Be spooky but prowl safely on Halloween

During this magnificent stretch of our October fall 2013 edition, hopefully everyone was able to gather together and enjoy Thanksgiving

During this magnificent stretch of our October fall 2013 edition, hopefully everyone was able to gather together and enjoy Thanksgiving with family and friends, and probably ate way too much turkey and trimmings along the way? It would now be real nice if old man winter would stay away for a while so that the children can enjoy their annual ‘Halloween Howl’ on Thursday-October 31st, but then again we had better be prepared for what-ever Mother Nature may send our way.

While browsing through the stores, one will now quickly realize that the age-old celebration of Halloween has really changed ‘commercially’ over the years. They now have massive and often creepy displays of every type and style of costumes and masks imaginable, most coming complete with weird and trendy spray or glue on make-up and hair, flashing lights, strange noises, and very realistic accessories. Then not too far away are row upon rows of candy hand-out treats, some that make you queasy just to look at, but will give us lots of choice to give out on that hallowed eve, and will likely create a ‘sugar high’ amongst the younger set for the rest of the week?

Long gone are the days of cutting eye, mouth, and nose slots out of a bed sheet and going as a ghost, spending hours making card-board witch hats or angel wings and using the kitchen broom to pretend to fly, as well as making use of anything around the house or garage to create magic costumes that were sewed, stapled, and glued together for the occasion. If there were lots of kids in the family mom would keep those great costumes in a box as handy-me-downs for the younger set to carry on the fall tradition. I don’t know about you, but when my era of rug-rats started going out trick or treating (about 60 years ago) we always had to eat supper before invading the neighbourhood, wore three layers of clothes under our home-made costumes if it was cold, and had a big pillow case to collect our goodies. I vividly recall that when we dumped out our sacks at home we always had lots of neat treats such as popcorn balls, candy apples, jaw-breakers, life-savers, cookies, homemade candy, and on and on. In our grade school years we usually had to be home from our T & T spree by 8:00 p.m., but that was okay because we were usually worn out from our class Halloween party in the afternoon. We were also told to be polite when trick or treating and say thanks for whatever you get tossed into your bag.

I don’t really know what happens nowadays on that most frightful of dark nights, but our dad used to check our goodie bag as soon as we got home, snuck out a few treats to satisfy his sweet tooth, and then hid the rest away to be shared for school lunches and special occasions. Just for fun here a few Hammer hints for having a happy and safe Halloween adventure.

● Of course when we got into our terrible teen years we forgot about dressing up for Halloween and went out and played a few tricks around the neighbourhood. We had been for-warned by our parents and the Town cops not to do any damage, but what was wrong with tipping over a few outhouses, soaping windows, tossing a few eggs, and spreading toilet paper all over town? It is not meant to be a night for malicious vandalism, which can cause serious damage and injury to innocent citizens, resulting in very serious consequences. As adults we waited for the kids to enjoy their evening amongst the witches and goblins, then maybe dressed up and joined a house party or headed down to the local pub for some late night Halloween hoopla. If one was a little shy it was the perfect opportunity to put on a mask and wow the girls, but whatever the shenanigans we get into, we should always take along a designated pumpkin to drive home.

● If not accompanied by a parent it might be a good idea to encourage the kids to enjoy Halloween with buddies. Great 21st century couple outfits might include: Beauty and the Beast, the Adams family, Hansel and Gretel, He and She Terminators, Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber as the Odd couple, and Mike Duffy and Pamela Whalen as political paupers. Please make sure that your kids are dressed warm, can see through their costumes, and have a flashlight or a cell-phone handy. Hopefully the ‘Zombie crowd’ will come out later so that they don’t scare the little kids. At our homes on October 31st we should leave the porch light on and keep the dog tied up, and if we are out driving, please watch out for those precious little pranksters. After you have picked out the perfect pumpkin, get the whole family together and carve out a masterpiece, and then have a great week, all of you.

— Hammertime