Friday, November 01, 2002

Sean and Jenn in their Hallowe'en bestHanding out candy to the kids is even more fun when you dress for it. Putting on Bach's Fugue in D minor and turning out all the lights helps to set the mood, too. Jenn handles the little kids, I get to deal with the big ones.

There's something innately fun about scaring people. You get to see them at their un-coolest. Base levels of pretension are stripped away and they react (whether they being scared by choice or by accident) as if their actions will affect whether they live or die. Young teenagers are the best to scare. They are close enough to childhood for their imagination to have strong hooks into their conscious behavior but are struggling with assuming a veneer of adulthood. I *love* to hear their voices wafting down the street because it means just one thing to me on Hallowe'en - VICTIMS.

When I'm getting set to scare them, I find that by not talking, I can be most frightening. If I need to make a sound, I hiss like an angry cat. I'm working on a deep-throated, evil laugh, too. The best gag we've worked out so far is to have Jenn answer the door while I sit about three metres back from the door in a big, wing-backed chair. Remember, we've turned out all the house lights and I'm at the end of a darkened hallway. I have my eyes closed and support the candy bowl on my lap with my gloved hands. When I assume this position in the costume, I look just like a mannequin. For the younger kids, Jenn will come back to me take a candy from the bowl and bring it to them at the door. To the older ones, she'll say in a scratchy voice, "Dearie, if you want some candy, you'll have to take it (pointing behind her) from him."

I let the first contestant, laughing nervously, take the candy freely while I sit, listening to the crinkling of candy wrappers, with my eyes closed. As soon as the second one reaches in, I pop my eyes wide open and half a second later, grab the frightened youngster's wrist as they try to extract it from the bowl. It's usually good for a yell or a scream. I unabashedly take great pleasure in this. After all, isn't being scary (and scared) what Hallowe'en is all about?

I can tell I'm fostering enjoyment of putting on a good show. Banana usually wants to join in on the fun and be my "assistant" when she's finished plundering the neighborhood and returns with her loot. Her bedroom window (in the basement) has a deep window well, and she has plans of covering it over with a fake grave and tombstone, then jumping out at people that get too close.

Hallowe'en is such a fun event.

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