The pumpkins have rotted, the teeth have also rotted from all the candy and there is a faint sound of Jingle Bells in the air. That can only mean Halloween is over for another year. The cauldrons have been scrubbed, the black cats are on the dole and I no longer have an excuse for a house full of cobwebs.
Wherever possible, we spend Halloween away. Because it’s our Anniversary. We leave our black cat at home and bugger off on holiday. Usually camping, but this year we raided our piggy banks and
tricked our way into treated ourselves to a cottage. It was really pretty; covered in sweets. And the old lady who handed us the keys insisted on giving us a demonstration on how the oven worked. We decided to always eat out.
Whilst in our pretty cottage, we found ourselves with one particularly gloomy, rainy day and voted to spend it lazing on the sofa under a blanket in front of the wood-burning fire. There was some perusal of social media. We’d not banned it from our holiday, but we weren’t much bothered with it. The words ‘Candy’, ‘Pointless’, ‘Random’ and ‘Halloween’ burned into my eyes from Twitter Land and like a bee to a honey pot, I was in.
An invitation to partake of a Halloween themed quiz!
It sounded like the most perfect way to spend an evening in a strange house in a secluded village, miles from home.
So here we are.
1. What are your thoughts on green pea soup?
My thoughts are that it sounds like something made with vegetables. So that’s a big fat no from me.
2. Would you rather be Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy or Sarah Jessica Parker?
It would have to be Bette. That voice! One of my all time favourites. Goosebumps every time. Don’t know Kathy. No strong feelings about SJP.
3. Do you carve pumpkins or do you consider it to be a violation of their civil rights?
Do I carve pumpkins? DO I CARVE PUMPKINS?? DO I CARVE PUMPKINS???
Behold. Exhibit A:
As you can see from these not very great quality pictures, I have been known to carve the odd pumpkin or two.
4. Have you ever screamed whilst watching a horror movie? (Legitimate screaming, not mere gasping or knocking over your wine glass.)
5. Who was the actual killer in the original “Friday the 13th” movie?
Would it have been the one with the knife/axe/chainsaw/machete/banjo/pointy gloves?
6. As a young child and presumed trick-or-treater, did you carefully plan the streets and houses you would conquer, or did you rush up to each one you could find, full of great expectations, thus setting you up for a lifetime of disappointment?
Too presumptuous. I don’t ever recall going trick or treating so I may have been too young/traumatised/drunk. Wasn’t really a thing in the UK back in the day. But I feel fully equipped to do this as an adult. Always disappointed whenever I’m ready to conquer.
7. As an adult and presumed non-trick-or-treater (not judging if you still do), have you ever turned off your porch light on Halloween night because you just weren’t in the mood and/or somehow forgot it was Halloween despite the candy displays that have been in every grocery store since Labor Day?
Have very rarely been at home for Halloween for the past 14 years as per my intro, but when we have, always been at the ready with the cheapest sweets we could buy for the little darlings. Only rule; no costume, no candy.
8. If dared, would you stand in front of a mirror and repeat “Candyman” five times?
Only in broad daylight and only if guaranteed that he would actually bring candy.
9. Do you remember the time when you could safely eat anything in your collected stash of treasures without fear or worry?
Yes. And I can also remember when my eyesight was good enough to pick through the ingredients list to wheedle out what I couldn’t or didn’t want to eat!
10. Do you remember the time when those treasures might be popcorn balls or candied apples because grownups made an effort to do it up right for the children of the neighborhood? And we would say thank you, ma’am, and really mean it?
Nah. Kids have always been little shits. Did anyone really make that much effort for them? Maybe back when we didn’t have to work 47 hours a day and could afford to put the gas on.
11. Do you believe in ghosts? Spirits? Lingering traces of what once was?
I don’t disbelieve. Someone once suggested to me that ghosts are in fact time travellers from the future, they just haven’t got the technology quite right yet. And I guess them wearing clothes from days of yore is just fashion still doing its cycle.
12. Have you ever read “Something Wicked This Way Comes?” (Because Ray Bradbury is a master, and you should.)
That sounds like reading. An activity I’m ashamedly neglectful at.
