Saturday, October 31, 2015

Mostly Treats, No Tricks

I started a sunny, windy Halloween with a knock at the door at quarter after 8. It was Charlie, saying that the electrician was there. He'd be upstairs in 40 minutes or so, after they worked on the wiring downstairs. I had to move everything along the right wall of the back room over so they could check on the plugs on the right wall and get them wired for electricity.

I tidied the apartment and made the bed while watching holiday specials. Piglet's not enjoying the spookiest day of the year in Boo to You Too! Halloween scares him silly. Pooh says they won't have Halloween so Piglet will relax. When Tigger, Gopher, and Eeyore complain, Pooh and his friends become determined to prove to their porcine buddy that Halloween is nothing to be afraid of.

Raggedy Ann and Andy and the Pumpkin That Couldn't Smile sends the rag doll twins and their beloved rag pooch Arthur on a Halloween mission. They want to bring a pumpkin who was abandoned at a booth to a sad little boy who's aunt refuses to let him go out with the other kids for trick or treating.

Woody Woodpecker's having a less frightening holiday in the only episode of the 60's Woody Woodpecker to feature a new cartoon, "Spook-A-Nanny." After spending most of the episode blowing up balloons for his boss Walter Lanz, Woody is ready to enjoy a Halloween party with other Lanz stars like Chilly Willy, Wally Walrus, Buzz Buzzard, and Andy Panda. The others play tricks to keep him out of the party. He joins a ghost music group to get in, but he can't walk through the walls like they can.

Bugs Bunny deals with Witch Hazel in Bugs Bunny's Howl-oween Special. This one is a mix and match of several Halloween and horror-themed Looney Tunes shorts. Sylvester tries to evade a Tweety who has turned into a monster. Witch Hazel wants to use Bugs for a potion, but he uses magic words against her instead. Sylvester and Porky have a close encounter with a pack of mice who don't want them staying in their decaying house.

Headed to the Farm Market around 10:30. Holiday or no holiday, they were very busy with people picking up produce for Halloween and birthday parties. I watched the alpacas - two brown ones this time - munch on hay. Brussels sprouts were out today for the first time this season, but I have plenty of green veggies at the moment. I ended up with two sweet potatoes from the organic booth, cranberries, and small apples. The people at the organic booth were in costume. The girl who sold me the potatoes was dressed as a cow, complete with a "Eat chikin" sign.

Max and Ruby are having their own fun at Halloween. "Max and Ruby's Perfect Pumpkin" has to be the best in the pile at the grocer's. While Ruby tries to choose one, Max chases candy. "Max's Jack O' Lantern" will be carved by Grandma when Max and Ruby draw the face. Ruby wants it to be a happy face, but Max wants it to be scary! Max wants it to be "Max's Big Boo" and scare his sister. Ruby isn't a bunny who's easily scared...but she might have a scare for her brother!

I was Little Red Riding Hood this year. I wore a cape I found at a yard sale a few years ago (I think it was actually a wrap skirt from a dance costume, but it works), a vintage apron with red rickrack trim I picked up from Frugli in Collingswood a few years ago, a red flower and gauze hair band, pearly red plastic beads, and my heavy red tunic sweater and white long-sleeved t-shirt. I wore the apron over my work pants. I figured I'd be doing too much riding around today for a skirt.

Charlie and the electrician finally showed up here around 11:30, as I was making lobster cakes and a spinach salad for lunch. They fiddled in the back room while I was putting on my makeup for my Little Red Riding Hood costume. It took all of ten minutes before they were gone again. I headed for Dad's shortly after.

It was still a perfect fall day at that point. There couldn't have been a nicer day for trick or treating. The sun was out. The sky was blue. It was windy and chilly, but not abnormally so for this time of year. Oaklyn's trick or treat started at noon this year, since it's Saturday and the kids are off. I didn't really see any kids until 1. After that, I saw plenty of them.

There were some cute costumes. One group consisted of a Blue Man, a werewolf, and a very polite doctor in surgical scrubs who called me "Miss Red Riding Hood." There was an Eagles football player, a Native American maiden and her black cat mama and werewolf papa, two Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, a toddler Anna, several witches, Wonder Girl, Batgirl, and Iron Man. I really enjoyed giving out candy. They were all great kids. Even the older kids who didn't wear costumes at least had makeup or masks. I had mini roast beef hoagies between kids. I did get to say "hi" to my sister Rose and see my nephew Khai dressed as the red Power Ranger before I had to rush off to work.

