Question: What is Dracula's favorite kind of coffee? Answer: Decoffinated.
Yes, folks, Halloween is here, and you know what that means. It’s the beginning of the holiday season that starts with a day set aside to frighten little children, rolls into a day devoted to overeating and ends with a religious holiday co-opted for unabashed consumerism.
But perhaps I’m cynical.
I actually love the holidays, Halloween included. What’s not to like about a national day that encourages begging and dressing up in funny clothes? But shouldn’t we leave begging to the professionals, the political candidates? No, I say. The Druids invented Halloween as a means of keeping the evil spirits at bay. Never did a nation need that more. These days, of course, the Druids would just run attack ads.
Halloween represents all the real childhood values: extortion, unjust parental oppression and staying up way past your bedtime. For 364 days of the year, we counsel our cherished young ones not to take candy from a stranger, but on this one magical night we send them out into the darkness dressed as turnips and fairies to — what else? — beg strangers to give them candy.
As a parent who raised four little trick-or-treaters, I never had a problem with that. When they returned with garbage bags full of chocolate bars and M&Ms, I had to perform the safety check on the loot. As any self-respecting head of a clan would do, I applied a wee “tax” for this service, creating a sugar stash of my own that lasted for weeks. Kids these days have higher standards about the candy they’ll accept and the costumes they’ll wear.
Part of the problem is that nothing is really scary anymore. Kids used to get absolutely freaked out by someone running around in an old bed sheet with misaligned eye holes somewhere in the upper forehead area. Maybe we thought bad children died and were sent to work in a laundry service. I don’t know.
Kids used to want to be witches, vampires and crazed hobos. One of those outfits will now get you a discrimination lawsuit or force some serious explaining if you ever run for the U.S. Senate from Delaware. Better to go as the deviled egg or the Skin Dwelling Alien Bacteria Barbie. And if you didn’t spend two months making your child’s costume using sewing machines, plaster molds and robotic welders, well, you’re just not as good as the other parents, are you?
If you’re afraid for your child’s safety on Halloween, remember this: Arm the little witches with a broomstick cam, a lead-contentanalyzer, and a smoke detector on the tip of that pointy, wartcovered nose and drag them out the door. The bad weather’s coming and you might not get them out of the house again until spring.
Hard-as-nails firefighters wearing pink shirts? It’s true. Our rescuers in Olympia, Tumwater, Yelm and Lacey have been supporting National Breast Cancer Awareness Month by wearing the pink shirts all week. ... The Washington Center for the Performing Arts and The Olympian are teaming up to bring a three-part speaker series from the National Geographic Society to Olympia. The first in the series is the Emmy awardwinning filmmaker and journalist Michael Davie on Nov. 16 who has dedicated a large portion of his life to making films about Africa. In the meantime, of course, there’s the big production of “The Color Purple” on Nov. 10. ... At 7 p.m. tomorrow evening, the Capital High School Invisible Children Club is showing a film about the building of schools in Uganda and two Ugandan students will be there to discuss the film.
George Le Masurier, publisher of The Olympian, can be reached at 360-357-0206 or firstname.lastname@example.org.