Saturday, October 25, 2008

Halloween's Gonna Be a Bear

I'm not sure how any costume could be scarier than today's economy. There's not enough fake blood in the world to frighten me more than watching my 401k shrivel to the size of a walnut. Although I have experienced some pretty spooky Halloweens...

Ten years ago, I was nine and a half months pregnant. The day before Halloween I bought a new spot steam cleaner for my carpet. It worked so well that I got carried away and cleaned the entire family room with it. Helpful hint - when you're excessively pregnant, scrubbing the floor all day is not a good idea, even if you possess power tools. I was up all night long with 'false labor,' a term that insinuates that the pain is phony. It was not. Imagine wrapping eighty-three industrial-strength rubber bands around your middle. Then let some invisible being snap them randomly for seven hours straight. From the inside.

By the time Halloween night rolled around, I had had no sleep for thirty-six hours. One kidney was still vibrating from the rubber band snapping, and my hormone-marinated temperament was ready to disembowel the next human it encountered. On the bright side, my carpet was spiffy.

Thank goodness my husband (at the time, may he rest in pieces) was assigned to trick-or-treat duty. Somehow, though, he caught wind of my mood. Perhaps he noticed the green smoke curling from my ears that morning, or the way my head swivelled all the way around when he asked for coffee. Suddenly he had to 'work late' again and couldn't make it home in time to help. Putting down my Book of Irish Curses, I tossed on some black clothes and headed for the front door, where some errant tricksters were wearing out my doorbell. I winged some juiceboxes at their heads and disposed of them.

Our neighborhood must be known the world over for its candy, because every pop-sucking rugrat in a twenty-mile radius hits our block up for sugar. They're bused in, swarming the streets with their creepy giggles and hideous "Thank yous!" This sweetness is intentional. They are disgustingly nice in order to avoid giving me any excuse to get mad. Drives me up a freakin' wall. One can only hear "Trick or Treat!" so many times before the nut switch gets flipped.

After several hours of this, a little blonde witch, about five years old, walked over and looked me up and down. "You don't look scary," she sniffed. "What are you supposed to be?"

I leaned over. Actually I was already bent over, my posture nearly done in from the labor contractions, carpet cleaning, and candy-giving. "Little girl," I squeaked, "I'm nine and a half months pregnant, and that is scarier than anything else you will see tonight."

She scurried back to her father and asked him if I was right. "Yes, dear," he concurred nervously."Let's get going. Quickly, now."

Years ago our neighborhood had incredible Halloween displays, and not just the decorations. People went to incredible lengths to entertain. Instead of just candy, every house had a different theme. One house had a popcorn cart tended by a headless witch. Another featured a cappucino machine catered by a very gracious Dracula. Wolfman offered pedicures, which was a little weird, but his heart was in the right place.

This year I'm considering going out trick-or-treating myself. My chocolate bank is running a bit low, and this could be an opportunity to cheaply bolster its bottom line. Much like the Federal government is doing with Wall Street.

My costume would consist of my stock reports - vertical lines are quite slimming. What these busy lines do for my blood pressure is a whole 'nuther story. All this Wall Street wailing is giving new meaning to the term 'Bull' market. Somebody needs a spanking.

Considering the economy (I don't want to, but they're making me do it), perhaps we could tweak Halloween to reflect our nation's current sorry state. One house could hand out resume' tips. Another could give away Canadian coins, a wise investment since they're now worth more than their US counterparts. A punching bag featuring the face of the current chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, would be popular. Others could offer barter services - lawnmowing, babysitting, husband-removal, etc.

Yes, candy still holds a vital place in this holiday. It makes us feel better. But this year we all need a little more. We need to hit something. Hard.

Trick or Treat, smell my feet.
Give me something good, Wall Street!

1 comment:

ScottMGS said...

I hear ya! I am an advisor for my church's youth group. Every year we hold a Halloween carnival (the Jr. High group does the haunted house) and we always struggle to come up with a theme.

"No, we did that last year. Pirates?"
"No, we did that last year, too. Zombies?"
Chorus: "Two year ago!"
"Hey! How 'bout Zombie Pirate Ninjas?"

Anyway, one guy suggested that the scariest topic this year is... Wall Street. He proposed (and built and staffed) a game where the player had to (IANMTU) bail out a bucket with a spoon. The bucket had holes in the bottom so water kept flowing back in.

Kids these days!