Getting my spook on: an epic fail

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Normally I love the Halloween season. Yes, season. I have at least three large storage containers stuffed with rubber bats, glow in the dark skeletons and other creepy 3-dimensional objects that only see the light of day for a few weeks each year.

I could blame my apathy this year on pumpkin spice deficiency since giving up flour and sugar (mostly), I could let the economy take the rap, or lean on the overused “too busy” excuse, nevertheless it’s two days before the kiddies come knockin’ and for the first time in more than a decade, I have failed at Halloween–at least in the real world or what us online gamer’s refer to as “IRL” (in real life).

World of Warcraft’s annual “Hallow’s End” celebration is in full swing and after numerous attempts I landed the Horseman’s Baleful Blade, a sweet, epic sword that I needed desperately since turning prot sans a decent 1-h weapon. Blizzard does an amazing job with Hallow’s End and I guess to some extent it does satisfy my appetite for the visual side of all things spooky, plus I get to put on a costume and pretend I’m eating candy–virtually. No mess, no calories, no expense.

On Sunday, I made a half-hearted attempt to embrace the macabre (aside from the weird goings on I’ve experienced of late in my home) by taking my son to see Paranormal Activity followed by a visit to the Halloween Store at the mall (which was a blast!) and then the pumpkin patch. He’s a bit past the pumpkin patch stage of life, but luckily he’s not opposed to waxing nostalgic for his mom.

The movie was great. Stark, simple, believable . . . that is until the very end when the film maker resorted to a cinematic cliche for final effect. Were it that he was paying homage, it might be forgivable, actually it’s forgivable anyway for the sheer entertainment value of the previous 90 minutes and the creeps I had at 2 a.m. for the next two nights.

On to the pumpkin patch. Hadn’t been to this particular one in many years, but wanted the real thing, so I braved the crowds and the shrieking toddlers for a chance to get my shoes dusty and my paws on the perfect one or two pumpkins. After much deliberation and finally submitting to the dreaded wheelbarrow, we opted for two big ones: a dark, bumpy, ugly, sinister pumpkin and one fat classic orange one. Excited to go home, decorate the house and attack our squash, we got in line with the rest of the suckers paying $15 + per pumpkin only to discover it was a cash-only transaction. Of course, I had none and we walked away empty-handed.

On the way home we began calculating the patch’s gross profits based on how many people were there, what the hourly turnover might be and what the average person seemed to be spending. Aiming low and keeping all these things in mind, we estimated that the pumpkin patch is generating close to $10k per day. And they can’t afford to splurge for a credit card machine?

I’m not the only one who failed at Halloween this year. Seaside Haunt is gone and the folks at the Ventura Theater, for the first time in a long time, were unable to create their annual haunted house at their home on the Avenue, because they’re too busy preparing for the Rey Fresco Halloween bash. Sigh. And, the annual appearance of the potato bug inside our home, an event which for us signals the beginning of the holiday season, has yet to happen. Hmmm… maybe that’s my answer.

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