A Bit About Me

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Along with my daily duties as founder and head writer of HumorMeOnline.com, in 2003, I took the Grand Prize in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (also known as the "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" competition). I've also been a contributor to "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" and the web's "The Late Show with David Letterman". I also occupy my time writing three blogs, "Blogged Down at the Moment", "Brit Word of the Day" and "Production Numbers"...and my off-time is spent contemplating in an "on again/off again" fashion...my feable attempts at writing any one of a dozen books. I would love to write professionally one day...and by that I mean "actually get a paycheck".

01 November 2008

Halloween (Part I)

Yes, I know I said I'd repost a few "old" blogs...but I was inspired to write this just now.

Is it my imagination or are the 'Trick or Treaters' becoming increasingly older and few and far between as each year goes by? Now, I know there are a lot of churches and other places around the area which hold their own events - but, in my opinion, nothing can beat going around, door-to-door, to elicit free candy from people you don't know. And while that's a big part of the fun, it's not THE part I like the most. Wasn't what I liked best back when I was a kid...isn't what I like best now. And with less and less little kids partaking in it...well, Halloween, in general, is kinda losing its original appeal.

What I always liked best was being able to dress up and go off to school wearing my costume. I lived for that. All year long. Second only...maybe...to Christmas. In fact, when I really think about it...I think I liked it more.

My parents never actually BOUGHT me a Halloween costume - we invented things from stuff lying around the house...plus my mother could sew. I remember (in vain) that I "oh so wanted" to be a princess...with all the trappings of a "bona fide" fairy-tale princess: the poofy, scratchy-itchy skirt netting, the sparkly cardboard star on a stick that you'd wave in desperation of something magic-like actually happening...as if magic "magically occurred" once you glued two otherwise innocuous and cheap glittered components together - and...to complete my fantasy ensemble: that hideous 1960s hard plastic princess face mask. You know the one, don't you? The one you can't keep on your face if you tried even tho you knotted off that ridiculously long semi-elastic string in the back with the two metal clasps that would always pop out of their respective hole-holders. The one with the enormous "Little Orphan Annie" eyeholes that, no matter how hard you tried, still ended up lower than your own personal eyes - so the only thing you could do was to look down and hope your parent paid attention to the terrain when they dragged you by the hand down the sidewalk that always seemed to love skinning my knees for some reason (personally I don't think my knees "unscabbed" until I hit my teen years). The one that always had that pasty white complexion with the "yellow" hair...because we all know that only true princesses have alabaster skin and hair the colour of the "fairest" Crayola crayon in the 8-pack...because Disney told us so. And the one your friend let you try on...for a brief shining moment...before she snatched it off your face with a stinging rubber band "thwak" and obligatory "hair pull" to the back of the head.

And "joy of joys", I remember one year winning for "best costume". I went as a Hindu...complete with my makeshift "lipstick-anointed" red bindi - not sure if that is "allowed" or "politically correct" to do nowadays...but it's a moot point anyway as you can't dress up at most schools. Regardless, as a child, I certainly didn't do it with any form of disrespect...I just loved the whole "sari" thing and, so, that is who I went as...as that's the fabric my mother had - and the costume was indeed gorgeous...and worthy of the accolades that only a third-grade teacher can bestow upon a student.

But it seems Halloween gets such a bad rap from the same people who, as kids, loved dressing up...only now they don't allow their kids to dress up and they certainly don't tolerate their schools allowing them to. When I was a child, the furthest thing from my - and my friends' minds - was "the devil worshipping practices and rituals surrounding a pagan holiday"...and don't even get me started on that one - you can just Google for yourselves.

So, it's a letdown to dress up (and yes, I did dress up - I dress up each time...this time I was Medusa as I love Greek myths) and see a handful of kids walking around delighting in being a little "different" than they are the other 364 days a year. Even if you don't trust the "candy givers"...toss out the candy, but let the little ones live a little...and by all means - bring back the costumes at school. Especially now with all the schools regimenting a set uniform...one day a year to buy a wig and let your hair down wouldn't be asking for too much, would it? At least for the elementary grades. Don't deprive them of the joy I once felt...because, for some kids, in the homes they grow up in and the stuff they are subjected to (and I know...I was beaten as a child, with a belt, by my father)...it's seriously the most fun they might have all year...and it's also the stuff good childhood memories are made of.


  1. LOL--loved the blog and memories of Halloweens gone past started flooding in. I was also one of those that made their own costumes and had a blast doing it (or if I was sick--which turned out to be most of the time) a hand-me-down from my sister. I also remember those hard plastic masks-a torture device if there ever was one-made breathing almost impossible. My sister's memories of Halloween are probably pretty much different than mine. Having to trick or treat for my "sick" sister is-I am sure-the top #1 thing she remembers. It was either allergies or the dreaded "I'm so excited I'm having to spend the whole day on the potty" syndrome.
    Thanks for the trip down memory lane and Mom only got 6 trick or treaters last night, so there is a mound of candy at her house (and I brought some of the mound home)

  2. I augmented my Medusa costume this time around - I added the sash and the clasp I found was actually part of a two-piece belt buckle my mother had in her stuff. It looked very Greek - so I affixed it with an elastic band. I also had pretty good looking sandals to finish the costume off...altho it was COLD on my feet when we walked on the grass.

    I stand by my words - Halloween is fun - and kids should have fun dressing up. Seems there's always some controversy surrounding Halloween each year. It's a shame. I think it's all just a ploy so people can just sue...it's a pity.

  3. you have got some brilliant memories of your chilhood i enjoyed reading that