Top 10 reasons why Smarties are my monster’s smart choice for Halloween

10.  With a transplanted brain, I need all the Smarties I can get.

9.  Villagers carrying Smarties are much more friendly than villagers carrying torches & pitchforks.

8.  Four words…Fire bad, Smarties good

7.  Smarties are very reasonably priced so I can always afford to have some on hand for when vampires and werewolves come over to visit.

6.  I get quite warm while doing the Monster Mash…Smarties don’t melt.

5.  Smarties wrappers are easy to open…even with big, monster hands.

4.  Since Smarties contain no allergens, I don’t need to worry about breaking-out in an unsightly rash (scars, stitches, & bolts in the neck are bad enough).

3.  At only 25 calories per roll, I can eat all I want and still maintain my ghoulish figure.

2.  Nice pastel colors soothe monster urges to smash things.

1.  I’m an OLD monster.  http://www.smarties.com/ have been there through every Halloween I’ve had.  It wouldn’t be Halloween without them!

Happy Halloween!!!

Advertisements

A Monster reflects on Halloween

Jack-o-latern

Image via Wikipedia

There’s something about “Halloween people”.  If you are one, you probably know what I mean.  We’re a special breed.  Don’t get me wrong, we’re all still individuals but there are common threads whether you’re a crafter, home-haunter, horror movie fan, or whatever.

Unlike other groups, like say bikers or investment bankers, we largely sit dormant and undetectable for most of the year.  Then, we catch a glimpse of orange & black or feel the days getting shorter and all of a sudden, our inner ghosts and goblins come out with a passion.

That passion can manifest itself in any number of ways.  The common thread is that it’s generally good-spirited.  For a holiday that revolves around monsters, scares, and things that go bump in the night, it’s a pretty friendly and social affair.

Sure, we gives gifts for Christmas but on Halloween we give treats to complete strangers.  How cool is that?  A case could be made that the whole shebang is about others.  I’m sure that people enjoy carving pumpkins, making costumes, and decorating their home.  However, how fun would any of these  activities be if nobody saw them but you?  It’s all about sharing the fun.

If you’re reading this, chances are good that you are one of the “Halloween people”.  You probably have friends who listen to you each year, as you regale them with stories of your Halloween activities.  They probably get a big smile on their face, tell you that they think that it sounds like fun, and then promptly get sucked back into their humdrum life.

This year I encourage you to push the  envelope with some of these people.  You know how much fun you have every year, don’t your friends and relatives deserve a taste?  I’m not suggesting that you try to talk your next-door neighbor into building a corn maze in his backyard.  However, if you could get someone to carve a pumpkin with their kids, sit and watch a horror movie marathon with you, or take in a haunted attraction, I bet they’d never forget it.

Halloween is the one precious time of the year when we can all be kids again and enjoy a bit of fantasy.  Everybody could use a bit of that.  Besides, memories made while wearing a costume just last longer.

 

Monster platters at KROGER

     I was out at Kroger today getting groceries when I found something I had to share.  In their Halloween section were these fantastic Halloween serving platters.

     These heavy-duty plastic platters are roughly 12″x12″ and were retailing for $2.99/each.  I think they’d be perfect for any Halloween party any sturdy enough to re-use year after year!

2011 Columbus, OH Trick-or-Treat times

     This is the first time I’ve lived in a community where trick-or-treating was sometimes held on a day other than the 31st.  This year however, it appears that activities will be held on Monday the 31st (as they should be).

Local Trick-or-Treat Times:

Bexley: October 31st  5:30-7:30pm

Canal Winchester: October 31st  5:30-7:30pm

Dublin: October 31st  6-8pm

Gahanna: October 31st  6-8pm

Grove City: October 31st  6-8pm

Hilliard: October 31st  6-8pm

New Albany: October 31st  6-8pm

Powell: October 31st  6-8pm

Upper Arlington: October 31st  6-8pm

What do you do for Halloween?

Halloween gets bigger and bigger by the year.  They say that more money is now spent on Halloween than any other holiday besides Christmas.  Judging by how early the Halloween  displays show up in stores, I’d say that they’re right.

Today I’d like to hear from you folks.  Tell me, what do you do for Halloween?  You may select as many of the options below that apply.  If I’ve missed something or you have a rather unique way of celebrating, please mention it in the comments below.

 

Boo on Broadway 2011

     Grove City’s Town Center will be transformed into a spooky destination. This annual, family friendly alternative to Trick or Treat allows children to dress in costume and safely collect candy and other goodies from area business owners. A fortune-teller and other spooky surprises will also be offered.

     Broadway will be closed from Grant Street to Grove City Road; Park Street will be closed from Arbutus Avenue to the first driveway west of City Hall. There will be no parking on these streets beginning at 3PM. Streets will close to traffic at 5PM and will reopen at 9PM.

Date: Monday, October 31, 2011 from 6PM to 8PM

Location: Grover City Town Center, Grove City, Ohio

Parking: Free

Does anybody actually get trick-or-treaters anymore?

     I’m a 41 year-old man.  Now to be fair, I’m not exactly what most folks would consider a “normal” 41 year-old man (I mean, aside from dressing up as a 9′ tall monster at every opportunity).  I guess, I’m looking at this more from fact that I have moved around like a gypsy in the past 20 years, spending most of that time living as an apartment dweller.

