I Was a Teenage Halloweeny

I’m not going to beat around the bush here. I frigging hate Halloween. I didn’t always hate Halloween. During my formative years as a pumpkin, bunch of grapes, hunch back of Notre Dame, and mummy, I truly enjoyed the day. The getting ready, the traipsing through the leaves in search of treats. And of course getting home to find the elusive Vanilla tootsie roll in the bottom of my candy bag.
But somewhere around high school I started to hate Halloween. It was a gradual process but the culmination might have something to do with the fact that I was egged walking home from school in 8th grade.
I remember the day vividly. I had already hit puberty (hooray) and was starting to feel older. Enjoying school and the teenager I was becoming, I was finally in control of my future. I was walking home wearing my Vancouver Grizzlies jacket and carrying my trumpet… ya know, the apex of cool.
So there I am, jauntily swinging my trumpet with a song in my head when several dooshy kids younger than me run up and throw eggs at me. One, two, three? Who knows how many chicken babies were wasted in such senseless violence?
They didn’t punch me, or steal my trumpet, or do anything else. They just stood there laughing at me. And I wasn’t really a tough kid…I’m still not. To this day the only man I’ve ever punched was a snowman. So when these kids threw eggs at me, I didn’t really have much retaliation. Seeing as I don’t regularly carry grocery items of my own with me, I couldn’t really do much at all.
However I was not alone. No sir. Thank god that old woman was walking behind me. The egging happened and I stood there in disbelief like I had just been slimed on Double Dare… even though I had NOT agreed to take the physical challenge. And the old lady behind me says something to the effect of, “Hey, that wasn’t nice, apologize!” Which I’m sure they probably did. Thank you old lady, we sure showed them.
If my memory serves me correctly, for the next 4 years I came right home from school and went immediately to bed. I didn’t want to have anything to do with Halloween. Just give me some candy corn and get out of my face.
My point is there was a distinct moment in my life when Halloween went from being cute fun to absolute nonsense and insanity. By time I got to college, with my Halloween chip firmly implanted on my shoulder the day had become mostly about getting drunk at a place where you could see girls dressed in slutty costumes. Naughty Cop? Excellent. Naughty Nurse? A classic. Naughty Nun? Quite the juxtaposition!
Other spectators who criticized were mostly women who exclaimed, “It’s just an excuse for girls to be slutty!” Good observation, I am glad we are both fans.
Granted at this point I had become predisposed to hate Halloween but even my attempts to love it had been met with defeat. Around senior year when I was coerced into putting together a last minute costume for a party, it was a let down. My friend and I spent a considerable amount of time setting my clothes on fire in the driveway so that I could be “Struck by Lightening.” And after some clever hairstyling and makeup I was ready to embrace the night again.
But struck by lightening is no bunch of grapes, and nobody understood my costume. They just kept asking why I had soot on my face and smelled like smoke. I would tell them. They would grimace and just walk away.

I should have been Naughty Struck by Lightening.
I am older now. And the pressure to do something on Halloween is not necessarily as great. Sure there are parties and functions of a classier variety. But a large part of the population still spends the night dressing slutty and getting drunk. And my fear of being egged remains.
So I was excited to be part of a group costume. My sister had slotted me for a role in her group of “Three’s Company,” the hit television show that mixed 1 part mischief with 1 part social norms for a result that always equaled hilarity.
I dressed up as the Landlord, or Mr. Furley. A character portrayed to perfection by the comedic genius Mr. Don Knotts.
And on this most ridiculous night it felt kind of normal to walk around Manhattan with white hair, a neckerchief, the ugliest shirt on the planet and pants in colors that can only be described as Enchantment Under the Sea Dance blues and greens.
It really was just an excuse for me to act like an idiot and say inappropriate things.
I mean, that is what I do normally…except on Halloween I got to do it in a neckerchief.
And you know what? If you are with good people, and you all look like idiots, it can be fun. Having drinks with a shorty-shortted John Ritter and a side-pony tailed Susanne Summers is a damn good time. And mugging for the camera in your famous television advertisement group pose is always a hoot.
Plus it was fun to see people out and about making huge fools out of themselves. Like the trio of gentlemen who I first thought were dressed as “morons.” As it turns out, they were just from Staten Island.
But it was entertaining to see a Yankee Baseball Player, a gentleman who was (and I’m not joking here) “Hung Like a Horse” and some other tool in a tank top hit on women.
Maybe there is some fun left in this day after all. Perhaps I will try to enjoy Halloween again next year. Honestly the most fun part of the holiday is the innovation and social commentary in some costumes, and the complete lack of creativity and healthy dose of embarrassment in others.
And as for those who insist on a costume such as our friend of the equine variety, well… maybe some people do deserve to be egged.