Trial Balloon

Trial Balloon: October 30, 2009 Archive

The Halloween Scene

Posted at 5:05 AM on October 30, 2009 by Dale Connelly (33 Comments)

Tomorrow is Halloween and I'll spend the evening hunkered down at home.

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Somehow our neighborhood has become a trick-or-treat magnet for the surrounding area - we'll decorate the house on our usual "Eyeball" theme and be prepared for 500 costumed urchins at the door between 6 and 9 pm. This is now standard procedure. Our dog spends every November 1st in an exhaustion-induced half-coma, because after the first hour, "woof, woof" simply doesn't come close to saying all that needs to be said.

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Halloween is a young person's festival. When you get to be a certain age you start to feel your mortality and all this joking around about ghosts and crypts and zombies becomes less an entertaining fantasy and more a preview of coming attractions. But I do like seeing the costumes, especially homemade ones that show some creativity.

There was a time when I dressed up for parties. My favorite and most ambitious Halloween costume was "Vince", a sidekick sewn together with old mismatched and worn out clothes that I stuffed with newspaper and secured with a few stitches to a separate set of clothes that I could wear, so when I put the outfit on Vince and I appeared to be Siamese twins.

Vince's face was a gruesome rubber mask stretched over a Styrofoam head that was impaled on a sawed-off broomstick. The broomstick ran down into the middle of Vince's stuffed "body" where my left arm was hidden. By twisting the broomstick I could make his head spin around, and by jiggling the stick Vince's head would bounce up and down atop his frazzled old turtleneck to the great amusement of people nearby.

The two or three Halloween parties that Vince attended happened many years ago. Even though we were attached along the left side, I couldn't keep my eye on him all the time. He must have been doing some things over there caused the invitations to dry up. It's difficult to stay popular when you have to drag around such a creepy appendage.

Of course, Vince probably felt the same way.

What's your best-ever Halloween costume?

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