Scattering the final sweet remains of Halloween

Her name was Lucy. And her father picked out her costume for ‘trick-or-treating’ that Halloween.

Her name was Lucy.  And her father picked out her costume for ‘trick-or-treating’ that Halloween.

Forget the fact that gruesome customs behind Halloween have been thinly baptized into some Christian churches.

Forget that pirate costumes  used to be the nastiest in the neighbourhood.

Neglect to mourn the funds spent on single-use costumes.

Overlook dates that delight dentists, and wistfully recall the days when safety escorts were not needed.

Moms still fill their cupboards with lunchbox treats that last for months, and kids continue to tussle over who’s been eating what out of whose pillowcase!

In Lucy’s day, my handyman Grandpa worked as maintenance man for a city hospital, so it was no challenge for him to set up a locally famous scene on his front porch.

The rocking chair creaked mechanically “by itself,” while ghoulish noises emanated from a record player beneath the ghastly, ghostly character.

No one would miss Grandpa’s porch if they could help it!

This went on for years, until Grandpa finally tired of it, and a fresh idea took hold.  That particular year he replaced the lanky ghost with his tall, skinny self and waited for the porch to fill with fairies, lumberjacks, princesses, cowboys and Disney critters.

When the porch was full, he slowly got up from the chair, and with his deeper-than-deep voice began a haunting narrative just behind the best costumes in Los Angeles.

Screaming in delicious terror, the kids fled the porch, scattering the sweet remains of candy corn, lollipops, Double Bubble, clove gum, wax lips, lemon drops, and Necco wafers for blocks.

A few minutes later the bravest of them returned to investigate, collecting the debris along the way.

Halloween has always been scary!  But what scares me now as I open the door, is the preponderance of death, blood, vampires, zombies and fork-tailed-nasties stalking the neighbourhood.

It’s tough enough already to teach kindness, self-control and altruism!  And sadly, tarts aren’t just pies anymore.

There are many objections to Halloween, but few that reach out toward sense.

If modelling death-culture is a good thing, why not search the Internet now for a hot new look for Halloween — a “blood facial?”  Or add a gory smartphone burn to where our pockets should be?

However, if “by beholding we become changed,” might it even be true that how we amuse ourselves impacts behaviour?

Can we really give a little boy a sword and expect him not to try posturing and fighting?

Perhaps it is the adults, not the children, who have departed reality for a netherworld where thought is absent.

I’d love to scatter the final ashes of this un-hallowed ‘holy’-day.

Can we sweeten our play by having kids pretend something good?

I still recall Lucy’s costume — a simple yellow sheet, sewn into an angel shape, with a necklace of carrots — seven in the front, and seven in the back.

And while we puzzled … her father knew Lucy was 14-carat gold.

Rita Corbett is a freelance columnist with the Tribune/Advisor.


Just Posted

Bella Coola Valley. (Scott Carrier photo)
Nuxalk Nation closes recreation, sports fisheries at Bella Coola due to COVID-19 concerns

Nobody is supposed to be travelling, said marine use manager Peter Siwallace

Michelle Jacobs receives her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Coast Capri Hotel on April 28, 2021. The pop-up clinic was hosted by the First Nations Health Authority. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
126 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

There are 22 individuals hospitalized due to the virus, and 13 in intensive care

A Cariboo Regional District director and School District 27 trustee, Angie Delainey is also a fourth generation business owner in downtown Williams Lake. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Angie Delainey appointed Cariboo Regional District representative on regional board

Delainey and Steve Forseth represent the CRD at the North Central Local Government Association

Pauline Schmutz, 75, receives her COVID-19 vaccine from public health nurse Donna McKenzie on Tuesday, April 13 at the community clinic at Thompson Rivers University Williams Lake campus. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Additional COVID-19 vaccine clinics scheduled for Horsefly, Big Lake

Anyone 18 and over who has not received a vaccine yet is encouraged to register

The Cariboo Regional District. (Angie Mindus photo)
Industrial park slated for Watch Lake Road

Building company Omnitek to start building new plant on 32-acre site

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A prowling coyote proved no match for a stray black cat who chased it out of a Port Moody parking lot Friday, May 14. (Twitter/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Little but fierce: Cat spotted chasing coyote by Port Moody police

Caught on camera by a Port Moody police officer, the black cat jumps out from under a parked car and runs the wild animal out of a vacant lot

The top photo is of a real carbine rifle, while the bottom photo is the airsoft rifle seized from a Kelowna man on May 15. (Contributed)
RCMP issue warning: ‘Imitation firearms need to be dealt with responsibly’

A man brandishing his airsoft rifle in public had his weapon seized by Mounties on Saturday

Abbotsford Regional Hospital. (Black Press Media files)
Canada marks 25,000 COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began

6 in every 10,000 Canadians died of COVID-19 since March 9, 2020

Relief is coming for B.C.’s struggling tourism sector. (NEWS file photo)
B.C. officials set to announce more support for tourism sector hit hard by pandemic

Non-essential travel is restricted between three regional zones in B.C. until at least May 24

This image released by Universal Pictures shows Nathalie Emmanuel, left, and Vin Diesel in a scene from “F9.” (Giles Keyte/Universal Pictures via AP)
The blockbuster movie is making a comeback this summer

Excitement in the industry is growing again for a return to a big-screen normal

Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present seven-year-old Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
7-year old Shuswap boy receives medal of bravery for rescuing child at beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the province’s COVID-19 vaccine program, May 10, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays below 500 a day over weekend

14 more deaths, down to 350 in hospital as of Monday

Most Read