Thursday, October 16, 2008

Dead Cheerleaders, Fog Machines and Other Halloweenie Things

I never realized that my adoration of all things Halloweenie was going to be a problem.

But then I became a parent. I tend to go, well, overboard when it comes to the Wonder That Is Halloween. Example: I dressed up as a slasher film cheerleader one year for a costume party. It was a FAB costume; I got a cute little blue and yellow cheerleader costume and learned how to do some good gory makeup. I did a primo realistic slashed throat, and then I smeared the rest of the blood all over my arms and legs. I even did pigtails.

That's right, bay-bee. I'm so into Halloween that I'll subject myself to pigtails. With ribbon. Yowza.

It turned out to look so realistic that, as I was driving to the party, I turned to see an older couple in the car next to me. They were so frightened by the gory throat thing that they drove off the road. Or maybe it was the pigtails, but either way they were looking at me and not at the semi in front of them.

Everyone was okay, BTW. That party was surreal too; there was a guy dressed up as a Twister game, and he kept going up to all of the girls and yelling "Right hand on yellow! Right hand on yellow!" I'll let you guess where the yellow dot was.

A couple of years later, I recycled the slasher film cheerleader costume for one of Slayer's med school parties. One of his classmates must not have realized we were dating. He was dressed like a mad scientist and kept following me around, wiggling his eyebrows at me and snapping his latex gloves. At the time, I thought it was pretty weird. But now I realize he must have been a psychic. He knew about my eyebrow fetish before I did.

Ack! Totally off topic! Not surprised! Overdosing on exclamation points!!!

Moving on...

My problem is that I cannot do things like that now that I'm a parent. I'm now stuck with boring, non-bloody costumes. Last year, I was a medieval queen. This year, I think I will be a non-dead cheerleader. Rah rah blah.

I would like to have THAT HOUSE. You know the one I'm talking about. The cool one in the neighborhood. Mine would be all done up with animatronic zombie cheerleaders, and I'd update my costume from slasher to zombie, and it would be MADE OF AWESOME. I'd pipe Thriller over a loudspeaker on a continuous loop. There would be a fog machine. Oh, who am I kidding? SIXTEEN freaking fog machines.

But then, my children would be afraid to come home, even if they could find their home in all that fog. That would be suckier than suck. So instead, I have cute little ghosties hanging from the magnolia tree, and a little sign hanging on the door, and another ghost with a necktie hanging from my plant hook. Because neckties apparently make ghosts into non-threatening creatures.

I'm trying to figure out how to put some subliminal zombies in there. Like maybe a really tiny one that I could hide in the plants, just so I know it's there. Because this ain't no fun.

22 comments:

keri mikulski :) said...

Yes, me too. I would love to be THAT house. :) Except, I'm really not that into Halloween - it scares me. And a certain someone in the house complains when I spend too much money on decoration. I tend to forget what I have from the previous year and end up re-buying, then finding some of the exact decorations.

I'm picturing your zombie house with fog.. :) Love it.

Jamie Eyberg said...

we decorate our house (not overboard or anything) and take the kids out but we don't get a single kid out here where we live. Where we used to live we could get 160 kids coming to our door. I miss that.

Tiny T said...

You could carve a zombie pumpkin. The kiddies would probably be ok with that. :)

I have a tiny pumpkin candle. That's our decorations for Halloween. Although I do want to have a pumpkin carving party like we did last year. Something about have lots of people with pumpkin goo all over their arms makes it more fun! ;)

K.C. Shaw said...

You can look forward to when your kids are old enough to handle gore, and then you can indulge yourself in That House. Except by then your kids will be teenagers and they'll just roll their eyes at their mom's Halloween "thing," and then ask to borrow the hovercar because they're going to a party at Billy's house.

Aaron Polson said...

Um...THAT HOUSE always scared me. The old lady's house, you know the one--she keeps the thermostat at 79 degrees, scared me, too.

SlayerOfBees said...

But you do it so well, and the kids love it. You're the best and we'll get to do the scary house thing soon enough!

Catherine J Gardner said...

Where I live there are either no decorations or a few measly cardboard ghosts stuck to a door for a couple of hours during trick or treating. The English suck at Halloween. When I was a kid we didn't go trick or treating, it was known as Duck Apple night. Oh the fun.

adrienne said...

All that kitschy-cutsie Halloween stuff kinda scares me. So I'd probably be afraid of your house now.

Laini Taylor said...

I love Halloween too, but I've gotten too lazy to do anything about it but watch scary movies! As for the kiddos, don't know how old they are, but I imagine that once they reach a certain age, you can revert to blood and zombies!
:-)

Carrie Harris said...

Keri: I know what you mean about holiday decs. Although for Halloween, I like to make things. I bought some this year because I just don't have time, but the coolest houses are the ones that people spend time putting together. Like the Zombie House. (Hope you don't mind. I'm appropriating the phrase to use as a title now.)

Jamie: See, we used to get NO ONE, and this year I hear we get the SCREAMING HORDES. I don't know why they deserve all caps, but they do.

Tiny T: Boy, if I was that good at pumpkin carving, I totally would. But mine always look like mutated cartoon characters.

KC: Oh, my son's birthday is Halloween. Which means there will be extra eyerolling during the teenage years. ;)

Aaron: So are you saying I'm a scary old lady? Snarf.

