Monday, October 31, 2016

This Is Halloween

Began a gorgeous Halloween with a couple of animated specials. "Spook-a-Nanny" was the only original cartoon created for the 1960's Woody Woodpecker Show. Woody's spent the whole episode blowing up balloons for his boss Walter Lantz. He's looking forward to a party with other Lanz stars like Chilly Willy and Buzz Buzzard. They play pranks to keep him out. He goes in with a ghost band, but he can't go through the walls like they can.

Moved to Winnie the Pooh while getting putting on my makeup and getting ready for work. Boo to You, Too! takes us to the Hundred Acre Woods on Halloween night. Pooh and the gang are getting ready to go trick-or-treating, but Piglet's not sure he wants to go. He's scared to death of Halloween. Pooh says they won't do Halloween this year in deference to their timid porcine pal. Tigger, Eeyore, and Gopher disagree. The crew tries to prove to Piglet that Halloween is really nothing to be afraid of.

I was a black cat witch this year. Wore my cat ears and the old tail Mom made for a school play in high school, plus my college graduation gown as a cape. Carried the fairy wand and Luna, my Webkinz black cat. Gave myself whiskers and a brown nose with makeup. I ditched the robe and wand for work and settled on being a black cat. It was dead when I came in and mildly steady when I left, but it suddenly got crazy around 11-12. A lot of people must have gotten out of work early to help with trick or treating or other Halloween festivities.

Spent most of the afternoon rounding up carts. Fine by me. It was a gorgeous day to be working outside. It was blustery blue and gold, just warm enough, probably in the upper 50's. Absolutely perfect weather for Halloween and late October. Couldn't have been nicer.

Found a wonderful surprise in my mailbox when I got home. One of my long-time readers sent me a lovely note of encouragement and a 20 dollar bill. Wow! They were anonymous; whomever you were, you don't know how much it was appreciated. Thank you so much! They said I was a talented writer, especially with my movie and TV reviews, and I needed to think more positive. Hard not to, with a sweet letter like that.

When I got in, I refreshed my makeup, pulled out the robe, and got organized. Ran one of the Max & Ruby Halloween episodes as I made my way around. "Ruby's Perfect Pumpkin" will be the best at Mr. Piazza's grocery store...if she can get Max to stop chasing candy long enough for her to pick one! Ruby wants "Max's Jack-O-Lantern" to have a happy face. Max has other ideas. Max hopes "Max's Big Boo" will scare his sister. Ruby isn't scared easily...but she does have a surprise for her brother.

Did Halloween Is Grinch Night as I rounded up my remaining costume items. A sour sweet wind sends the Grinch on the prowl with his cart filled with wild psychadelic scares. Young Eukeriah Who takes it upon himself to make sure that the Grinch never gets to Whoville.

Headed to Dad's house around 3:30. Trick or treating was already in full swing. I sat with Jodie outside for the next two hours, chatting with her, Jesse, and Dana, and handing out candy. I saw a lot of great costumes, including on Khai's buddies. Chloe was a gorgeous little angel in a frothy white gown. Bee was a soldier. Emmie was a ghostly bride, with ghoulish makeup done by her big sister. Mary was a huntress. Savannah was the most adorable Belle. Her older brother was a Power Ranger.  Khai himself was a Ghostbuster, complete with inflated "proton pack" backpack. He and Rose came along a bit later, after they'd walked around in their neighborhood by the school. Rose wasn't in costume, but Craig was a stormtrooper.

Had sloppy joes with Jodie, Dad, and Dana after trick-or-treating ended and it got too cold to sit outside. I got good news from the parents. Dad's done with chemotherapy at the moment. He's trying two new drugs that are in the experimental phase. Hopefully, they'll clear out the very little cancer left in his lung. (Jessa and Joe were supposed to come over for dinner. If they did, they came over after I made my exit.)