I went straight to work from Dad's. I'm disappointed more employees weren't in costume. I saw one woman dressed in a witch hat and a Halloween shirt and another woman in a Halloween shirt. Otherwise, I was the only one. Work itself wasn't bad. It was busy when I came in and trick-or-treating was just getting started most places. By the time my relief was arriving, trick-or-treating and other local events were in full swing, and we were, pardon the pun, dead as a doornail.

Went straight from the Acme to the Oaklyn School for this year's Town Halloween Parade. By this point, it had gotten cloudy and much cooler. I shivered as I rushed as fast as I could into town. I don't think the crowd was quite as big as last year, but it was still pretty crazy when I arrived. Most of the kids were running around on the School's lawn, ignoring that they were getting grass stains on their costumes. A ragged but energetic troop finally marched (and pushed her bike) down West Clinton Avenue around quarter after five. Everyone waved to the few people lining the street or watching from their homes. (Most folks were probably walking with their kids!)

Some of the kids at the parade had some creative costumes, too. My favorite was the Classic Nintendo family, with a mom Princess Peach, dad Yoshi, and twin Marios. A very tired toddler wore a huge cardboard girl robot costume, complete with ruffly skirt. A little boy was a fireman in a cardboard firetruck. A neighbor's daughter was Ariel. There was a group of boys in black light costumes, complete with black light box masks and purple lights on their arms. I saw two police officers (including a girl), a pretty Cleopatra in a gauzy gown, a cute female "nerd" in a  plaid skirt and a big bow, a "baby" in footie pajamas and pigtails, an older Supergirl, several black cats, another Anna, Captain America, a darling toddler Cheer Bear, and two Minions - an adorable year-old baby and an older boy in a huge, heavy cardboard costume.

Even I competed this year. I joined the 13 and over category. Competing with me was a pink teddy bear teenager and three of the moms. One mom was a gypsy, one was Jem of Jem and the Holograms in a sparkly sweater and skirt and pink wig, and the other was Princess Peach. I thought Peach or the Gypsy would win first for sure...but much to my shock. I won first place! (Peach came in second. The gypsy was third. The teen teddy and Jem got honorable mentions.) I even got to take two small bags of Tootsie Rolls home. (Incidentally, I won ten dollars. Good. That'll buy me a decent lunch somewhere this week. I haven't been to Jalepeno's Grill or the Westmont Bagel Shop in a while.)

When I got home, I washed off the makeup, put the bits of my costume away, and continued with more Halloween programming I didn't get to earlier. Garfield and Odie dress as pirates to try to capture some nautical trick-or-treat booty. What they didn't expect was for Garfield's Halloween Adventure to get so darn spooky when they're stranded on an island that's haunted by pirate ghosts who are after their treasure!

Young Eukeriah Who has a spooky adventure of his own in Halloween Is Grinch Night. A sour sweet wind has sent the Grinch a'prowlin' on the mountain with his cart of bizarre psychedelic scares. Lost in the mountains, Eukeriah takes it upon himself to make sure the Grinch and his cart never make it to Whoville.

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown for Linus when he awaits the title character on Halloween night in a "sincere" pumpkin patch. A smitten Sally joins him. Meanwhile, Charlie Brown has trick-or-treat problems of his own. Snoopy would rather fight the Red Baron.

Switched to Arsenic and Old Lace next. In this 1944 version of the hit stage black comedy, drama critic Mortimer Brewster (Cary Grant) is having a very hectic Halloween night. He just married the girl next door (Priscilla Lane) after being against marriage for years. He discovers when he comes home to Brooklyn to arrange their honeymoon that his kindly maiden aunts have been poisoning lonely old men with no family for years and letting their son, who thinks he's Teddy Roosevelt, bury them in the basement. As Mortimer tries to figure this out, his crazed killer brother (Raymond Massey) shows up, with another body and his dubious plastic surgeon (Peter Lorre) in tow. And the local cop on the beat (Jack Carson) would rather talk about his new play than listen to Mortimer's blather about bodies in the basement. Mortimer has to figure out how to get his brother out of the house and his aunts out of trouble, before he ends up being a body in the basement!

This dark farce is a great showcase for several character actors and a lot of fun for Grant as the everyman who beginning to wonder just how much insanity gallops in his family. (I like Uncle Teddy - he and his bugle steal the show.) If you want Halloween scares that are dark but not too gory, try this strange comedy on for size.

Finished out my Halloween marathon with an episode of The Monkees. "Monstrous Monkee Mash" is one of the stranger of the very odd later second season episodes. When a vampiress leads Davy to a castle inhabited by her uncle Dracula and several other monsters, the other three come to their diminutive British friend's rescue.

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

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