Harmony County

2011 & 2009 Winner of "Best Humor Column" awarded by the SC Press Association

The prices are twice as scary

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“From ghosties and ghoulies and long leggedy beasties and things that go bump in the night, Lord protect us.” An old Scottish prayer.
Halloween or All Hallow’s Eve is my favorite holiday. There are bunches of legends concerning the origin of the celebration. One of the most popular is the Druid feast of Samhain (Pronounce it anyway that suits you. It is an old Celtic word, therefore unpronounceable.) Anyway it is supposed to be a combination of harvest festival, a ridiculing of the powers of death, a prelude to All Saint’s Day and an excuse to have a big drunken brawl where nobody knows you because you are wearing a mask. I am going with the last one.
Back in the day when I was a kid and the Druids still roamed wild and free we made up our own costumes. As you can well imagine mom’s linen closet got raided. The end result there were many of the aforementioned ‘ghosties’ wandering the streets in what suspiciously looked like a modified pillow case. If you were on a sports team the uniform would be brought out and “Lone Ranger” type mask, a black rag with eye holes cut in, would complete the outfit. If your mom was handy with a needle she might whip up a Snow White or Cinderella outfit for the girls. But by and large costumes were improvised.
Even the dogs got costumes. I remember one year when Snert the Wonder Dog dressed up like the devil complete with a red cloak and horns. There was no sense in not bringing the pups along because most of them would break out of the house and go trick or treating on their own.
The kids and their pets traveled in packs. It was not unusual for ten or so kids hit some poor, unsuspecting soul’s porch at the same time. Then the chorus of “Trick or Treat” “Happy Halloween” or “Woof” would be heard and the open bags would be thrust out in anticipation. The pooches did not have bags and just ate the treat right there, wrapper and all. There were some sick doggies the next day.
Now the holiday has spread to many countries. Not because the Druids have been busy proselyting their original tree hugging religion, but for the most common and crass reason. People can make a pile of money from it.
I was in a Wally World the other day and there were aisles upon aisles of everything you could imagine to satisfy your spookifying needs. Costumes galore. ‘Spider Man’ is very popular this year. Plastic pumpkins, witch’s hats of every color in the rainbow, plastic skeletons and all manner of decorations. There was even President Obama masks. Now that was very frightening. If you want to get a rise out of folks wear that to the next meeting of the local Republican Party.
This year I intend to scare the daylights out of everybody. I am dressing up like an IRS agent.© 2014, Jim McGowan

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Written by harmonycounty

October 30, 2014 at 4:42 p10

Posted in Americana, Humor

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