Is it possible that this man’s children could ever grow up to be normal? Because I’m hopeful, but not very optimistic.
I’ve already documented how nuts I get on Halloween, but the photo above really demonstrates the extent of my Halloween-induced insanity.
I paint my face. Like The Crow. For no apparent reason. You know, other than the fact that it’s just what I do on Halloween. Because, when it comes to Halloween, I’m a freak. (Actually, when it comes to most things, I’m a freak … but particularly when it comes to Halloween.)
Perhaps the most glaring bit of evidence that speaks to just how freakish is my decision to paint my face like this is the fact that, thanks to my whole geeked-out rig of remote-controlled Halloween mayhem, the Trick-or-Treaters never even see me. I’m hidden inside the house. So, basically, I do it just to get in the mood. It’s like Halloween-geek lingerie.
Of course, this year was a bit different … because, as if pulling together my entire Disneyworld-esque Halloween extravaganza isn’t enough of a herculean task, Wonder Woman decided to kick things up a notch by allowing the kids to have a pre-Trick-or-Treating party inside our house. So, basically, what went down was, we had, like, a dozen super-amped-up, costume-clad kids and their parents cavorting through our home, all of them wondering who the freakazoid in the white-and-black face paint was, and why he was setting up a microphone, and a remote-controlled fog machine and flood lamp and strobe light and spooky-sound-emitting boombox, and a video monitor that surveilled the front yard (all the while swilling down Sam Adams). The fact that no one seems to have reported me to Child Protective Services is a relief (and, simultaneously, extremely disconcerting).
Zan — who has seen his father do this for six of the seven Halloweens during which he’s been alive — put his friends at ease.
“Oh, that’s just my Dad,” he informed them. “He’s The Crow … again.” Zan thinks I should come up with a new costume … but the sheer simplicity of wearing black and painting my face has not yet lost its allure, for the spontaneity it affords me is unparalleled. To wit: after contemplating not donning a costume this year, I decided 15 minutes before the Halloween party began that I would stick with tradition … and, thankfully, had just barely enough makeup left to pull it off.
The party culminated in the ceremonial waking of Mr. Bones, which Zan had been anxiously awaiting for the entire month of October. He had, in fact, busted out the Bones for a test run weeks in advance, and had lobbied to man the microphone when the official Waking of The Bones took place.
So Wonder Woman and the other parents ushered the kids outside and had them surround Mr. Bones’ pseudo-coffin while Zan and I huddled around the video monitor, him clutching the microphone in his white-gloved hand. Wonder Woman then guided the children through the script Zan had devised.
“Mommy,” he had instructed her earlier in the day, “the first time you have the kids say ‘Wake up, Mr. Bones!,’ I won’t do anything; the second time, I’ll make him yawn; the third time, I’ll make him wake up.”
True to his word, Zan did just that, and earned big laughs for the yawn.
From there, the kiddos went off to loot and pillage …
… while I commenced to putting on the Mr. Bones show …
… aided by my mother and brother-in-law …
… (the latter of whom instigated several cardiac episodes by standing stock-still and fooling people into believing he was a scarecrow, then suddenly moving and causing those people to drop several years off their lives).
Also coming through with the assist was my mother-in-law, who traveled all the way from Philadelphia to be part of this freakshow:
Now, I have to admit, when it finally came time to call it a night and tear down the whole production, I felt, for the first time that I can recall, like all of the work required to pull this off might be more than I can continue to justify. The thought of toning it down next year came to mind.
A few days later, I’m still sort of on the fence … but, if I was a betting man, I’d bet that the wackadoo pictured at the beginning of this entry will be back at it again next Halloween. Because that’s just what I do.