Oct 31, 2014

The Witch, The Skeleton and the Zombie Baby

There are people around these parts, you know the "Happy Hallowe'en" crowd, who neither appreciate the genuine historical significance of Hallowe'en nor how to spell and punctuate the word properly, who nevertheless go to a very great deal of effort for the occasion, not only in terms of helping their children to dress up, but of dressing up themselves and their not inconsiderable homes to reflect whatever it is of the spirit of the evening they understand.

Time was when it was all about the banishment of evil in preparation for All Saints' Day but I don't see anyone tearing down the horror movie paraphernalia and dangling plastic angels off their fences and terraces and verandahs the day after. Still, we live in an allegedly multicultural society so we must respect the Americanisation of yet another holiday that goes back many centuries, mustn't we? And further to that, we have to join in, don't we?

And with this spirit of tolerance for what has become the cultural preparation of infants for the delights of the horror film, we wended our merry way after school had finished to procure all the fake blood, wound tattoos, plastic weaponry, goulish makeup and random costume fragments we could lay down our dollars in exchange for.

While Nicole and Eloise perused the costume shop up at Lutwyche (an appropriately old-fashioned witches of Salem type name for a place), opposite the cemetery (I forgot to pack the Theramin) Lyra raided the sword locker and proceeded to find as many places as possible to hide: in the racks of costumes, between the aisles, in the changing rooms. What fun we had, with me tracking her down, and she poking her little head out for another old-yet-somehow-refreshingly-new-and-exciting boo! moment.

When we got back home we set about the business of dressing up. I was simple (yes yes, not that kind of simple): I tattooed a gunshot wound to my head, a slash wound to my cheek and dusted off my rarely-used office clothing and retrospectively dubbed myself Shaun of the Dead.

Eloise was going for the Bellatrix LeStrange look - she had to be reminded of the Harry Pot-Pot's character's name as well - with back-combing, white makeup, lipstick and last year's Hallowe'en dress (disappointingly for her). She could have done more back-combing in my opinion but we did have an eye on potential medium-term adverse consequences of tangling and potential wholesale removal.

Nicole was once again a skeleton with boney jumpsuit, getting quite worn. I had the pleasure of applying black greasepaint to her eye-sockets and, ehem, cocking up her lips.

Lyra was, as they say, "totally up for it," but running low on gas, so the boney top went on fine but when it came to the boney trousers, no dice. No dice whatsoever, and this soon escalated into a full-blown strop of appropriately scarey proportions as Nicole had the practical considerations of cold and insects to consider and Lyra just wasn't seeing things from her point of view at all.

Still there were isolated moments of relative lucidity, such as when I applied her greaspaint eye-sockets with no regards whatsoever to eye hygiene.

I did a perfect job, but then the eye-rubbing started, which actually may have improved the overall grumpy-zombie-teenager-to-be-please-put-on-the-sisters-mercy-again-dad look we can no doubt look forward to in years to come.

Many minutes of food-deprived incandescent rage and angst were to follow as we awaited the arrival of our accompanists on our trick-or-treat extravaganze, and eventually we set off into the neighbourhood, to sample the delights of the local enthusiasts and the streets were indeed awash with little fancy dressers with their sometimes fancy dressed chaperones.

Fear and loathing were exhibited in ascending and descending respectively order of age, by which I mean the youngsters were generally somewhere around terrified, and the teenagers somewhere around contemptuous, but in true hyper-capitalist form everyone, but everyone was out to get as many damned sweeties as they could get their horribly horrid little mitts on.

The Grange homesteads were up to standard again, and I must say that it's always a laugh at Hallowe'en because amongst the milling crowds you do feel that your kids are safe from physical if not psychological harm, and people really do go to a lot of effort.

I baled out early when Lyra started mysteriously starting to kiss parked Utes. It was clearly time to call it an armpit. We trip-trapped across the little bridge and across the oval with her little shoes sparkling in the night.

She ate something and had a bit of a bath when we got home. We had someone to the door: I ignored them. The sight of me in only my underpants would be a truly horrifying sight to almost anyone.

Almost anyone.

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