I like it when my wife dries her hair. The floors in our house creak,
so it is very hard to sneak up upon Lisa except when my approach is
disguised by the noise of her blow dryer. I like to creep up to her,
wait until she turns the dryer off and then startle her with a
classic horror movie line such as, “well Hello, Clarice” (Silence of
the Lambs) or maybe “Hello, Sydney” (Scream.) I find it gratifying when she
jumps and curses me which bears out the fact that we all like a little scare. Lisa
doesn’t enjoy it so much but I always hope she can take some
vicarious joy from my sadistic pleasure. This is the sort of
indulgence that makes Halloween fun.

I always enjoyed Halloween as a child. Jan Klopp was my music teacher
and wore black and orange clothes accessorized by a necklace made
from turkey bones on that day. I am built short and wide and so usually opted to
dress as a ghost for school. Ken Krohn, Cory Melland and I would
trick or treat Viking back in a time when you didn’t need to x-ray the candy and both
stores stayed open late for Halloween. One year, all three of us were
walking along a very remote corner of Viking (yeah, I know-it’s all
remote) when someone came out of a ditch and tackled Cory to the
ground. My first thought was that it was a murderous stranger and
that Ken and I would now have to divide Cory’s candy between us.
Nathan Stokke was a neighbor from Viking who grew up to be a great
guy but back in those days he was kind of erratic and reckless.
Nathan was the person who jumped out of the ditch that night and
tackled Cory. All things considered, I probably would have rather
taken my chances with the murderous stranger.

So few people cut themselves making jack o’ lanterns and that
surprises me. You give a child the sharpest butcher knife in the
drawer and then direct him or her to cut shapes into a hard, orange squash.
The surface of the pumpkin is hard enough so that cutting it’s
surface requires one to exert enough pressure that you are unable to
safely control the direction of the knife. Russian roulette might be a safer
Halloween tradition as your chance of injury would only be one in six
albeit the injury would be a bit more severe. Lisa carved a pumpkin this year
with a tiny saw from a jack o’ lantern kit and it looked pretty nice.
I have several power tools out in the shop and cannot see myself
doing any Halloween carving that does not require electricity and a relaxing can of beer. I hope
the emergency room isn’t too busy with the holiday to re-attach my

After you’ve enjoyed Halloween with its parties, empties calories and
the accompanying extra insulin shots I have a suggestion; punkin’
chunkin’ and riding the death road. Halloween night, the History
channel is featuring three hours of “Ice Road Truckers-Deadliest
Roads” which features truck drivers from the popular program as they
drive deadly single-lane roads through the Himalayan Mountains. This
is a scary show that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Pumpkin Chunking is the art of using trebuchet’s and massive air cannons to fire pumpkins through the air. It is a good way to way good-bye to
Halloween and starts at seven the night after Halloween on the
Science Channel.

So that is my take on Halloween-more fun than scary. If you really
wish your hair to stand on end, then turn your blow dryer on Election
Day; that may truly be the scariest day of the year.

One thought on “Halloween

  1. Grant, I was conducting my semi-annual search of the web to see where my name shows up and I came across your reflection. Intersting you remember this event, I don’t and I seem to have received most of the abuse – at least my candy was safe. I think the last time I saw or talked to you was the summer of 1978, wow does time fly buy. Just wanted you to know I enjoyed your story, it brought back many good memories of our childhood friendship. Best wishes, Cory Melland.


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