13. If you were raised in a country or culture that doesn’t observe Halloween, do you have a similar holiday or time of year? We all have shared experiences, but they often go by other names…
Who doesn’t do Halloween? Make them.
14. Did you (or your parents) make your own costumes as a child, or were they store-bought? We always made our own, because we were broke-ass poor most of the time. (Slight exaggeration, but not by much.) Example: I once sauntered out as Dolly Parton, using slightly-deflated soccer balls to represent her signature anatomy as well as my own mother’s green-velvet mini-skirt, because it was the 70s and women actually had such things in their closets. It took me a few years to come out of my own closet…
Never did Halloween costumes. But as a college student I did once go to an Alice In Wonderland themed fancy dress party. (It was actually a barbecue in the woods, so it was quite scary, but a story for another time). I went as the ‘Drink Me’ bottle, which consisted of a bedsheet with bottle-like features drawn on, a very large weighty cardboard label hung round my neck and a piece of wrapped pipe to make a red and white stripey straw.
15. What are your thoughts on school systems and communities having “Fall Festivals” instead of “Halloween Parties”? My opinion? The overwrought religious folks who want to dilute the innocent fun of Halloween (because it’s all about Satan!) are doing a disservice to the very children that they are pretending to protect. Let the children use their imagination, because it’s the most important thing about them, and without that imagination, we stagnate.
My thoughts are ‘Get over yourselves!’
16. Did you ever read a scary book, in your bed and under the covers, with a flashlight?
I read the news on my phone under the covers (so the light doesn’t disturb my partner) if I can’t sleep, does that count? That can be pretty scary and now thinking it may be why I can’t sleep.
17. Who is your favorite horror author, if you read such? If you don’t, why are you still taking this quiz? Just kidding. Sort of. (Alternative question: What author best reminds you that life is far too short to read anything that isn’t worth your time?)
I refer you back to Q12. Let’s move on shall we…….
18. What horror movie series starred a young Johnny Depp in the first instalment?
Finally, we come to my specialised subject. The answer is the one with the pointy gloves.
19. Would you rather walk through a remote cornfield in the middle of the night, talk to a clown that you discover in a sewer grate, be the winter caretaker at the Overlook Hotel, live in the last house on the left, sign the guest register at a questionable motel that features a taxidermy theme, or use an ATM in the bad part of town at 3AM?
Kinda did the ATM at 3am thing. We believe we were being lined up for a mugging. I felt safe as my partner is a black belted Martial Arts instructor. But it was very scary. True story. Remote cornfield? That’s a big fat no too.
20. If you were to write a horror story about your own life, would you change the names of the people who did you wrong?
Yes. But I’d publish their real addresses.
21. If you were offered the chance at everlasting life, albeit with some not-so-good side effects like having to suck the lifeblood out of innocent people who happened to be in the Ikea parking lot at just the wrong time, would you do it?
We’ve all been in an Ikea parking lot at the wrong time, so that does seem harsh. Live forever? With these maniacs?
22. Of all the people who have passed before us, known or unknown, who would you most like to see sitting across from you at a table in a tapas restaurant in southern Spain, with that golden sun making everything surreal yet perfect, and you can just talk and talk and talk? Because I shouldn’t end this thing with real horror, but with love, and remembrance, and hope, and peace, and the imagination of little Dolly Partons in green-velvet mini-skirts who clutched a bag of treasures and briefly thought that everything was right as rain…
My Grandma and David Bowie.
Well folks, that was fun wasn’t it? Feel free to copy the questions and make up your own answers. I don’t think any copyright laws are being infringed by doing that. If they are, then you didn’t hear it from me.
You could also do yourselves no harm whatsoever by taking a peek at the very wickedly funny Barb Taub whose Twittery Tweet was responsible for dragging me down this path.
If the oddball in you likes this sort of thing, you are cordially invited to have a rummage through The Lockwood Echo. Sometimes it’s weird, sometimes it’s sad, sometimes it’s very angry and shouty. But always there’s humour, always there’s heart. Mine. In pieces.
I Tweet too.