Everyone seems to have advice on Halloween.
- "Don't be a slut for Halloween", says the Village Voice. They've noticed certain tendencies with regard to Halloween costumes, specifically that "nothing brings out a person's inner asshole like a costume." They're not talking about children here; they say these bad costume choices (homophobic/homoerotic costumes for men and slutty costumes for women) start in college. I guess people who don't go the college route are immune from this phenomenon? Oh, Village Voice, you silly elitists! Or is it reverse-elitism to imagine people who don't go to college are too enlightened to wear something homophobic? I'm baffled.
- Don't throw condoms filled with bananas, or anything else at anything or anyone - because it's illegal, environmentally unsound, a waste of perfectly good condoms and bananas, and all-around A Not Nice thing to do. And patrols have been "stepped up". "Boy racers" should be more responsible. Some costumed fellow raced up to me the other night and gave me a sample of gum. Does he count as a boy racer? If there must be boy racers, they should do positive things, like this sort of "giving" rather than "throwing". The gum racer was also a rather friendly sort, aside from mildly frightening me. Actually, if the racers could lose the "racing" aspect, that would be a plus in my book.
- Venezuelan parents should not let their children wear costumes, advises their President, Hugo Chavez. He says it's a US custom, unsuitable for South America. "Families go and begin to disguise their children as witches." Hmm. What if their children went as Harriet Miers or (perhaps more appropriate for their locale) President Hugo Chavez? Or as angels? Is the problem the witches or the idea of costumes in general? Halloween is controversial in the States too. You don't have to resent the American influence to hate Halloween!
- Learn something unusual about Halloween so you can share geeeky trivia at a Halloween party. Try to make it something others are unlikely to be able to contradict. I wouldn't bother learning things about Halloween in Italy if the roommate of the guy hosting your party grew up in Italy. He could ruin the sheen on your shiny cool information. Sure, there are different parts of Italy, and what's true in one region might not be true elsewhere, but his credibility will be higher. He'll have the accent and everything.
Assorted nifty trivia*:
(*I personally vouch for the accuracy of none of it!)
"Kabocha" is Japanese for "pumpkin".
In African, it's "pampoen".
In Dutch, it's "pompoen" (why, that's almost the same!)
In French, it's "potiron" (pot iron?!).
In Hungarian, it looks rather interesting but the accents won't show up right here...
68% of Britons believe in ghosts and spirits. 55% say they believe in God.
Children in Scotland are allegedly "likely" to say "The sky is blue, the grass is green, may we have our Halloween" instead of "Trick or Treat" when demanding candy, which seems much more timeconsuming.
Victorians played lots of Halloween games focused on the future, particularly on love. Check out this article to learn a weird game or two so you can explain to your friends that all they have to do is put a nut or two in a fire to tell if their lover(s) will cheat on them. How many nuts? Depends on how many lovers they have! It all makes perfect sense.
- You can also learn at least one version of the origin of the jack o' lantern... If anyone is wearing some costume you think is evil, subject them to a long version of the story.
Have a Happy and Safe Halloween!
MP3:Siouxsie and the Banshees - Halloween (from Juju)
MP3:Tricky - Pumpkin (from Maxinquaye)
MP3:Bow Wow Wow - I Want Candy (from Just Can't Get Enough - New Wave Hits of the 1980s, Vol. 5)