Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween Weekend....

Halloween Weekend!
As a kid you hope for it.
Long nights filled with candy, tricks, and pranks a plenty.
Halloween on a weeknight is hinky.
That's right.
I said hinky.
Going to school the next day?
No good. This always bothered me.
The only thing you liked about that as a kid...
Is before you departed your home for school
You could fill your pockets with your spoils.
Pixie sticks, taffy, various chunks of chocolate, and bubble gum.
Most of us that filled our pockets with candy for school.
Would learn the lesson of having chocolate
melt in our pockets not in our hands.
Something about taking large amounts of
candy to school made me happy.
It still does.

A Halloween weekend is like having a practice run.
You get two nights.
Plus a school day filled with an energetic buzz.
Friday night is open to various activities.
All day Saturday gives you time to prepare.
Then you get a late night Saturday.
So if you had a curfew you could really push it with your parents.


Today...
I'm preparing a haunted classroom and
disco dance for my newly acquired students.
Out the door to take advantage of any Halloween sales.
Then to the classroom to hang black lights, spider webs, disco balls,
and prepare the smoke machine.
Mix a few Halloween Dance tracks-
Jonas Brothers, Myley, a hokey pokey or two.
Maybe I can sneak some ABBA, Bee Gees,
and a touch of retro in between the Mambo No. 5.
I can hear the kids groan already...
"Mr. Mike? .... "that's old people music".... "my mom listens to that"...
The essential track to it all...
"Thriller"
The kids still go nuts for Michael Jackson.
They will play it over and over...

After the dance....haul it all home.
Set up my haunted lights outside.
Then maybe a night of spooky movies and carving pumpkins.
We might go out for a ghost walk or two......
haunted house perhaps, maybe visit a palm reader.

Perhaps we will go visit a certain friend
and arrive with a box of wine and enjoy a fire pit.

I love this time of year.

Every time I think of Halloween-I think of Ray Bradbury.
His imagery and words ring true with me.
I think of the Autumn People.
Dark carnivals...small towns... good and evil...
Adventure, thrills, and youth.

One of my favorite scenes is from the movie
"Something Wicked This Way Comes"
adapted from the novel of the same name by Ray Bradbury.



We butter our plain bread with delicious pain...

The movie had a few issues as a whole.
However it captures a few moments for me perfectly.
After I saw the scene with Jonathan Pryce and Jason Robards ....
I knew I wanted to be an actor.
I wanted to speak like that...
I went and memorized lines from Macbeth.
I had an illustrated version of Macbeth that my Mom had given to me.
She had hopes of getting me to read something
more than"Choose your Own Adventure" books.
You remember those books?.... Can you say? ...
Crapolla!
However it did get thousands of kids to read....
I was such a nerd.
I remember sitting on the monkey bars
with my other nerdy friends at recess.
Reading such newly acquired literary treasures from the school book sale.
You remember those?
School book sales?
In the eighties they packed the shelves with anything at these sales.
Buy a cheap crappy book and then use your change to buy
a cheap kitty poster? Or a lucky colored rabbit's foot?
To this day ... not sure what a lucky rabbits foot has to do with a book sale? or books?
Besides making money?
(The standards on these sales have gotten much better)

I remember being so happy with my lime green colored rabbit's foot.
Until I got home.
My mom informed me that it came from a real rabbit.
In my excited frenzy to purchase the foot... that fact had escaped me.
I went from excited- to disturbed.
I was now the owner of something I no longer
wanted to have any association with.

The thing was like the damn "Monkey's Paw". You remember that story?
Somehow due to my own selfish greedy needs.
I had fallen prey to those evil book sale people.
I was now the owner of an evil talisman.
A green rabbits foot.
All I knew is that I needed to rid myself of this damn green foot.
So I devised a plan...
Next day at school.
While everyone wast out on the playground.
I snuck back into class.
I found Jason Morgan's back pack.

Let me tell you about Jason.....
Jason Morgan ( As big as "Oregon".. or so we nicknamed)
was the fifth grade bully.
His hands were colossal. They looked liked stacked sausages.
He was in fifth grade and he already had "man hands".
At one time or another all the kids of the playground
would feel the pounding of those meaty clubs.
Jason was known to have a short fuse.
His whole body was already as big as Mr. Benson the fourth grade teacher.
You could tell that his mom or who ever nurtured this "mass of mean"
had sewn extra elastic on his jeans because he was so big.
Plus he had really bad breath.
When he pinned you down on the playground for a beating.
You could smell his breath flowing down onto your face.
A smell of five day old pajamas, syrup and peanut butter.
Most kids would start to do the vomit dance or dry heave due to the smell.

Once in a weekly fight with him... he had me pinned down.
During the very public beating .. I was able to glance to my left.
I saw a pile of old dog crap.
I devised a quick plan.
If I could just muster enough energy to lift my knee.
I could roll Jason off of me and directly into the dog crap.
If I succeeded I would be the most celebrated student of the entire school.
Jason might have beat me in a fight...
but I would have defaced him to public ridicule.

However...
Jason saw me starring at the pile of dog crap.
In one very fluid movement.
Jason picked me up and solidly planted my head into the pile of crap.
The public ridicule that was to be his.... was now all mine.

So months later...
With a proud smile I zipped that evil talisman into Jason's backpack.
I could think of no one better to receive such a gift.

A week later Jason Morgan and his family moved to Kansas.

In a way that rabbit foot did give me luck.

I hope that you all have a fantastic Friday night.
Halloween gift bundles have been sent out.
Go do something unruly and unexpected.
Talk with you all soon,
-Mike





5 comments:

Tina said...

OMG! Mike you made me laugh out loud over the monkey paw story!! Great story, loved it ! I remember book fairs and all those Schoolastic books and such at those and I had a room plastered with those cheep azz posters..lol..Happy Halloween!

Arcadia Living said...

Way cool story - instead of an actor you should have been a novelist - but wait - there is still plenty of time! (I was a big fan of the book sale as well.) - Happy Halloween - Patty

CeCe said...

Great read, Mike--My Halloween Treat!

Jack and Cat Curio said...

Happy Halloween you three. I wish you all the best!

AimeeInOhio said...

Oh Mike, Something Wiched This Way Comes is one of my fave movies- I watch it every Halloween...that and Rocky Horror Picture Show! LOL

I used to love the book sales. I never had any money, but I always went and looked through the books.

Hope you had a great Halloween- I love this time of year!

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