Slayer: Awwww. That's all I've got to say. Just awwww...

Cate: Duck Apple? As in, duck, someone's throwing an apple at you? Or here's an apple shaped like a duck? I'm confused and amused all at the same time.

Adrienne: So what you're saying is that I'm wrong and neckties don't make ghosts likeable? Shoot. Guess I'll just have to go for the zombies then.

Laini: Oh yes. I figure I've got to at least wait until they're in grade school. Gives me plenty of time to plot at least. :)

ElanaJ said...

Man, you need to explain the Wonder that is Halloween to me. I just don't geddit. I like decorating and all, but it's the dressing up that has me stumped. I'm totally into fog machines, though. Those sound uber-cool.

Natalie L. Sin said...

I say let them live in fear. It's the only way they'll appreciate the holiday!

Catherine J Gardner said...

The definition of Duck Apple according to Catherine J Gardner: fill the bath with water, throw apples in it, then push your child's heads under the water and don't let them surface until they have an apple in their mouth. Oh, and don't forget to tie their hands behind their back.

Halloween scary in the US? Pah!

We also had apples hanging from string that were dangled across the living room and we had to pull them off with our teeth. And what's really weird, we thought it was fun.

sruble said...

Next time I need a really good costume, I'm asking you how to make it (I suck at making costumes - I can make art, just not costumes).

Sheila the zombie cheerleader would be honored if you would dress up as her this Halloween. Sheila is not that scary. She's a friendly zombie, and you can even use cool make-upy stuff to paint your face a greenish color. And Sheila has pigtails. She won't scare your kids, honest. You can even show them the picture first so they know who Sheila is, and then they can help you make the costume. It will be fun, not scary, promise.

Of course you saw Sheila on a good day. When the kids are older, you can recreate Sheila when she's angry ;)

(Sorry, you did mention zombie cheerleaders.)

Kelly said...

OMG-LOL at "Right hand on yellow!" Guys are such pervs...
Halloween is HUGE in our house. It started when my oldest son was two and loved Halloween (he went to preschool career day as a grave digger-NO JOKE!), so we have accumulated lots and lots of Halloween decorations over the last seven years. Some though we have to take down to the basement because my oldest (who now aspires to be a rockstar) says they are too scary... We are becoming THAT house..

Jeremy D Brooks said...

My kids love the scary stuff...one is a vampire, one an egyptian queen (not that scary), my wife is a witch, and I'll just have a slit throat and wrists and hand out candy...we haven't really done decorating in a few years, so this year I went a little loopy and made scary signs, took a couple of styrofoam skulls from walmart and a fishtank pump and made a blood fountain, and am draping the inside of the garage in black plastic, fake webbing, creepy cheesecloth-stuff, black lights, and last but not least, a fog machine that I swapped an old ipod for. I am just stoked...

Carrie Harris said...

Elana: Well, I'm a theater person from way back. I was once in a production of Midsummer Night's Dream, only we were all cartoon characters. I was Dopey. I know, I know.

Anyway. I guess this means that Halloween is in my blood.

Natalie: Spoken like a true horror writer. :)

Cate: Ah. We call it Bobbing for Apples. Although Duck Apple sounds much more amusing. I think I'll use that name from now on and let people wonder. Hah.

sruble: You know, I was thinking of Shiela when I wrote this post. If I do go for a Shiela costume, I will find a camera that works and send it to you. But only if I can find a background with black swirlies.

Kelly: I'll take those extra decorations off your hands. I'm all about selfless service to others. Snarf.

Jeremy: Ooooh. Blood fountain. If you use dyed corn syrup, you could drink from it. I LIKE.

Stephanie Perkins said...

"Right hand on yellow!" -- HA HA HA! Snort snort snort.

Here's my favorite costume-based-on-a-game:

http://www.cockeyed.com/incredible/jenga/jenga.html

Big Plain V said...

Entertaining AND bizarre. You never fail to disappoint me, Ms. Harris.

Timmit said...

When I was a teen, I would do up our house. Strobes, green floods, skulls and spooky music. There is nothing better than giving the neighborhood kids nightmares (about fingers, long story). Carrie, don't let someone else give your kids nightmares, you be sure that all their nightmares are from you....

Carrie Harris said...

Stephanie: I lost a heckload of time looking at all of those cool costumes! It's like Kryptonite and Superman. :)

BPV: Please, let's not stand on ceremony. We are internetty friends now. No need to call me Ms. Harris. Just call me "Her Fabulousness." Snarf.

Timmit: I'm too tired. Come over and give my kids nightmares for me.

erinmaher said...

Oh, I totally had that house when I was younger!

My Dad actually built three caskets one year. He would start at the end of summer, like August, and before we went back to school we'd be painting the walls of the car port like a castle, or making candles shaped like bloody fingers. He'd bring out hay bales from the country and had half a dozen pumpkins. Oh man, this other year he made this black plastic maze with various openings he could jump out of to terrify children.

I still remember coming home this one year, seeing him grinning diabolically in the arm chair with a beer, saying "I made two Batmans cry this year ... TWO! And a ninja turtle ..." But he always had good treats for the ones who cried - I remember there being a gameboy, for crying out loud.

It was totally awesome though. Really good memories. I think your children will appreciate it once they're all old enough to know it's pretend.