Last night Stephanie and I gave a talk at Writer House, the fabulous center for writers here in Charlottesville. (It was lovely—Elizabeth McCullough had us all kitted out with podcasting equipment and I’ll link to it when that’s up.) Before the talk, we went downtown for dinner. Apparently there was to be some doggie trick-or-treating on the mall: tons of dogs in little doggie costumes were out. I predicted that on the front page of today’s local daily, there would be a headline along the lines of “Downtown Goes to the Dogs!” I was wrong. On the front page of today’s local daily, the headline was “Happy Howl-o-ween!”
I love Halloween. You order the kid a costume, buy some candy, and that’s it. No fuss, no muss. Usually in our neighborhood, we get some pizzas and socialize before dark, then hang out on our porches.
And usually, there will come some religious folk who will try to convince us that Halloween is the devil’s work. I have to say, I can’t make myself act interested even particularly respectful to these people who are harshing my mellow. One year, though, I was standing with a group of neighbors and I noticed that Kathleen was nodding and listening and generally giving this stranger a few moments of her time out of politeness. The rest of us found it a good moment to corral the kids or refresh the beer or check the candy situation. I looked over at Kathleen and realized that she was wearing a headband that made it look as if she had a knife stuck through her head.
Happy Halloween! Here’s a song by They Might Be Giants about the tallest, widest, and most famous haunted mansion in New Jersey.