mandag, oktober 25, 2010

Welcome to Our Halloween Amusement Parks

As Generation Manchild comes of age the traditions of our collective youth are transformed into new ways to spend money we don't have. It's the reason we have 75-dollar statues of video game characters and the reason, along with resurgent paganism, that Halloween is turning into the biggest holiday of the year. Halloween decorations are now a bigger business than Christmas decorations probably according to my best guess. Sure, a good inflatable Frosty and a couple million strings of icicle lights are fun, but do they spew smoke or have glowing eyes or start screaming about death? Only if you buy them from the one-eyed Mexican in the van.

When I was a kid of trick-or-treating age (age seven to age twenty-five) there was a guy on my street who stacked some hay bales in his yard, played a tape of extra-creaky haunted house sounds, and sat in a folding chair disguised as a scarecrow. Whenever a kid came up to ring the doorbell he stood up and yelled and terrified the little kids. The slightly bigger kids acted tough, but we were pretty scared too.