Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

If you're celebrating this All Hallow's Eve inside, I recommend you take a look at Roger Ebert's site, where he presents ten classic horror movies, from Un Chien Andalou and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari to Orson Welles in The Third Man - which isn't that scary, but is real good nonetheless. When I say Ebert present these movies, I don't mean he's telling you to go watch these movies; I mean you can literally watch them, in their entirety, right there on his Web site. The Internet is cool.

I am reminded tonight of perhaps my most memorable Halloween, when I was still in college but living far enough off campus that we did get some trick-or-treaters. My roommate and I had bought some candy, but between what we handed out and what we ate, we ran out pretty quickly.

But the kids kept coming. One thing we had was a box of those yellow vanilla-flavored Oreo knockoffs, and some plastic baggies. We prepared some bags with two cookies apiece in them, and gave them out to some neighborhood children.

Everyone involved knew this was kabuki of the highest order. The kids knew they never would be allowed to eat those cookies, like they're never allowed to eat any Halloween handouts that are not professionally prepared and hermetically sealed. We knew the kids wouldn't get to eat them, but we had to hand something out or the kids would have been crushed. And maybe egged our door.

The whole exercise was irretrievably sad. And what really bothered me is that if any of those kids had been permitted to eat those yellow sandwich cookies, they would have gotten a Halloween experience they'd still be talking about today - if they were still able to talk after getting a razor blade through the tongue.

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