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28 days: Halloween as a kid

October 3, 2008

A lot of people just plain don’t give a crap about Halloween. Sure, they loved it as a kid, but as an adult, it’s just a time where kids go begging for candy.

For me, even as a child, the candy was not the most important part of Halloween. I loved the chill in the air, the changing leaves, buying a costume, and the decorations. Walking through town at night, seeing witches in the window or skeletons hanging from the door was, and still is, a constant delight. Most places had the cheezy cardboard decorations that we all remember and are still popular today: The smiling skull with the yellow eyes, or the cloth ghost that hung from the tree in the front yard. Every once in a while, though, there was a house that went all out with every greusome decoration they could afford. Skull lights, clever jack-o-lanterns, even graveyards with tombstones made of plywood and plastic skeletal hands grasping from out of the grave.

Now, the decorations have gotten more technological, and that makes it so much better. Skeletons that move and yell when someone comes hear, cheap fog machines, outdoor lights shaped like bats that flicker in the night, realistic foam skulls, and of course fully articulated skeletons. I’ve always been a fan of Halloween decorations, and I think the innovation in the field has helped keep my love of Halloween alive, even after almost 30 years of enjoying it.

As a kid, I remember getting those cheap costumes with the plastic mask and the plastic coveralls that almost never resembled what you were supposed to be. Seriously, why would spiderman wear a white suite with his own name and picture on it? Yet, I loved them, and we could afford a new one every year, because you knew damn well that the crotch was going to tear right out the second you take your first step in it! I continued to trick-or-treat even into high school, I’m a little embarassed to say. The last time I went out, it was with my best friend, Dave, and a couple of his friends. I don’t really remember what I wore, but I remember we had more fun trying to scare each other than collecting treats. I learned that night that Jessie had the loudest, most ear-piercing scream on the entire globe.

Since I’m pretty much just rambling, I remember a time before that when I went out with my brother’s friends. Now, at the time, my brother and I idn’t really get along, as siblings rarely tend to do. So, it was a big deal for me for my brother to invite me along with his friends. When e had finished, we were heading back home, down a very dark and tree-surrounded street. One of the girls was getting scared, as she wasn’t a big fan of the dark. So, as we were going over a bridge, the daarkest part of that street, I screamed as loud as I could to scare her. Well, she wound up screaming too, then fell to her knees crying. My brother and his friends laughed, and I was a little sorry.

However, inside, I was little proud, too!

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