If one were to think logically about this whole dreaded affair, teaching children to relish the thought of blood-soaked half-dead zombies ripping flesh might seem just a bit odd.
Nevertheless, in the old days, Halloween was one of the most anticipated nights of the year, and why not? It was on this date adults were mandated to give kids lavish amounts of free candy, and at what price? A silly disguise.
Most of our moms made us dress up as Casper the Friendly Ghost, meaning we wore a sheet with a hole for our eyes.
That’s because we were poor folks — we couldn’t run over to Target and spend 30 bucks on some plastic piece of crap.
When Davy Crockett was the big thing, we wore these god-awful coonskin caps, which looked like dead vermin on our head. Duh. That’s the way Davy liked it.
Crockett’s girlfriend: “Do you have to wear that thing to the movies?”
Davy: “I wear it every day.”
Girlfriend: “It’s a dead raccoon.”
Davy: “Want some melted butter on yours?”
A lot of the girls were ballerinas because they took lessons and already had the “costume” — meaning mom already paid for it once. That reminds me of Henny Youngman attending his first ballet:
Henny: “Are all those dancers on their tiptoes?”
Henny: “Why don’t they get taller dancers?”
We would go charging through the Brooklyn projects begging for candy amidst weirdos and sickos of every description. Among them were, no doubt, masochists and the like, who viewed chainsaws as tools of learning.
How perverted is it to fill impressionable minds with vivid images of blood-drenched skulls? What kind of world is ruled by the fiery dead who would eat slime? Who drives stakes deep into chests and then celebrates doing so?
We do. It is my contention that today’s mass murderers were the little ones of yore who enjoyed Halloween just a little too much.
Then there were the pervs. One guy “dressed up” as Overly Friendly Ghost. He talked in riddles and invited trick or treaters inside to play Tent City or Trapped Miner.
Nowadays, costumes are a fortune. All the super heroes are represented, of course. Every little girl wants to be Wonder Woman. Hell, I want to be Wonder Woman. Then there is the World T-Rex Inflatable Costume, which makes it difficult to run away from would-be predators like Casper.
And there is Donald. Orange, of course. A conversation piece to be sure, but this year, a new phenomenon — it looks like Alec Baldwin! ARGHHHHHHHHH.
For the most part though, trick-or-treating is a thing of the past. The end of the innocence began when some wise guy started putting razors in apples. To me, the most egregious thing was the apple — who the hell wants fruit on Halloween? You can always find something cool to do with a straight razor, at least in Brooklyn, especially on Halloween.
If you are smart, you should realize there is just so much you can mythologize. That for every creepy story there is a witch fomenting evil in the real world.
This year on Halloween, try this if you dare: Chant “Bloody Mary” in front of a mirror while staring at your reflection, in the dark preferably. She may be bloody, but she’s certainly not happy. Depending on the version you were given, the grotesque vision appears that has been known to pull little girls into the mirror. This is what happened to Samantha Bee.
Or, even worse — you could turn into a short ballerina.
Don’t kid yourself. Reality and myth are kissing cousins. For every story or myth concocted around a campfire, there is a real horror — presided over by the Prince of Darkness himself, Donald . . . (just kidding), the Root of All Evil, Beelzebub — Satan. His name may change but his game is the same: spiders and bats and snakes. Do you doubt me?
If you are reading this right now, mark these words: that heavy breathing you hear under your bed at the stroke of midnight on Halloween night might well be Casper the Overly Friendly Ghost under your bed.