Ah, good ol’ Halloween. Why do you thrill me so?
By Hannah Wallace
I know I theorized over the summer that my passion for Halloween may stem solely from the fall weather (which, OK, hasn’t quite come through this year—thanks a lot, October McHumidfest). But there’s more to it than that.
I don’t have a sweet tooth, and I’m not a goth chick (despite Edward Gorey’s art-school nerdtastic Gashlycrumb Tinies hanging on the wall of my bathroom). I think I may simply have a genetic affinity for imaginative foofaraw. As a kid, I got regular doses of theatrical garb mixed with high-Episcopal (diet-Catholic) robes and props and incense and whatnot. On Planet Hannah, the most powerful people wore crazy costumes and performed interesting rituals
(By the way, this love of dress-up, I’m sorry to admit, may have been one of the biggest things attracting me to ice hockey. I love soccer and all, but there just aren’t enough accessories.)
Anyway, Halloween was a fun time in the Wallace household. We carved pumpkins and set up scary scenes in the yard. My sisters and I spent months coming up with costumes (and then demanding our mother make them for us in her abundant free time): Their Halloween resume includes spirits, centaurs and Raggedy Ann and Andy—which featured crepe paper wigs that bled and dissolved during a poorly timed thunderstorm.
For my earliest costumes, my family took delight, it seemed, in dressing me up as a devil. (Similar to the delight they took in giving me birthday presents labeled “spoiled rotten.” Which makes you wonder how much ridicule one has to endure from four people in order to be “spoiled.”)
But the peak of my Halloween accomplishments was my seventh-grade “Dead Confederate Soldier” costume. It was quite a coup to get the loaner Civil War-era uniform from the Asolo’s costume shop (via Mom, of course), but apparently being a living soldier didn’t convey the proper commitment to Halloween, so I had to go all Tarantino Beauty School on my face.
The reasoning for being specifically a Confederate soldier was also unclear. Methinks it stemmed from a tad too many meals at Cracker Barrel.
But alas, nowadays Halloween doesn’t afford quite the opportunity for ambitious madness. Even if I could muster a costume idea to meet my discriminating standards, I never have any costume parties to go to, and last time I went to Guavaween in Ybor, I needed a compass and a sherpa to get to a restroom, and I still almost wet myself. And that’s pretty scary, even for Halloween.
I did carve some pumpkins this year, as you can see. And we had to evacuate the Pinellas Park bowling alley Saturday night because someone called in a bomb threat, which must mean that that particular someone went as an inbred mook for Halloween. (And yes, I’m sorry I had to miss downtown Sarasota’s festivities for that brilliant display of idiocy.)
FIND THE PUMPKIN: Oh dear God, that’s actually quite terrifying.
Tuesday the Asolo’s Misery opening offered some holiday-appropriate scares (both from the production as well as the audience, heh). I was looking forward to handing out candy to the kiddies, at least, but I guess nobody trick-or-treats anymore, which makes me sad. So all I can do on Halloween night is eat three-dozen mini-Snickers and watch a scary movie. Sort of an anti-climactic end to my favorite holiday. Maybe next year Mom can make make me a devil again.