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Boris and Me

Posted Wednesday, October 31, 2007, at 9:15 AM

My childhood pal.
I just read a headline that said, "Woman claims pet-sitter made her pig fat." That may be the scariest thing I see or read this Halloween.

I still love Halloween and what my wife, Connie, refers to as "that Bradbury time of year," despite the fact that I don't do much to celebrate it any more other than maybe eating more candy than usual in solidarity with the little ghouls and goblins. (But I share no solidarity with the little princesses, cute dinosaurs or Sponge Bobs. It's scary or nothing for me, thank you.)

My earliest memory of Halloween involves not so much fear as mortification. I recall being taken trick-or-treating by my older sister (which is already pretty scary if you knew my older sister). My "costume" was a dime-store outfit that consisted of a plastic Frankenstein mask held on by a rubber band and a sort of bib or apron that tied in the back and featured a drawing of Frankenstein's body and outstretched hands.

I had a bizarre relationship with Frankenstein when I was a small child. (Frankenstein as portrayed by Mr. Boris Karloff, of course.) I do not remember the first time I saw the film. In all likelihood I hadn't seen the film at all--only stills from it in "Famous Monsters of Filmland." From whatever source, I was obsessed with him and terrified by him. I had pictures of Frankenstein on my bedroom walls, and I would lie awake in horror of them and have nightmares when I finally dozed off. But had you tried to take away my pictures of Frankenstein, you would have had quite a fight on your hands.

What can I say? Kids are insane.

So I was excited to actually BE Frankenstein (albeit in a pretty lame way) on Halloween. Then, after happily gathering up the goodies at several houses, I suddenly realized something. I would raise the mask when walking between houses, since I could barely see out of the thing, and it dawned on me that for some unknown number of houses I had forgotten to put the mask back down. I had walked up there and trick-or-treated with the mask on top of my head and my face in full view.

I had screwed up Halloween.

I don't remember the candy. I don't remember the other kids. I can't recall the weather. But I clearly remember the horrible embarrassment. I assumed that that stupid kid with his mask up on his head was the number one topic of conversation in every house on the street. It might even make the papers the next day.

No wonder I was always so glad to get safely back in my room with nothing to worry about but being strangled by Boris Karloff.

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Ah yes, the ol' mask on the head...I believe I have done this while trick or treating almost every year I wore one of those masks - you are not alone! Yep, gotta love those masks with the rubber bands that tore out your hair when you took them off.

Of course there was one year I was determined to win our class halloween costume contest. I had a great witch costume complete with cool pointy hat. I smeared green gook on my face but left my nose blank so I could putty my nose like a hook first. Well, I got distracted whilst in the middle of my green gooking project, and well, didn't win. I do believe that was my last costume contest.

-- Posted by maggiebarkovitz on Thu, Nov 1, 2007, at 12:58 PM

Did anyone ever take a rectangular bar of 99.44% pure Ivory soap, break it in half on the crease in the middle, and write on automobile windows........ commonly called soaping windows........ on Halloween.........

-- Posted by Johnny Yuma on Mon, Nov 5, 2007, at 6:43 AM

I believe that the results of your survey will be that: No. No one ever soaped windows on Halloween.

-- Posted by kenteutsch on Mon, Nov 5, 2007, at 7:46 AM

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