     At any rate, normal or not, I have never had a single trick-or-treater come to my door.  No neighborhood kids, no teens in street clothes, not even a friend or co-worker bringing by their little-ones.

     While I realize to some people this might seem like a good thing, for a Halloween enthusiast like myself, it’s pretty sad.  I imagine that if I did, I could easily see myself joining the ranks of the thousands of “home haunters”, who spend months of the year building elaborate displays for the diminutive ghosts & goblins who visit them.

     I buy the candy every year and in my opinion, I carve a pretty mean pumpkin.  I’m just lacking hordes of little monsters to share them with. 

     So, dear readers, I put the question to you.  Do you still get trick-or-treaters?  If so, do they come in great numbers?  What part of the country do you live in?  City, country, or suburbs?  costumes or no costumes.  Finally, do you do anything special for your trick-or-treaters to make things memorable for them?

Notable Trick-or-Treating memories

     Over the years, I’ve had many Halloween related memories.  As grand as some of my adventures have been as an adult, I think the best memories are from the years that I was young enough to still go trick-or-treating.

     As a kid, you tend to feel the build up to Halloween even more.  You watch as the leaves continue to fall, decorations slowly go up, and the pumpkins on the porches transform into jack-o-lanterns.

     I realize that things are different now.  Often, children trick-or-treat at the mall instead of their neighborhood or even in broad daylight.  Well, things were different in the 1970s.  Back then it was still quite common to see packs of ghosts and ghouls, roaming the streets, in search of treats.

     Now as a youngster, the mere act of knocking on a stranger’s door and being rewarded with candy was quite a thrill in itself.  However, there were certain people who went the extra mile to make things really special and those memories stay with me to this day.

     We had one family who, instead of giving candy, would hand out nickels to all of the trick-or-treaters.  It sounds rather funny, because a nickel wasn’t much (even in 1977), yet I clearly recall that every child in the neighborhood made it a point to not miss out on “the house that gives out money”.

     One neighbor would have a life-sized scarecrow sitting outside his door, with spooky music playing in the background.  On one year in particular, our neighbor removed the scarecrow on Halloween night, dressed in its clothes, placed a jack-o-lantern on his head, and sat himself down in the same spot. 

     He would wait for kids to get close and then reach out for them while laughing a hideous laugh.  This totally scared the bejeezus out of everyone involved.  Good times!

     We had one older couple down the street who always took pictures of all the kids.  They would set up a 35mm camera and snap pictures, just as the kids said “trick-or-treat”.  They also gave out little prizes for their favorite costumes of the night. 

     I always thought that this was very sweet.  Sweeter still (though quite sad) was the fact that the husband continued this practice for a couple of years, after his wife had passed away.  It’s unfortunate but I suppose that if someone were to do that today, parents would be terribly alarmed at having someone take pictures of their children.

     My favorite trick-or-treating memory of all time was one that parents probably should have been concerned about, there just didn’t happen to be any adults around at the time.  I grew up in Henrietta, NY (a suburb of Rochester).  It was a quiet little neighborhood and as such, parents weren’t afraid to let kids go off on their own (so long as they remained relatively close to home).

     I believe it was 1981 and I was 11 years old at the time.  My buddy Jason and I were wrapping up a long evening of trick-or-treating.  Just as we were about to head back home, we stumbled upon a curious house.

    The lights were all out (the international signal for “we don’t want trick-or-treaters) but there was very loud “haunted house music” coming from the house.  We looked at each other and shrugged.  Figuring that it would be a shame to miss out on any extra candy, we proceeded down the driveway, to the house.

     Arriving at the front door, we were met with another strange sight.  The door was wide open and there was still no sign of light from within the house.  I was a rather timid youth and was quite ready to turn around and leave.  However, before I could, Jason reached up and pressed the doorbell.

     Immediately, from within the blackness of the house, we heard a woman calling to us and the sound of chains rattling.  At this point we were too startled to move so we just stood there, staring into the blackness.

    As we watched, a woman crawled (yes crawled!) into view.  Not only that, but she was half-naked!  Clad only in a flimsy, white teddy, the woman crawled toward the door. 

     “Thank you for coming boys.  You must save me from my master!” she said.

     Our 11 year-old eyes were out of their sockets, wanting dearly to stare at her barely covered breasts but feeling the urge to run screaming into the night at the same time.

     Then things got really weird.  Now in full view, it became clear that the woman had a collar around her neck and was tethered by a chain.  The chain was held by a large, bare-chested man who emerged from the dark.

     “Candy, candy…candy for the children” he said.  His voice was slightly muffled under a horrid Don Post mask (like the one in this picture).

     The man held the chain, preventing the woman from “escaping”, and proceeded to stuff a TON of candy into our bags.  With that done, he shut the door and we ran off into the night.

     Neither of us mentioned that to our parents, for fear of freaking them out.  We certainly didn’t want to be prevented from trick-or-treating on our own, in future years.

***

     Well, thank you for reading.  If you’ve read this far, I’m betting that you have some great Halloween memories of your own.  Please take just a moment and leave a comment.  I would love to hear your tales.  We’re less than 100 days from Halloween, it’s not too late to make sure that you can create some memories this year!