Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Trick-or-Treat for Halloween

Began a gorgeous Halloween with breakfast and a couple of specials. "Spook-a-Nanny" was the only cartoon written directly for the original Woody Woodpecker Show. Woody wants to attend a Halloween party with Andy Panda, Chilly Willy, Wally Walrus, and other Universal animated alumni. His boss Walter Lanz keeps him blowing up balloons for most of the episode. When he finally gets to go, the others play pranks to keep him out. He finally gets in with a ghost rock group, but forgets that he can't walk through the walls like they can.

Switched to a couple of shorts while getting my laundry together and stripping the sheets on my bed. Woody gets "Witchy Crafty" when a witch comes to him at a broom factory to have the handle of her flying broom fixed. Woody does the job, but he won't give it to her when she refuses to pay. He does everything he can to keep her out until she pays what she owes him.

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit also has a close encounter with a scary figure in "Spooks," a parody of The Phantom of the Opera. Ozzie's girl Miss Kitty (Ortensia) is Christine, whom the Phantom is enamored with. He gets her onstage, then takes off with her when she's a flop. Oswald goes after them, but the Phantom has a lot more tricks up his sleeve than the lovers think.

Tom of Tom & Jerry fame also encounters a witch in "The Flying Sorceress." Tired of having to clean up after his and Jerry's messes, he runs off to become the familiar of a witch. Her broomstick proves to be too great a lure. He takes it for a ride...but the witch isn't too happy about it when she catches him!

The laundromat was dead when I got in, not surprising for a gorgeous day and a holiday. Most people were probably at costume parties at work or school. Other than the sheets, I didn't really have a huge load, anyway. I worked on story notes while half-listening to the news and Days of Our Lives.

Put on Bugs Bunny's Howl-oween Special when I got home and folded my clothes and sheets. This is pretty much just a collection of bits from cartoons with a through-line of Witch Hazel chasing Bugs. At least we do get a few cartoons actually set at Halloween, including one where Witch Hazel thinks Bugs is a witch, and another where she turns Speedy Gonzoles into a copy of herself and he scares Daffy.

Moved to Halloween Hall of Fame while working on my own costume. Jonathan Winters hosts this vintage Disney special as a security guard on the studio lot who encounters a disgruntled jack-o'-lantern (also Winters) in the prop room. Seems Jack's hiding because he thinks Halloween isn't scary anymore. Winters shows Jack "Trick or Treat," "Pluto's Judgement Day," and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" to prove otherwise.

I was a fairy godmother this year. (Or a tooth fairy, as one of the kids trick-or-treating called me. I can roll with that.) I wore the cream-colored crocheted dress I bought at Goodwill a few weeks ago over a white t-shirt and a slip. I never did find white shoes to go with the outfit and just wore my sneakers. Added wings and a wand with a star-shaped, glitter-covered piece of foam on a wooden dowel, along with a sequined star tiara I bought for a Halloween party in college. The sneakers aside, I think it actually came out pretty cute. I am so glad I found that dress. It's so pretty, and it was perfect for the outfit.

Headed over to Dad and Jodie's promptly at 3. Most of the kids didn't really start coming out until almost an hour later. We got quite a few trick-or-treaters this year, probably due to the gorgeous weather. It was blustery but warm, probably in the upper 60's. The kids didn't need sweaters or jackets over their costumes this year.

Some of the neighborhood kids were really cute. Emily was Apple White from Ever After High, and her sister Mary was a black cat. Chloe was a deer Enchantimal, and her brother Bree was a ghoul. Savannah was a crazy cat lady, with her hair in curlers and stuffed cats sewn to a comfy red and black-checked robe. Her older brother Ryan was a character from the online video game "Fortnite." I saw Mario, a mini-Black Panther and Batman, another fairy in a rainbow tutu dress, a grouchy maiden in a velvet dress, a soldier, two Spongebob Squarepants, a nifty Maleficent who said she made her horns from aluminum foil, Dracula flourishing his cape, Princess Jasmine, Supergirl, Minnie Mouse, Iron Man, a small Spider Man, Thomas the Tank Engine, and a family with an infant Snow White, a dad Magic Mirror, a mom Evil Queen, and a boy ninja. Another family had a boy dressed as one of the scary animal characters from the video game Five Nights at Freddy's and a boy in a wheelchair who was a Minecraft character.

Rose showed up with Finley around 4:30-5. Finley was a ladybug in a frilly, poofy red and black dress. Her mother did her hair up in pigtails to look like feelers rather than make her wear the ones that came with the costume. She was too cute. Craig came around with Khai a bit later. Evidently, he was a character from Halo in a blue printed costume. Khai said he didn't feel good, especially his throat. Rose was worried that he had strep throat. I hope the sugar cookies I gave to him, his sister, and his parents cheered him up a little. (Dad and Jodie got cookies, too. I'll give most of the rest to Anny and her brood and Mom on Friday.)

