JULY 2018

JULY 2018
One Hundred Years Later, Same Message. 1916 - 2017


Wednesday, October 31, 2012


I do not understand why, once a year, I am expected to provide a sugar rush to every kid in the neighborhood. And should I try offering these adolescent vagabonds real food, some sliced ham, a couple of ‘buffalo wings’ or, God forbid, a little rice pilaf,  my house would be egged. What this ‘Kinder Mafia” demand is pure extravagance; mere empty calories. Their obsession with processed sugar is neither healthy nor logical. Oh, sure, they dress it up in fairy costumes and go door to door chanting, “Treat or trick”. But what they really mean is "Treat or else . This is the annual fall shakedown. This isn’t a holiday. It is income sugar wealth redistribution, socialism out of the barrel of a gummy bear.
The roots of Halloween were planted long before Christians had enough saints to celebrate the night before All Hallowed Saint’s Day. The Aztecs were celebrating Dia de los Muertos even before they were speaking Spanish., maybe 3,000 years ago. And the Druids in Ireland were celebrating “Samhain” by carving turnip Jack-o-lanterns 2,500 years before they saw their first pumpkin. ‘And how’, you may ask, ‘could offerings to Mictecacihuatl, the Aztec Goddess who was still born, become individually packaged bags of M&Ms’ handed out to a skeleton named Catrina? And I will answer you, ‘Only in a world where the love child of Salvador Dali and Ma Barker is allowed to design holidays, that’s where!
This is the night when the line between the dead and the not-yet-dead (also known as The Living) is supposed to become fuzzy, and everyone is concerned about ghosts, spooks, ghouls and zombies. But its common knowledge that ghosts can’t manipulate physical objects, so they can only harm you psychologically, meaning Scientologists are safe since they don’t believe in psychology. And nobody should be afraid of “spooks” because once you speak a spook’s name they are “spooken for” and rendered harmless; which is what happened to the spook Valerie Plame.
Now Dick Cheney, he’s a real life ghoul, one of  those creatures who, every time you think they're dead they come back to life again on Fox News. That a whole network is staffed by zombies, is a perfect example of how we are terrified of all the wrong things in this life - and evidently the afterlife is even worse.
But on October 31st, I too will be answering my door bearing a bowl filled with tribute, because I don’t want to spend half of November pulling toilet paper out of my rain gutters. But who remembers that this is also Reformation Day, when, in 1546, Martin Luther nailed his “95 Things I Hate About The Pope” to the front door of the Wittenberg Castle Church and was later arrested for deformation of church property. So, logically, children could be going door to door, calling, “Treat or I’ll nail your butt to the door, you papist low life, and, oh, by the way have you got any Jews hiding in here?” So I guess we’re lucky we got the screwed up holiday we did get. It could have been far worse.
The truth (as if that ever mattered about holidays) is that Martin Luther defiantly nailing his arguments to the church door was probably as real as the legend of George Washington chopping down a cheery tree; neither one really happened. And that may be yet another reason why you never see Martin Luther costumes on Halloween Night. I did see a George Washington once, but that was so long ago the costume was probably made in the United States.
This year Americans will spend over $6 billion on this mish-mash of a holiday. Almost all of our black and orange fix, like cocaine, is provided by overseas suppliers who have no other connection to us, and although that kind of chump change would barely support the occupation of  Afghanistan for a month, it does work out to about $65 per family this year. Our family is not spending anywhere near that much, so I figure Donald Trump and his Wall Street buddies must be spending like a billion each to make up for what us po' folks are'nt spending anymore - call them  the ghoul creators.
About 4 million Americans will even be buying costumes for their dogs this year, like PetSmart’s spider web dog collar for $12, or PetCo’s dogie Pumpkin dress- up for $16. It gives a whole new meaning to the term "Puttin' on the dog". Still, this canine costume capitalism is surprising. considering that dogs and skeletons would seem to be a natural costume combo, popular with dogs as well as the humans. And once the holiday was over you would not have to store the costume -  you just let Rover bury it.
But as a nation we seem determined to spend as much as possible, to prove the depth of our emotional commitment to this “dead holiday thing”.  We, as a nation, will be putting 2 million pirates (mostly boys) on the streets Wednesday  night, along with 4 million princesses (mostly girls) to look cute, forcing adults to follow behind them, as a back-up muscle. At the ring of the door bell us older folks, cowering in our homes, then answer the door armed with only a half-empty bowl of bite sized Three Musketeers, and hope that is enough to buy us protection for another year.
And that is where all smart adults should be, dreading the sound that fills the night with horror and chills the bones; “Trick or treat, trick or treat, give us something good to eat. Or else.”  Yes, Trick or Treat, and bon appetit, my fellow cowering masses. And if you survive this night, you have two weeks until the next horror; election day!
- 30 –

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