Thursday, October 27, 2011

Raspberries and Ice Princesses

Halloween is just around the corner, and do you know what that means?
candy! it means candy!
Sadly, no. It no longer means (free) candy for me, because society has deemed that, at 19, I am too old to go trick-or-treating. Stupid society.
If I went door-to-door asking for candy, I'd probably get either life-choice advice, seriously judged, or alcohol.
or possibly drunken, judgmental, alcohol-drenched advice. complete with more alcohol.
If you ask me (I realize you didn't) though, the college version of Halloween is seriously overrated. If you're a girl, it seems to mean that you dress up in the "sexy" version of something, put on teetering high heels, and giggle at boys.

none of these things are even remotely sexy. or clever. seriously, sexy Nemo? since when are fish sexy?
never, that's when.
This does not sound amusing or even remotely fun to me. Of course, this may have some link to my childhood.
doesn't everything?
When I was a kid, I had pretty much the weirdest ideas for Halloween costumes you've ever heard of. I honestly couldn't tell you where I got those ideas, except to remind you that I read a lot, and also talked to myself with frightening frequency. My most infamous costume to date is the Halloween I decided to be a raspberry.
yep. I know.

Yeah, that's right. I wanted to be an inanimate object, a piece of fruit. In day care that year, for show-and-tell one day, we acted out our Halloween costumes. Everyone else got up in front of the class and meowed, or barked, or at least acted shit out. I got up there, curled up into a ball on the floor, and didn't move for the next ten minutes while my classmates shouted increasingly desperate guesses like "A rock!" or "A pumpkin!" Strangely enough, nobody guessed raspberry.

The same year, my little sister was an ice princess. She found this beautiful white dress at the thrift store, dripping with lace and glitter. She had a crown, and a wand, and she might even have had matching white shoes.
I, on the other hand, got a pink sweat-suit from the thrift store, pulled my hair into a top-knot, and spraypainted it green. Like a stem. Bam, costume done.
I'll give you a hint. I looked nothing like this.
This was also a Hanksville Halloween.

For those not intimately familiar with the geography of the south-east corner of Utah, Hanksville is a very small town between Canyonlands National Park and Capitol Reef National Park. Because our family would often go on long camping trips down in that area in the dreary fall and winter months, there were a couple times when we were gone for Halloween.

And so it was that we discovered Hanksville. Hanksville is too small to have much of a trick-or-treating scene (Wikipedia estimates its population to be around 200 people), so instead the locals gather at a local gymnasium, parking vehicles in the parking lot. Inside the gym, there are lots of kid-friendly games, including costume contests, carnival style games, and the timeless classic of Throw-the-Shoe-at-the-Rat.
don't worry, it was this kind of rat. for some reason, the whole rubber rat phenomenon struck a chord with our family, and every year around Halloween our own front porch is graced with several large, possibly rabid rubber rats. I also received one of my very own from my father in the mail recently. thanks, Dad.
I remember there also being some sort of musical chairs type of game, in which it was possible to win entire pies (or they might have been cakes. this was a long time ago) The year I was a raspberry, I won two of them, and then they made me quit. Jerks.
must... have... more... PIE
It's also quite possible that there was a heavy Mormon influence, this being Southern Utah, but I honestly can't remember that. If the cake-pies said "Jesus is really cool and hey what about that Joseph Smith guy, he was pretty great too!" on them, that memory has escaped me.
something like this.
Once the supply of Jesus-pie in the gym was exhausted, or the bitches cut you off, there was the most redneck version of trick-or-treating I have yet had the pleasure of experiencing.

Out in the parking lot, everyone would flop down their tailgates, or pop open trunks, set up some lawn chairs, and then the kids would troupe from vehicle to vehicle, gathering candy. There was also probably country music playing loudly from more than one F-350.

One of the years we went (probably the first year) we were ill-prepared for such an adventure, and instead of handing out sweet, sweet sugar rushes wrapped in colorful packaging, we handed out granola bars.
I'm pretty sure it was these ones. man, those crumbs get fuckin' everywhere!
However, in the years to come we were more prepared, and brought real candy, instead of that fake hippy shit.

Later Lander trick-or-treating years consisted of a large group of friends. Our parents had all known each other since we were in diapers, which meant we'd all known each other for pretty much our whole lives. We'd all gather at the Milo-Kink's (that would be a hybridization of two last names, neither of which are spell-able) house, and there would be a kid's table and an adult's table. Having never in my life voluntarily sat at an "adult's table," I couldn't really tell you what went on over there, but our table (the better table) there were always Halloween-themed snacks, like smoking punch, ants on a log, and crackers shaped like fingers.
like this. mmm, fingers.
Then we'd all race upstairs to get ready, critically comparing each other's costumes. When we were all quite young, it would be the groups of dads who would accompany us from house to house, hanging back on the sidewalks as we all raced each other to the door, thrusting our treat bags into the faces of those at the doors.
just ignore the watermark... also, that kid in the front looks excited, but don't be fooled. he's really thinking "wow, all I get is that shitty sucker? definitely TP-ing this house. now who's the sucker, muthafucka?
Once we were older, our parents let us go out by ourselves. On any given Halloween, there were usually anywhere from 8-15 of us in one large pack. The safety-conscious dads would give us a perimeter that we had to stay in (from Garfield Street to the park, and not past 9th, or over the river). We might have broken that perimeter, but that's actually kind of a huge area, and your legs start get tired after a while, plus your candy bag gets heavier and heavier, and you start thinking about all those shiny, crinkly, brightly colored wrappers, filled with every manner of candy, from Reese's to Dots, and everything in between.
but Dots suck. seriously. nasty.
Once we finally returned to the house, bags triumphantly bursting at the seams with all our loot, we'd dash upstairs to the common room at the back of the house. Each kid would claim an area of the floor, and upend their bag, sending candy tumbling across the carpet. Then, the trading would commence.

There's always candy somebody likes, that somebody else doesn't. So, you trade. It would get pretty heated, let me tell you.

Finally, the parents would tell us it was time to go, and you'd get to lug your bag of primo, optimum loot home, clutched tightly to your chest so your mom wouldn't steal all of your Reese's.
because seriously, this shit is like crack to my mother.
But in my life, I have been: a black cat. A death-fairy. A blue satin ghost with a long black wig (possibly the ghost of Cher?) Some other really random, strangely disturbing things that popped into my weird little brain.

This year, I think I'll be a My Little Pony.
because I'm awesome.

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