Monday, 2 November 2009

A Teeny Halloweeny

If today is All Soul's day, I'm going to boldly declare that we are still within the "Halloween Trifecta" and answer an inquiry from one gentle reader:

So Claire, what do they do for our American pumpkin holiday over there across the pond?

Tread lightly, oh gentle reader, before stepping into a colonial quagmire!  I spied a provocative couple of words in your query, specifically our American. I'm afraid it is not ours to claim, but we have merely borrowed it, made it bigger, and loaded it with artificial flavors and preservatives. 

If you trust Wikipedia on the subject, then "[it is] more typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain or Samuin (pronounced sow-an or sow-in)".[2] The name is derived from Old Irish and means roughly "summer's end".[2] A similar festival may have been held by the ancient Britons, corresponding to the Welsh festival of Calan Gaeaf (pronounced kalan-geyf). It is arguable that similar festivals may have been held at this time by all those people for whom Druids were the priesthood."  Those wacky Druids.  First Stonehenge, now this! 

I, too, didn't know quite what to expect, as this is my first Halloween here.  A park adjacent to our house was hosting fireworks, but that was to celebrate the upcoming Bonfire Night, which deserves a separate post once the true date rolls around.  I was able to confirm that in some parts, troops of kids in fancy dress (costumes) would be going door to door thanks to my new font of cultural enrichment, my weekly Weight Watchers meeting.

"So Claire, what will you be handing out to the trick or treaters?" the meeting leader suddenly asked me.  Since I had readily confessed to copious Cheetos consumption and still lost 5 pounds the previous week, I was an easy target.  My mind went blank.  Doh!  What was the correct answer?  Was this a trick question? I hated being wrong in class.  Must deflect with joke, I thought.  Quickly...

I spouted the first thing that came to mind.  "Six-packs and fried eggs?"

The cricket chirping silence was miserable.  I guess the Coneheads Halloween special on Saturday Night Live doesn't translate.  Ugh.

It was a safe bet that we wouldn't have many trick or treaters in our estate (neighborhood), as Chumley and I bring the average age down by about thirty years.  The most likely candidate would be our next door neighbor, who is 91.  Judging by the wafts of air coming from the house if I'm standing on her porch, her favorite treat would be a pack of smokes.  Being the childless killjoys that we are, Chumley suggested we go to dinner and a movie instead of cowering with the lights off, candy and cigarette-free.

For the record, I did bother to decorate this year with my pumpkin candy bowl (empty, thanks to WW), witch candle, realistic yet useless light-up plastic jack-o-lantern (it's got a US plug) and my miniature Halloween tree.  "It's festive!" I heard my decor-happy mother chant in my head.  I'm afraid Chumley has dragged me down a bit in festivity tolerance levels when it comes to trick or treaters.  I'm recalling the incident of Halloween 2006, when I held girlfriend status and happened to be on the phone with him during trick or treat prime time.  In the middle of the conversation, the usually mild Chumley bellowed into my ear:

"Piss off, you little scamps!"

I gasped with disgust.  "Look, you just can't treat the neighbor kids that way!"  This was a good time to take stock of our relationship.

"I gotta go, Claire."  Dead air.

He rang me back shortly, while I was already working on my "this just isn't working out" speech.  As loyal readers know, Chumley is tidy, and his comment was apparently provoked by the two giant racoons he spied dashing across his lawn, his garbage bag in their mouths.  Thank god.  It was too much to think such a young man could really be that crotchety.

As we drove to the restaurant, we spied a handful of lit jack-o-lanterns, and a few mobs of kids in costume going door-to-door.  We also saw an older group of girls, one in particular dressed as a tarty barmaid and drinking an unknown substance enthusiastically from a glass. It was barely 50F and she was mostly bare. 

"Look at that!  She's got a drink in her hand!" I mused aloud.  I'm still fascinated by the fact that public possession of alcohol is perfectly legal, for the most part.

"She would have needed a few drinks to wear that outfit," Chumley quipped.

True to their polite form, there was no aftermath to speak of around our parts.  No smashed pumpkins or egged houses.  In fact, Chumley reported that signs in the local shops said they would not be selling eggs or flour to children below a certain age in the leadup to Halloween.  It looks like the worst aftermath was the massive inconvenience for those pint-sized bakers out there.

Confidential to mom from the sugar junkie: Would you be so kind as to send candy corn in the next shipment?  I crave it, and it doesn't translate.  Another dissapointing discovery: candy apples are covered in hard, boiled sugar like giant, organic lollipops. I miss the caramel ones.  Speaking of caramel,  I also wonder how many Weight Watchers points are in the king size 100 Grand bar?  Too many to bother counting...

1 comment:

ChaChaneen said...

Ha ha- that was funny! Whew I needed that laugh. I can relate about the Carmel apples!