Get Out of Town October 29

(October 29) Fall has always been my favorite time of the year. The weather is reasonable – warm during the day (except for today) and cool during the evening. You can wear almost anything you own, from shorts to sweatshirts.

The highlight of the fall season is Halloween. It’s the perfect holiday – no pressure to purchase gifts, no religious dogma, no family obligations. But it’s also a great father-son bonding holiday. From the time he was barely walking, Halloween was always my kid’s favorite holiday. Even during the great blizzard of (I think) ’92, when we received over a foot of snow, we still made our way to a number of homes for free treats.

Unfortunately, that bitch ex-wife moved my son out of town, so we have rarely been able to spend the holiday together. And now that he is in his mid-teens, he obviously would rather spend the time causing havoc with his goofy friends.

But Halloween is no longer just a kid’s holiday. It’s become one of the biggest party events of the year. It’s a great night to drink, ogle women, laugh obnoxiously at morons, and just act like a complete imbecile.

Of course, I wouldn’t be myself if I didn’t have some stuff to bitch about. There are things that I absolutely hate about Halloween, as you’re about to hear.

First off, there’s Thriller – the album, song, and video. The album is the most overrated recording by the most overrated artist of all-time. It became the template of every record Michael Jackson has released ever since – all thankfully with shrinking sales. Now I’ll admit that there are moments on that disc that aren’t too bad. Unfortunately, I can’t think of any right now. But Thriller – the song- was the filler tune that concluded the album. If every other song on that disc hadn’t already been released as a single most people would probably still not even be aware of it.

But we are aware of it, because of that godawfully insipid video directed by John Landis. I don’t want to be too mean to Mr. Landis, as he did direct Animal House, one of my favorite movies of all time, but a bunch of dancing ghouls, a Playboy Playmate-turned crack whore, and a thirty minute running time did nothing more than set the stage for future movie studio budget videos for crap tunes.

Yet every Halloween the video channels pull this garbage out of their files for constant airing. I seem to recall VH1 running it for 24 hours straight a year of so again. Please spare us this misery this year.

Now let’s talk about costumes. And I have some serious bitching here. First off, I don’t need to see any more beefy dudes dressed up as women. It’s a serious buzz kill. If that’s your deal, then fine. If that’s the case, there is a bar in town that caters to that activity 365 times a year, and at least the people who frequent that establishment know how to pull it off. Really, I don’t want to see any hairy legs in high heels sitting in an un-ladylike way while drinking mass-quantities of PBR’s.

And please, when designing your costumes, think about where you’re going to be hanging out. If it looks like your favorite bar is going to be a little past the capacity limits, maybe that bulky costume isn’t the best way to go.

I remember back in the mid-90’s when Janitor Bob was at their peak. They were so popular at the time that even on normal nights one got to know their neighbors a little more than they wanted. Well, the band played on Halloween and there is nothing worse than 1,000 costumed people crammed into one bar. If you weren’t careful you were liable to lose an eye, or get stabbed in the crotch by some strange costume accessory. It was a miserable experience.

And I can’t bitch about costumes without talking about clichés. You know, the pregnant nun, the Kiss guys, Elvira, etc. The Scream movies are almost ten years old; please retire those masks (and the other standard horror movie characters). But those aren’t as bad as the “crazy, wacky” costume of the year. I don’t know what it is this year, but every year there’s a costume that all of the normals believe is wild and crazy. Remember a few years back when seemingly every couple was Monica and Bill? God, those people thought they were clever…but they weren’t. Or the couples who think they’re dressing as punks when they actually look more like members of the Knack. What will be this year’s cliché? Tough question, but I’ll bet we see more than a couple Siegried and Roys.

Moving away from costumes, let’s bitch about a few other Halloween clichés. What’s a Hudson bitch-fest without a rant about television? Please, let’s get rid of special Halloween editions of television sitcoms (except for the Simpsons). Renaming ABC “A B Scream” is simply embarrassing. Most of these shows are awful enough without trying to write in a costume party. Or the morning news shows that will inevitably decorate their sets and give helpful hints to parents for a safe Halloween experience.

While we’re at it, can we retire those horror movies that we’ve already seen a million times? I have friends who enjoy some of these movies, but I’ve never understood the appeal of Jason, Freddie, and Jamie Lee Curtis. They’re not scary, the plotlines are as poorly written as Steven Seagall flicks, and the acting is even worse. But if you do need to watch one of these movies, please go for the original. There’s no point in the endless remakes of Night of the Living Dead or Texas Chainsaw Massacre. They’re the cinema’s equivalent of Mandy Moore’s new covers album.

To wrap things up, I must bitch about the latest trend in trick or treating. I’m sorry but I think it’s wrong to trick or treat at the mall. The candy’s lousy, the mall staff could care less about the kid’s costumes, and it’s all just a gimmick to get mom and dad to buy some more unneeded crap. Trick or treating is supposed to all about wandering around the neighborhood, or a few neighborhoods, and seeing who gives out the best treats. For every house that gives penny suckers and tootsie rolls there’s the home that hands out real candy bars and sometimes other treats.

The mall scene is another example of how our nation has become a land of fear. There are all of these myths floating around about razor blade apples, poisoned candy, and abducted children. If we lived in Compton maybe this fear would be real, but there has never been a proven case of tampered treats. As for the abduction angle, I can’t think of an evening that would be more safe than Halloween. Everyone that’s handing out candy has their lights on; and there’s kids and adults all over the place to report any strange activity. So I plead with everyone to let their children have a good time – plus I got a buttload of candy to hand out.


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