I love Halloween. What’s not to like? It’s a holiday of a sort, adults get to dress up in costume and no one thinks it strange, there’s candy, and it doesn’t involve family stress like Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s like a stag/hen night in a way, your last night of freedom and fun before a lifetime of marriage and commitment (or insert here “two months of present shopping, gift-wrapping, party-going, overeating, traveling and family dys”fun”ction).
My mother knows how much I love Halloween so despite my middle age she sends me a card every year in honor of the day. I still think she sends it out of guilt as one year she made the off-handed comment that she wouldn’t be buying candy that year because she didn’t have any children. We may not be much, but my brother and I took umbrage with the comment. She quickly tried to cover the gaff by saying she meant that she didn’t have any children “that came to her neighborhood”, but words hurt.
I elaborately carve at least two pumpkins and alight them at the front door to beckon the kids. We only buy “good candy”; brand name chocolate bars and such, nothing that I would have scoffed at when I was 12. And despite the fact that the doorbell is akin to a starter pistol to our dogs, we settle in to spend 3 hours listening to them bark uncontrollably from the back bedroom while we pump the neighborhood kids full of empty calories and admire the year’s costumes. Our all-time favorite is still the two pre-teen boys who came to our door a couple of years ago; one dressed as Tony Romo, the other as Jessica Simpson with fake ta-tas, mini-skirt and a blonde wig.
A few years ago my Halloween card arrived in a box along with a pumpkin decorating “kit” in it. I put the word “kit” in quotes, because I use the term VERY loosely. The “kit” consisted of a few pieces of stamped metal in a bag. When you laid them out it was apparent that it was a cat – or at least part of a cat – the body of the cat is where the pumpkin comes in. That’s it. No instructions. No picture of how cute your pumpkin kitty will be after you quickly and professionally stab the various metal parts into your pumpkin “as shown in picture”; just a bag of body parts. Now before you think my husband and I are complete idiots, the head and the tail were obvious, however the 4 feet/leg pieces were shaped like nothing I’d ever seen on a cat before. It was enough to make a veterinarian scratch his head.
I figured that once we had the actual pumpkin, assembly would become apparent. Nope. After an exhaustive search (I do recall my husband mumbling “just shoot me now” once or twice) for the perfectly shaped pumpkin body for our cat, we (two grown adults of average intelligence) spent the better part of an hour trying to figure out how the 4 feet/legs were to be installed onto our amputee kitty. We finally settled on a configuration that looked the most anatomically correct however it didn’t provide the necessary stabilization to keep the cat from occasionally tipping over. On more than one occasion I left the front door to find our kitty face down in the entryway as if in a drunken stupor.
It was our UPS man that eventually pointed out that while cute, he thought that the cat would look more normal if we swapped the front legs to the back and vice versa – and that might also keep kitty from face-planting. Worked like a charm, and yes kitty did look more normal afterward too. I took a picture so that I would have it as a reference the following year on how to assemble kitty; I was going to attach it here but I can’t find it. I don’t see kitty making another Halloween appearance until I do; we’ve had the same UPS man for years.