Halloween Memory

I was reminiscing about childhood Halloween costumes yesterday. My Mom was a really good costume maker when I was a kid. Nobody bought costumes because they were expensive or just terrible. If you were unfortunate enough to get one with a mask it was made out of the world's thinnest plastic and had razor sharp edges. The eye and mouth holes were always too small and you couldn't breathe in the damn thing. The result would be many Batmen and Supermen running around with a mask atop their head rather than over their face. Some would pull it down after ringing the bell but no way you could run around in those things on. You'd be in for serious injury. One year I wanted to be the grim reaper. That required a long black robe with a pointed hood, a scythe (made by Dad in the wood shop in the basement) and face paint to look like a skeleton. A week from Halloween I was ready to go. My Mom did a fitting (so I wouldn't be tripping over the robe) and a trial run on the face paint. Good to go. I wasn't happy that everyone would be seeing that the grim reaper was wearing sneakers but I couldn't think of an alternative so sneakers it was. Besides I reasoned, he probably did quite a bit of walking around knocking people off so he'd probably want something comfortable.

I was in the local Gristedes and they had glow in the dark makeup for Halloween. I had an 8 year old epiphany. I would substitute the glow in the dark white for regular white and thereby multiply my scariness factor by 6.023*10^23! A glowing skeleton faced Grim Reaper! What could be more fearsome? (Uh..maybe being taller than 3'5"?) Quiet you!

Anyway, Mom must have been on opium that day because she bought it. Epic Win!

The big day comes and I get my costume on and as it's October and we didn't have Global Wormening (TM) then it was dark very early. I got my costume on and Mom did the face paint. ZOMFG! This is going to be awesome. Consider:

1. I am going trick or treating w/o parental supervision
2. It is dark and I am wearing all black
3. I have been issued a flashlight with less wattage than a burning cigarette
4. I am 8 years old and amped on adrenaline
5. Large piles of leaves in the gutter will necessitate extensive walking in the streets

I get the stuff on and stand in the dark with my friends. It's not glowing. I exchange my wimpy flashlight for The Real One. The one my Dad keeps around for blown fuses and such. I close my eyes and point said light at my face for a minute. I turn it off and go back into the dark. "Coooooooolll" is the unanimous response. I then realize that I had the glow in the dark paint around my eyes. The glowing may have worked but I was essentially blind. The only thing I could see was a greenish glow around the periphery of my vision and a black blob in the middle with the occasional face if they got close. Well, I suffer for my art I guess. I said nothing of being now essentially blind and, as a bonus, invisible to the cars on the streets I'd be walking. Nice parenting Mom!

(As and aside it's a wonder I don't have like eye cancer or something considering the crap they used to use in glow in the dark products)

The glowing would wear off rather quickly but would recharge just enough under the lights of the front doors to blind me from time to time.

When I at last returned home with my 44 pounds of hard earned loot it was duly sorted, accounted for and gave Mom and Dad their due. Dad's rule was "I get anything you don't want". Necco wafers, raisins, Bit-o-Honey, Mary Jane and Almond Joy are all yours Dad. Can't remember what Mom liked but it was probably a token piece of chocolate or something.

I washed the face paint off and got into bed. I fell asleep watching the green glow of the periphery fade. Guess I should have washed better


Paul Smith Jr. said…
I love Necco wafers!
Paul, is that because they resemble communion wafers?

Dang, Duffy, I'd be happy to rid your children of their bit-o-honey, mary janes, and almond joys!

Because sometimes I feel like a nut.
Paul Smith Jr. said…
Nobody likes the taste of Communion wafers.
Duffy said…
AO: I'll mail them to you.

Paul: I prefer the flavor of Communion to Necco. I think Necco's flavors were based on a dare or something.

Popular posts from this blog

My Entire Career in a nutshell

Sean Thomas Lugano