It's the first Obligatory Holiday Content of the season! Yay!!!
I absolutely love this time of year. Since Halloween is fast approaching, I'd like to inaugurate the Halloween Costume Count (and Inadvertent Pop-Culture Barometer) on this blog.
All you have to do is list what the kids in your neighborhood are dressed as this year. It's a lot of fun to see which costumes fluctuate in popularity and which kids are the most creative.
I have noticed that every year Princesses, as a group, are most popular among girls with no one character taking the top spot. Superheroes are most popular with boys with a different character being most popular each year, often depending on who's most visible in the public consciousness that year (I got a lot of Batmans last year for example).
Last year (checking my retired MySpace page again; I've been "rescuing" old posts from my retired websites), I had well over fifty kids Trick-Or-Treating over the course of two hours, peaking around 8:00. This is the time of year where I learn that my neighborhood is full of
As far as strange Trick-Or-Treaters, I once had an entire family of seven - including grandma - in creepy masks (it's funny how Halloween is such a Weirdness Censor; a masked family crashing into my porch and begging for candy at any other time of year would be... worrisome). I also had Wonder Woman and her dog (she was carrying her little terrier around as she traveled the neighborhood; I'm sure the dog loved this), and a "Red Sox Fan" -- a paper fan with socks pinned on.
Now, this picture is from last year, but it illustrates an important issue that some of you may be facing this week: What to do with all those pumpkin seeds? Yes, all those seeds came out of this one little Sugar pumpkin (IMO, your best bet for simple carving). Some people like to roast and eat them, but I mix them in my bird seed. The local Cardinals go nuts for them, so they are worth saving.
Last year, I wasn't sure what to do with the "meat" (does that word really apply to a plant?) I've since found a recipe that, it it's good, I may share in a future post as it could work for Thanksgiving as well. If I don't mention this recipe, you may feel free to assume that it was either a failure or the meat wound up in the compost pile.
"It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!" airs tonight at 8:00PM. You may be aware that there was a book published a couple of years ago, Schultz and Peanuts and that it caused a bit of a sensation in cartoon and comic fan circles. There's an excellent article about the book written by Bill Watterson, who manifested in our Dimension for the first time in many, many moons to weigh in on the controversy. Now, I couldn't help but think of all this the last time I watched "Great Pumpkin", "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving", "It's the Easter Beagle", and especially "A Charlie Brown Christmas". Apparently, many people were surprised at the book's revelation that Schultz was somewhat bitter and angsty, and that this was a huge surprise as there was no indication whatsoever of this in the happy-happy sunshine world of "Peanuts".
Don't get me wrong, I love the Peanuts specials and have nothing but deep admiration for the comics, but there's no effing way these characters were born out of an optimistic, "people are wonderful" mind.
Anyway, this year "Great Pumpkin" is taking second-billing to something called "Monsters Vs. Aliens Vs. Evil Pumpkins", which I have seen approximately one-million commercials for compared to about three ads for "Great Pumpkin".
For your enjoyment, here is a link to "Disney's Halloween Treat" on YouTube. Disney Channel brats will remember this one. Dig the creepy low-budget 80's horror movie effects.
Note that part one starts with the notoriously nightmare inducing Evil Satanic Laser Mickey company logo. I'm warning my fellow born-in-the-late-70's people so they can fast-forward through the Nightmare Fuel. For older (or younger) people, just try to imagine having to get through this in order to watch "Winnie the Pooh" or "Mary Poppins" or something.
We'll close with one of the best Halloween songs ever created (that doesn't involve Tim Burton or Vincent Price):