Halloween was never a big thing back in New Zealand, which sucked for me. I've always loved it. I don't know if it was just a childhood love of all things teeth and claws, superhero and candy, but Halloween seemed everything that all other mainstream holidays failed to do. Not celebrating Christmas, Easter or Hanukkah in a big way, Halloween was the only thing left for me. I guess I could've dressed however I wanted any day of the week, but having a socially acceptable chance to mug strangers for lollies was all my Christmases come at once. Primarily because of the previously implied unorthodox Judaism. I wonder if there's a higher incidence of burglaries on Halloween, it seems so much easier. Just disappear into the crowds and ditch the costume. It seems the best time to re-enact the Dead President robbery from Point Break. Next year, Leon. We'll see if I'm starved enough for cash by then. Though I think I'd resort to call centre work before I'd stoop to armed theft. Not to disparage gun wielding criminals, I'm sure it's a career path that requires guts, dedication and a strength of spirit that call centre work just can't match. Never again (cue being employed in one within 3 months. Karma police no doubt punishing me for my lighthearted support of illegal activity), never again.
I used to roam the neighbourhood with my best friend and come back with shopping bags full of sweets. It never lasted half as long as you'd think it would, half of it consumed on Halloween night en route to getting more. My friend's family had a massive sack of dress-up stuff and we'd usually just raid the collection and amass some monstrosity out of whatever took our fancy. Like Voltron, but with an unfortunate lack of cat robots. Some strange concoctions we constructed over the years, mine usually involved this coarse fabric Hulk mask that typically lasted about 30 minutes before my saliva stain on the mouth of the mask and inefficient breathing holes became a legitimate concern. When my little Hulk knight spaceman vampire frame started swaying from side to side, oxygen deprivation taking its toll, it was time to shed the hood. Also it was pretty tough to eat any treats under it, a dealbreaker for the ages.
It's been a pleasure to see just how seriously they take All Hallows' Eve here in North America. In suburbia, lawns are littered with carved pumpkins, ghouls, gravestones, skeletons climbing out of burial mounds and an array of spooky decorations. We haven't even had Halloween night itself, but 2 weeks prior everyone started decking out their houses with horror ornaments and trinkets. It's one of the best things I've seen since I've been here. So far, here are my favourite costumes:
* A little girl dressed as a firefighter. She was wearing a helmet and cape, absolutely buzzing. Running down the sidewalk hollering out her best fire-truck alarm. It epitomised so much of what I love about the holiday. She was so wrapped to have the chance to be whatever she wanted and she chose a costume normally laden with gendered overtones. Oblivious to this, she was having the time of her life.
* Some woman on the TTC in what I can only describe as a literal embodiment of the word "zap". Bright green hair, plastic neon adornments, oversized lightning bolt earrings. Rad to the max.
* A bottle of Sriracha sauce, complete with nutritional information on the back.
* Boo from Monsters Inc. A great slapdash effort that multiplied the coolness of her hoodie by a factor of ten.
* Sharknado (which had me yearning for a Ghost Shark 2: Urban Jaws outfit. Next year, Leon), festooned with mini plastic sharks.
In a related note, I still have yet to see a great Sharktopus costume. Halloween isn't over yet.
I went as Al Borland (a quick googling of the correct spelling reveals the greatest horror of all: that there's a Home Improvement wiki. It was updated a mere 4 days ago. Fuck everything forever.) simply because I'm currently 2 weeks into a 3 week beard and I didn't want to shave prematurely. Hence my previous Ron Swanson idea kind of died (faced its Ron Swan-song, if you will). Still, I've got another Halloween party on Thursday. I could well find a moustache and a meat tornado to breathe some life back into everyone's favourite libertarian. I wonder if I can find a circular desk at short notice.