It's the 31st of October, which is Halloween in the real world. Oh boy...tell me it ain't so.
Just to be up-front, I pretty much hate this non-holiday anymore. It was fun when I was a kid I guess but like everything else, it's degenerated into another opportunity to blow out your credit line on expensive costumes and decorations instead of just carving up a pumpkin and soaping the neighbors windows. Trick-or-treating is almost an industry in itself; structured with designated hours and approved locations. The annual hike around town with a costume and a sack is now escorted, patrolled and by curfew, will end at 8pm or else for most folks thank you very much. For the miscreants who decide to stay out dodging the police, the tracks are more temptation than they can usually resist. If I wind up working (which I will this year), the whole night will likely be punctuated with eggs, rocks, paintballs, junk on the tracks and the occasional chicken-player trying to 'scare' the train crew. The old mannequin-sprawled-on-the rails trick might be a big yuk to the locals but I never know till it's too late if that might be a real body I just ran over. Yeah kids, that's a real thrill.
Call me jaded but to me it also sort of kicks off the mad-consumption, retail-driven hell that marks the last couple months of the year. We don't even get a break from the shrill, ridiculous political screaming of the election cycle before the nauseating 'Holiday' ads kick in and TV becomes even more unbearable than usual.
A bonus at this time of year is the networks overwhelming desire to show every horror movie ever made for the whole month of October. I clicked on in the hotel the other day as I was packing for home and just as the screen popped in, I was treated to a close-up, full view of a semi-dressed and busty young lass (they're all semi-dressed and busty in horror movies) being split right down the middle by an axe-wielding zombie...complete with a follow up shot of steamy innards plopping on the ground. Nice. That made my whole day guys, thanks. I know you are required by tradition and poor taste to show all the straight-to-video splatter failures that have ever been produced in a four week span but come on...it's 2 in the afternoon and you've probably run this sleaze-bag 50 times since Thursday...give it a rest. On top of that, no matter how many times it airs it still sucks and is not likely to improve with age. In case you can't tell, this stuff makes me a little cranky.
Every time around it gets harder to take. I don't watch the tube very often anyway but sometimes when I'm stuck in the hotel for hours, I channel surf out of boredom. I might be able to take a 'CSI' or 'Modern Marvels' rerun for the 80th time if 6 minutes of high-volume commercials weren't spaced by 3 minutes of show. I wish I could trap a brace of ad execs. in a room for 24 hours and blast them with their own insanity so they'd know how the rest of us feel. On second thought, they'd probably have a ball and spend the whole time congratulating each other. Thanksgiving and Christmas on cable is worse than the split girl sometimes.
I'm sure I'll return to this as the season rolls on but for now...I'm holiday-ed up to my eyeballs and hoping it pours tonight to keep the tricks to a minimum. It might be a long trip.