Wednesday 30 October 2013

Old Jacket and a Burnt Cork

When I was going in to the library today, I saw a fairy princess. She was dressed all in white from her toes to the tip of her tiara, and her whiter than white wings sparkled with a thousand stars. She must have been just over a year and a half old, and her grandmother just couldn’t help but take a few pictures. Going in to the library, I was confronted with a tiny Iron Man and an equally tiny Thor. I suppose that some evil super villain could have blasted them with an age regression beam of some sort, but I would bet money that it had more to do with Halloween being tomorrow.
I picked up Hurricane and Tornado from school and daycare today and brought them home to help decorate the house for Halloween. They did a pretty good job and I like the idea that all of the decorations are no more than three and a half feet up the wall. They don’t work for free, and I wouldn’t expect them to, but they do work for gum and twizzlers. We also fed them some spaghetti and meat balls, but to tell the truth all that was eaten were the meat balls. When their mom picked them up, I sent them home with a treat bag as I am pretty sure we won’t see them tomorrow. They will be busy shaking down their neighbours for candy.

When I was watching that little princess earlier in the day, I couldn’t help but wonder what kind of a costume a real princess would wear on All Hallows Eve. Do you think that a real little princess would put on faded jeans, a t-shirt that reads “Mommies Alarm Clock” and a pair of scuffed, worn out running shoes and call herself a commoner? What would her neighbours think? Well, the ones in palaces would applaud the costume, but if she came around here, I would give her candy but mutter something about how she had not even tried.
I’ve mentioned that I was a mailman for most of my working career and none of the kids ever went out as a mailman. They had access to an authentic, perfect costume with all of the bells and whistles. I shouldn’t say never; I did dress Arwen as a mailman, but she was one and had no say in the matter. Incidentally, that might be the last time she didn’t have something to say. Those were the good old days…

I wonder if other families in similar situations had their kids dress up in their parents work clothes? Probably not, because I rarely, if ever, see little firemen, waitresses, city workers, construction workers or park rangers come up to the door demanding candy. I wonder why?

I remember a Halloween party when I was in high school. We were well into the party when there was a loud banging on the front door and a deep voice yelled, “Open up! It’s the POLICE!” Four of us were standing over the toilet ready to flush when I heard Don say “Fuck Bri, you scared the shit out of us!” There are times when dressing up as a cop isn’t a good idea. Okay, probably never.
There seems to be a move towards the more bloody and gory costumes. If there isn’t blood dripping from an exposed eye socket, it just isn’t a good costume. My favourite costume when I was a kid was that of a hobo. I’d wear one of dad’s old jackets, rub some burnt cork on my face and carry a stick with a bundle over my shoulder. That getup worked for years, and I got as much candy or more than the kids do today without any cash outlay at all. Plus, my parents didn’t have to come up with a more elaborate costume year after year.

Try giving your kids an old jacket and a burnt cork and see what they say.

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