We blokes and sheilas here in Australia don't celebrate Halloween. Never have, and - if I had my way - never will.
Admittedly, thanks to a force-fed diet of Yank sitcoms from Bewitched, Happy Days, Family Ties, Home Improvement and Friends, most of us can name more US presidents than we can our own Prime Ministers (me included. No, not as a Prime Minister, but one of the telly-tards).As such, we know rather a lot about Halloween and the tradition of little kids wandering around the neighbourhood trick-or-treating. Bless their sweet hearts: it's all fun when the candy is good, but if some psycho inserts razor blades or wipes the lollies on his arse an hour before handing them out then I'm sure some kiddies will regret not trying a 'trick' instead of the 'treat' they received.
We also know about Thanksgiving, and most of us are under the impression that Americans will virtually risk their savings, relationships, sanity and lives in order to make it home for turkey (surely the worst roast 'bird' in the civilised world) and some kind of pumpkin pie thing that doesn't sound too appetising to me. It seems to be more revered than Christmas which, as someone who is rather fond of presents I don't have to buy, wrap or pay for - seems rather odd.
Until last year, our proudly Australian doorstep has never been darkened by any Australian ankle-biters asking us for free sweets or threatening to play a 'trick' on us. This has been a great relief considering that we may not have yet gone shopping that week or are on diets and could only offer them sun-dried mango slices or cucumber that's starting to turn slimy at the bottom of the vege crisper.
Not so last year - about a dozen of the little beggars hammered away on the door and I was too taken aback to reply with 'Eat S**t and Die You Bastards,' but instead muttered something about seeing what we had and venturing out with the flavoured Chup-a-chups from old party bags in flavours that my daughter Sapphire clearly didn't enjoy. There the piss-weakly-clad mites stood, accompanied by their parents, who, being around my age, wouldn't have ever participated in such an American event in their own bloody childhoods. The nerve....
Sadly, my own daughter Sapphire is about to be indoctrinated into the suckiest culture of them all as well, having been invited to a Halloween Party by one of her school mates. She's being excitedly planning her costume - 'Zelda the Zombie' and we've found $2 eye liner and black lipstick to complement the white and red face paint I still have from my ill-fated (and tragic) efforts at face-painting at the school fete a couple of years ago. I've also taken her to K-Mart and willingly shelled out cash to buy an oversized black t-shirt and shorts that we will rip and tear up into shreds to support the concept of just having clambered out of a five year old gravesite.
*Sigh*, who am I to pour my cynical lemon juice on her innocent anticipation? That's right, she's even got me to buy a few extra bags of lolly pops, fruit tingles and redskins for her fellow Halloweenie horrors who will undoubtedly be calling around tomorrow night.
Perhaps I should accept this newish trend as one which is overdue. No, not our celebration of everything American but that we've had our Guy Fawkes' Fireworks Night banned for nearly thirty years now, and desperately need a pointless, celebratory replacement. The subsequent declaration of 'Fireworks Night' as being illegal was thanks to scores of stupid Aussie bogans and boganelles who were drunk on Summerwine and Southwark tinnies and ended up blasting off their faces and fingertips as they flung Catherine Wheels and Roman Candles into the middle of their BBQ salad table or inside the rocking Sandman of their best mate.*
At least Halloween is less dangerous - in a life-threatening sense, if not a calorific one.
Courtesy of Dave at
http://stumblor.blogspot.com/ - good blogger, too, go pay him a visit.
* Whilst shopping in Norwood the other day, I saw a lovingly restored Sandman with the following bumper sticker on it. No, it was next to the one that said "Don't laugh, your daughter might be in here.' It read: If You Don't Own A Sandman, You Ain't Shit. This was a red rag to an ex-high school English teacher, so I wrote in the dust on the window - 'This means, grammatically, that we non-Sandman owners are NOT shit, and you, in fact ARE shit.' Oh well, it cheered me up at the time.