We discussed Friday while eating quick tacos for dinner. It sounds like Dad and Jodie are going to drive me up there, drop me off at Mom's for a while to talk to her, then take me home after the memorial service. That's fine. I have work on Saturday and wasn't planning on staying overnight.

Went straight home after I left Dad and Jodie's. I was too jumpy to hang out long. I went to the bathroom, grabbed my orange Ann Taylor cardigan, and went back out to walk around before the parade started. I discovered, to my annoyance, that sometime between giving out candy and coming home, my right wings had started to come off and were sagging dreadfully, probably from having been blown around in the wind all day. Oh well. It couldn't be helped. I didn't have the time to fix them, so I just held one up when I could reach it.

Most folks finally started gathering at the Oaklyn School around 6:30. There were some awesome costumes here, too. Two of the pre-teen boys were a two-headed ghoul in gristly printed suits. An older lady had a gorgeous sequined witch's hat and matching cape. There was a unicorn, Pennywise from It, two Stay Puff Marshmallow Women, a cheetah, a girl Beetlejuice, two little Queens of Hearts, a mom Alice, a mom Wonder Woman and a dad Superman with another mini-Batman, Ant Man, two more Iron Men, an older Black Panther, a Dora Milaje warrior, a girl SWAT cop, two Super Girls (one a mom, one a tiny cute toddler), a younger Wonder Woman, a teen skeleton, a nerd, a bumblebee, the Joker, an infant mouse with a "mouse trap" carriage, a mini Chiquita Banana Girl, a boy in a Tyrannosaurus Rex full body costume, an engineer with a cardboard Thomas, a football player, Miguel and his great-grandmother from Coco in Day of the Dead skeleton makeup, a Stormtrooper and an Imperial TIE Fighter pilot, another Maleficent with awesome horns, a pretty little Devil's Bride in a fancy red dress, an infant butterfly, Abby Cadabby from Sesame Street, a mermaid princess, a spider in a furry costume, a fire fighter, Thanos from Infinity War, a red Power Ranger, and a kid vampire. Someone even had a chocolate lab in a jack-o'-lantern sweater.

For once, we actually started on time, around 7. We all strolled in a straggling group down West Clinton Avenue to the fire house. There weren't that many people out watching us, but it was dark, and most people outside of the one-block "downtown" district were probably either at the parade, at home, or at Tonewood Brewery or the Oaklyn Manor Bar enjoying their own costume parties.

Besides, I think most people were even more excited for the costume judging. I entered the 19 and over division, along with the mom Wonder Woman, dad Superman, and the beautiful witch. The witch deservedly won. The pitch-perfect Wonder Woman came in second. I was fine with third. I got five dollars (and a high-five from Superman).

Went straight into the shower after I got home and put my costume pieces away. After I got out, I finished out my Halloween programming as I went online to chat with Lauren. (Who, incidentally, looked awesome as current WWE woman's champ Ronda "Rowdy" Rousey today.)

Garfield's Halloween Adventure has Garfield and Odie dressing as pirates to collect some trick-or-treat booty. Garfield suggests they take a boat to gather even more candy. They eventually end up stranded on an island where pirates hid their treasure. Their ghosts come every Halloween to retrieve it and end up chasing Garfield and Odie as well.

Things are a little less spooky for the Peanuts in It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Linus is waiting in that sincere pumpkin patch for the annual (non) visit of the Great Pumpkin. Sally wants to be near her crush and joins him. Chuck has his own problems trick-or-treating and at Violet's party afterwards. Snoopy spends his Halloween fighting the Red Baron.

Ended my Halloween with Arsenic and Old Lace. Mortimer Brewster (Cary Grant) is a theater critic and confirmed bachelor who just got married to the girl who lives next door to his aunts in Brooklyn (Priscilla Lane). Mortimer's aunts Abby (Josephine Hull) and Martha (Jean Adair) take care of his Uncle Teddy (John Alexander), who believes he's Teddy Roosevelt. Mortimer is horrified to learn that Teddy isn't the only loon in the family. His aunts use poisoned elderberry wine to kill off lonely old men and has Teddy bury them in the basement (he thinks he's burying yellow fever victims). Even as Mortimer tries to figure this out, his insane criminal brother Johnathan (Raymond Massey) and his plastic surgeon and partner in crime Dr. Einstein (Peter Lorre) turn up and pretty much holds the entire group hostage. Meanwhile, Mortimer's new bride wants to go on her honeymoon, and a local cop (Jack Carson) is trying to figure out just what is going on with these sweet old ladies.

Black comedy benefits from Grant's comic timing, especially as the bodies pile up in the second half, and from the play's original cast members Hull, Adair, and Alexander as the two older women who think they're doing these men a service and bugle-loving Uncle Teddy. If you're a fan of Grant or Lorre and like your humor toasty-dark, you'll want to make this part your yearly Halloween viewing, too.

And speaking of, I hope all of my readers had a safe and spooky Halloween!

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