Went home briefly around quarter after 6 to use the bathroom and fix my makeup, then went right back out again. Oaklyn's Halloween Parade was supposed to be at 7. There was no one at the school where we were supposed to meet at quarter of 7. The parade didn't start until 7:30. The wait was worth it. There was a huge group of people waiting to follow the fire trucks down West Clinton Avenue. The kids were having a blast running around, even if their parents were getting weary trying to calm them down.

I loved all the great costumes. Still quite a few superheroes. I saw Iron Man, a tiny cute Wonder Woman, a small Buzz Lightyear, a toddler Captain America, Boba Fett, at least three Ninja Turtles, and Super Girl. A pair of chatty tween girls were Princess Twilight Sparkle and Princess Celestia from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. A grumpy-looking dad was a viking. Another group of pre-teen girls were dead princesses in tattered gowns. There were cops, a Pikachu in a full body costume, a baby Charlie Brown, two grim reapers, a noisy vampire, Chuckie from Child's Play, a ghoul in a gruesome green mask, two rag dolls (a kid and a dad dressed as Raggedy Ann), an absolutely adorable mini fire-woman in a home-made fire truck, three ladybugs, a bumblebee, Sir Topham Hatt from the Thomas the Tank Engine series in a "James" wagon, lots of soldiers, a dragon in a green cardboard box outfit, two angels, three girl devils, a mom Starbucks barista, a little pirate, an attractive older witch, an elderly flapper in a gorgeous purple dress, an evil queen, and a teen sorceress in a bright blue velvet cape.

Once again entered the adult division. I was about to step out when I tripped over an orange rubber traffic cone. My knee hit the tiles on the fire station floor hard, and I went sprawling. To my surprise, at least seven people, including kids, helped me to my feet. Thankfully, I was just sore. Nothing broken or damaged. I even won first place - two much-needed five dollar bills - and got a bag of candy. Walked home just fine, too.

After I got home, I hit the shower, then put on my favorite Halloween specials. Garfield's Halloween Adventure turns spooky when Garfield takes the pirate costumes he scrounged up for him and Odie seriously and hits the water. They end up marooned on an island, where the ghosts of real pirates are about to come looking for their treasure.

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is a tad quieter. The Peanuts are ready to celebrate Halloween with football fake-outs, leaf-covered lollipops, parties, and trick-or-treating. Linus spends his night in a "sincere" pumpkin patch, waiting for the Great Pumpkin, who will bring all the good kids treats. Against her better judgement, Sally joins him. Charlie Brown has his own problems with trick-or-treat. Snoopy spends the evening battling the Red Baron.

Moved to Arsenic and Old Lace next. Mortimer Brewster (Cary Grant) just got married to the girl next door (Priscilla Lane) on Halloween night. His wedding night is about to take a turn to the spooky when he comes home to his maiden aunts' house to tell them about his new bride. They may look like sweet old ladies, but they have a macabre streak - they've been poisoning old men and burring them in the basement. His uncle, who thinks he's Teddy Roosevelt (John Alexander), believes he's digging the Panama Canal when he buries them. Mortimer's psychotic brother Johnathan (Raymond Massey) and the quack physician who did his face lift (Peter Lorre) and a gregarious local cop (Jack Carson) show up later and cause even more chaos. All the while, a poor taxi driver is waiting outside, wondering if he's ever going to have a job...or if the entire borough of Brooklyn has gone insane.

If you're looking for Halloween viewing that's a little spooky but not bloody, this hilarious black comic farce is absolutely worth checking out. It's worth looking up for Cary Grant's amazed facial expressions alone. John Alexander's delusional Teddy and his bugle steal the show.

Finished the evening with the most famous of the Bowery Boys horror comedies, The Bowery Boys Meet the Monsters. The Gravesends happen to own a lot that would be perfect for the kids in the Bowery to play ball on. Sach and Slip call on them to sign it over, but they have other ideas. The family includes a vampiress who wants their blood, at least two scientist who want what little brain they have, and a strange aunt who is determined to feed them to her hungry man-eating plant!

And here's hoping you had an equally fun and surprising Halloween!

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