Grandmothers house. She never had many trick-or-treaters where she lived, so she would always have plenty of candy left. She always made popcorn balls as well and would always have plenty of them waiting for us. I was always proud of my costumes too, thinking that I had the coolest one. Of course, I never failed to see several other kids out with the same one. I remember Superman was one of my favorites. But looking at costumes these days compared to the ones they made back then, a lot has changed. Back then they were made out of that cheap, plastic-like material that was guaranteed to be ripped by the time your evening was over. Oh, and don’t dare stand next to anything putting out some heat, cuz it won’t hold up. Those things were fire hazards! The silly little plastic masks that barely covered your face. They were held on by an elastic string, that almost always broke by the end of the night. We would re-attatch it, only for it to snap off the next time the mask was removed. Cheap trash those costumes were, but it didn’t seem to matter. It didn’t hamper the fun of trick-or-treating one bit. It was just part of it all.

Brown leafed vertigo.
Where skeletal life is known.
I remember Halloween.

This day anything goes.
Burning bodies hanging from poles.
I remember Halloween.

My costumes throughout the years have changed quite a bit. Superman, Batman, Rambo, and GI Joe were my choices as a young child. As I aged, so did my choices in costumes. One of my favorites was in fifth grade when I went as Freddie Kruger. I had the mask, the hat, and we even found a sweater that looked like the one that he wore in the movie. The glove was pretty expensive and hard to find at the time, so my Mother bought a pair of gloves and made some “blades” to go on the fingertips. I loved my costume and wore it proudly. My youngest brother wasn’t quite as thrilled though. He would scream bloody murder at the site of me in that mask. I swear I didn’t do it on purpose though. Good times! Even at the age of 16 and a junior in high school, I went trick-or-treating. My girlfriend at the time, my friend Eric, and I got together and went out for the evening. Eric and I went to Wal Mart and got some blue Dickies work pants and shirts, and we were gonna be prison inmates. We bought toy metal handcuffs and some chains, so our hands and feet would be in shackles. Then we tied white bandannas around our heads, Tupac style. It was pretty damn hard walking around all night in those shackles, but it was well worth it. Later that night the shackles came off and we went to a haunted house on the Ball Stat University campus. It was pretty cool, because usually in my town there isn’t many haunted houses, if there’s any at all. They usually have one at the children’s museum, but it’s geared more towards children. If we wanted good haunted houses, we had to travel to Indianapolis. There’s one called Necropolis that’s in an old power plant. All year round it’s actually Dark Armies Paintball, but during the Halloween season, they convert it to a haunted house. The thing is freaking huge too! The coolest part I remember is walking into this pitch black room, and the walls were covered in glow in the dark hockey masks. It looked like they were all just hanging there, and there must’ve been hundreds of them. But then, three or four of them would start moving and coming towards you. Freaky shit, it was.

Candy apples and razor blades.
Little dead are soon in graves.
I remember Halloween.

This day anything goes.
Burning bodies hanging from poles
I remember Halloween.

This year, it’s my turn as a parent to show my daughter the joys of Halloween. She’s two years old this year and it’s the first year she will really understand what is going on. We got her a costume several weeks ago. Spongebob Squarepants was her choice. We went and picked out three pumpkins to carve. One for her, one for my girlfriend, and one for myself. Then we all three pitched in to carve them. Well, I cut the tops off and my girlfriend cleaned them out. I drew the faces on and carved them. She got the messy job and I got the fun stuff. It just works out that way. They’re sitting in front of our house with candles in them, and every night I got out with my daughter and we light them together. Seeing the smile appear on her face as those pumpkins begin to glow, it just makes it all worth it. I can only imagine it’s the same feeling my Mother had watching me as a child. Come October 31, we’ll all get dressed up and go trick-or-treating together. We’ll walk for miles and miles, going door to door with bags in hand. Trick-or-Treat, we’ll say at each stop. We’ll get way too much candy and end up throwing the majority of it away in a few weeks. Most of all we’ll have fun spending time with each other. But if we happen to make a few memories along the way, well that’s okay too.

Thanks for reading. Until next time, I’m out. Happy Halloween.

2 replies on “Wasted Words 4: Halloween Edition”

i love that song, although ive never heard the afi version, ill have to check it out. that column brought back memories…i loved getting dressed up for halloween, i still do! its one of my favorite holidays, my whole family are halloween nuts– my uncle gets dressed up as a woman every year, its crazy. i even had a mnassquarade ball for my sweet 16 (my b-day is nov 6, so its pretty close). this year im marching in the parade in greenwich village, im going as poison ivy.

thanks for the awesome column on my favorite thing to do! i hope your daughter has fun!

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