The Great Nostalgic Pumpkin

The Halloween SpiritHalloween is everywhere I look. My Facebook page is a running list of friends, cataloging costumes and brightly colored cocktails. There are ghouls, zombies, and Ghostbusters. There are slutty ghouls, slutty zombies, and slutty Ghostbusters.

There is arguably no better time to be a kid than at Halloween. The whole concept is mind-blowing – one night a year your job is to dress up as whatever you want, walk around with your friends and get candy. What a racket!

Furthermore, we also did lots of neat things in school around Halloween, like bobbing for apples and building ghetto costumes and decorations out of construction paper. There was probably also a haunted house and your forced enrollment in some school Halloween show that your parents unfortunately videotaped, but thankfully became obsolete with the death of Betamax.

Perhaps nothing was better than watching Halloween specials on TV. All of your favorite cartoon and television characters involved in mildly spooky Halloween fun. There was that rush of excitement as the word SPECIAL came rolling out of the screen towards you. When you saw this as a kid, the message was clear: It. Was. On.

Consequentially, there is no better time for nostalgia than at Halloween. I guess it’s that time of year we are all invited to act silly, dress up, be scared and revisit childhood for a short while. You don’t even need the excuse of having children, you just need to dress up like grapes and go to a party with other adults who want to be kids again for a few hours.

I find that autumn kicks this nostalgia into overdrive. Things everywhere are dying – leaves, flowers, my hope for humanity (day after Czech election). And there’s that spookiness in the air not present at other times of the year.

But what’s an old man to do?

Halloween and trick or treating have never been an institution in Czech culture, and my neighbors find it irritating when I come over dressed as the Zombie Britney Spears asking for candy. Go figure. So I have been forced to scratch my itch in other ways. I have been reading horror for the last month. This includes the overrated Lovecraft (Sorry, Cthulhu lovers, but it’s true), Everything M.R James ever wrote, and the genius Bradbury, who was clearly as enamored with this time of year as I am.

I have also upped my chocolate bar intake purely in the interests of reenacting my own personal trick or treat booty. And a couple of times I have done a human cannonball into the pile of wet leaves in my neighbor’s yard. In my defense, if he’d just given in to my trick or treat request, the Zombie Britney would be too busy eating to leaf jump.

As Halloween approaches I’ve downloaded a few of those classic Halloween specials. I’ve got Garfield’s Halloween adventure, The Real Ghostbusters, and of course, The Great Pumpkin. I suppose tonight I’ll sit on my couch and be a bit jealous of my friends dressing up and goofing off. I’ll listen to that October wind beating at the windows, eat Bounty Bars like it’s the (Britney Spears) zombie apocalypse, and watch my Halloween specials.

What the hell, maybe I’ll throw in a brightly colored cocktail and a slutty Ghostbuster.

How will you scratch your nostalgic Halloween itch?

  1. #1 by Kelly on November 3, 2013 - 9:08 pm

    Sometimes just having the windows to my apartment open an a couple candles burning is good enough for me. The newly crisp air is always so refreshing. That sounded like something that should be on a calendar. But it’s true. I actually ended up going overboard this year and am now totally Halloweened out but your fiction recommendations added to the experience. Thanks again!

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