A Halloween tale: For real’s!
I always looked forward to Halloween, the chill in the air was a harbinger that the soote season was only a couple of months away. Halloween is the FUN holiday, when we can be a spook or a hero. It was a Halloween long ago that this tale took place. The year before I was Superman, so young always being the good guy, not if you asked my babysitter I was not–this Halloween I wanted to be a preternatural horror. The Devil was too… I don’t know Catholic and this was the year I lost my religion ( a tale for another day ) so I looked for another bad guy. Frankenstein monster blah! a werewolf? please My uncle Felix looked like one everyday of his life.
A mummy! That was it, undead from a mysterious land, what could be better? So I had the usual wrappings set up but it wasn’t quite right—I wanted something to scare the shit out of the redheaded girl I was crushing on ( I know too Charlie Brown but such was my life ) and had seen the perfect ghoul mask in the store earlier that week.
I planned to wrap the mask and be some kind of demon mummy, I put out the word making sure RHG knew to be on the look out. So of course mom waited to the last-minute ( the lady and her adult responsibilities PFFT! ) to go the shopping center and get the mask at Woolworth. So, I get home and of course I had to go through the parent torture of being told to do my homework and chores. So when I was done mom broke the bad news, they had run out of ghouls, devils, vampires—-but not to despair she got a mask of one of my favorite cartoon characters, ok??? Spidey is going to look strange but maybe I can just wear the mask, Iron man? Ok, he’s cool. She pulled the mask from the bag…
EXCUSE ME A MINUTE I NEED A DRINK–FLASH BACK!
So from the bag, lo and behold!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Woody woodpecker! MOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It seemed like forever, before I realized how fucked I really was, if I didn’t deliver on my promise of macabre mastery my schooldays looked bleak, my chances to NAIL the RHG ( what ever that was exactly ) were shot, no velvety red lips would kiss me, no treat for me. I told mom how she had utterly destroyed me but mom was not having any of it. I could be wrapped half-assed with old whitish T-Shirts or go as woody, my choice she said—Gee thanks.
I don’t remember fully how the argument went but I remember with stark clarity the result. I could stay home and be harassed by classmates for a week or so for being a chicken shit, I could go as a mummy boring the RHG to death, what I could not do was miss Halloween. Like they say candy before HOHO’s, they say that somewhere I’m sure. I told Mom to wrap me-up; she disagreed with my choice but knew me well enough to discourage me when I set my mind on something, I promised something special and G-DAM I was going to deliver come hell or high water.
I waited until it got a bit dark most of my friends had come by so I was confident I would minimize damage to my ego. Out into the dark I went, yes I got looks but not the kind I was hoping for. Adults back then were more polite and said hey that’s some costume Kid. But I knew they would never let their kids go out in my get-up, So fucking what, I still got candy—-then it happened the big kids found me so of course they made me take the mask off, holy shit did they laugh. So I get to the RHG HOME, Trick or Treat my love! She said, giggling wildly, “woody wood pecker as a mummy , you’re silly Jack.” Ouch! Was that glass breaking? Oh, no it was my pre-pubescent heart being smashed.
Got home and buried my head in a bucket of candy–years later I learned women do the same but with ice cream when heart-broken–I mean I was used to ridicule having to wear a bow tie as part of my school uniform, but this feeling was different being called silly meant one thing, I was in THE FRIEND ZONE with RHG. So, I went to school and saw my Love and marched straight up to her and she spoke…
THIS IS THE TIME YOU PROBABLY EXPECT A JOHN HUGHES MOVIE ENDING AND…
Please!!!!!! people of course I did not get the girl, this is real life. In truth had I had a little more imagination I could have made the woody mask look evil but those were my salad days.
The rest of the week I walked like the king of dweebs down the school hallways, not feeling bad because I never let the other kids be the boss of me, and what do you know? I had made an impression on the RHG but that’s a tale for another night.