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November 06, 2008

Halloween 'O8

Halloween is a big deal where I live. I suppose it’s probably a big deal everywhere, but my house is in the boonies and we are hard pressed for thrills up here. People think that those of us in the ‘burbs are sexually frustrated yuppies who spend our days kvetching to our therapists all day and drinking good, inexpensive wine all night. They are right to think that. That is exactly what we do. Except that we also take a shitload of anti-depressants.

So when Halloween rolls around each year, it’s a great opportunity to get together with our small circle of friends and wander around strange neighborhoods with our kids in tow making nasty comments about other people’s houses. While drinking. Halloween in the ‘burbs is basically a big booze cruise. Sure the kids get dressed up in adorable costumes, blah blah blah. But while they’re off gathering candy for us to eat after they go to bed, we’re getting completely fucking sauced. Usually a few grown-ups stuff multiple bottles of good, inexpensive wine into knapsacks and we spend the evening stumbling around playing grabby ass with each other. Which is all fine and good until halfway through trick-or-treating when the mood starts to turn.

Kids start getting sore feet and those of us who don’t handle our liquor very well start to get a little boisterous. For example, I found myself sending my kid back to the house he’d just gotten candy, saying to him, “What is this? Daddy doesn't eat fucking Laffy Taffy! Go back and get a goddamned Snickers bar!” Were there tears? There were. On my part. Because I tend to not only get angry when I’m drunk, I also get a little weepy. So after he came back with the Snickers bar, I found myself sobbing uncontrollably in the middle of the street, getting monster make-up all over my Timberland down vest because I was crying so hard, asking for his forgiveness. All of this was before I realized the kid I was hugging wasn’t mine.

Did the cops come? That depends on what you mean. The police were patrolling already and happened to stop at our little party after a couple of us decided that our costumes were “The Moon,” which entailed having our pants not exactly on. But that’s one of the great things about living in a small town. Rather than arresting us, they just asked us to cover up and told us that Child Services would be paying us a call. But I think they were probably kidding. After all, small town cops are just as bored and drunk as we are.

There was a little bit of controversy regarding my daughter’s costume. Here’s the thing: my opinion is, if you’re going to go around asking for free candy, at least make your costume as good as it can be. Show a little effort. Okay – so my daughter wanted to go as a mermaid this year. A little trite, but better than some of her previous ideas (princess, witch, etc.). When she showed me her costume, I said, "It's very cute but I have a suggestion: lose the top." My wife said that it was too cold to go topless and also that it was inappropriate. I didn’t disagree with her on either count, but we got into a big fight because my point was that if she wanted to go as a mermaid she had to understand the consequences of her decision. If I have a pet peeve it’s that mermaids are always shown with bathing suit tops, which I’m sorry, is bullshit. Why would mermaids wear bathing suit tops? They wouldn’t. Don’t believe me? Just ask yourself this simple question – where would a mermaid get a bathing suit? At the underwater swimsuit store?

Anyway, before too long my daughter was crying and my wife was furious. In the end we compromised. I allowed her to wear a top but I had to escort her to each house and explain that the top wasn’t my idea and that I was letting her wear it “under protest.” Once that was resolved, everybody had a great Halloween. Even my son who got lost in the woods for a couple hours. Eventually he wandered to the road and a car stopped when the driver saw Frankenstein walking on the side of the road, cold and weeping. Funny stuff.


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Mark Garcia

I've never laughed so hard at anything. That last part about your son is amazing.

Oh yeah, first.


It's all true. I saw him without pants.

Kristen Zemeitus

Ahhhh this is the funniest. Mostly because I saw my neighborhoods equivalent of these people trick of treating with their kids. Love the last bit.


"but my house is in the in the boonies"

You may want to drop an 'in the' up there...

Kvetching just joined my favourite word list.


Haha!! Wait until your daughter goes back to school to tell all of her friends and teachers how she dressed up for Halloween: "I went as a topless mermaid, 'cause daddy says there's no such thing as an underwater swimsuit store." I'm sure DSS would LOVE that one.

Ya sick bastage.


Oh please let at least one part of this funny tale be true.

Years ago when my kid was young, myself and our neighbors thought we were the only ones savvy enough to sneak wine in our *supposed* coffee mugs (with lids) while parading behind our costumed snotcakes.

Turns out we were not that unique. Or clever. Or special.

Do you guys put car keys in a bowl too? Pick one and go for it? You know, swing a little? Fingers crossed!


That, my good sir, was hilarious.

And oh so true.


That's a good explanation for why on a Halloween with a full moon our dads pretended to turn into werewolves and chased us 3 blocks. We missed so many houses because they were shit-faced. Assholes.

The moms always stayed home and drank there.


A Halloween joke in three words:

"please take one."


"Timberland down vest"

^ This absolutely had me hysterical with yuppie laughter!!! I'll probably have to up my meds now.


HAHA, fuckin underwater swimsuit joint. Ah, all of it was awesome. Oh, shit I fell out my chair.


hahaha! excellent! this is exactly what halloween is all about. i am sorry to hear that your poor son didn't get to see you weeping on his shoulder, with monster make up dripping off your face though. i would say perhaps this was for the best, but then, this probably wasn't the first time something like this has happened. i had a good halloween too.


Some modest mermaids use shells strung together. Those are MUCH more realistic, but probably scratch them in the wrong places.

Al Goldstein

Hey I'm sure I speak for a lot of your readers by requesting you post some pictures of your daughter in her costume.


No pictures. Goldstein is a pedophile. Just for Halloween? I do not know.

And Laffy Taffy is bloody delicious. I don't know what's wrong with you.


Laffy Taffy IS delicious(except banana)but so are Snickers. That's why I steal both from the kiddos on Halloween(and Easter,Labor Day,etc). Oh to finally be braces-free and eat that gooey junk....loves it!

This was hysterical!


Hey Michael! I live near your neighborhood(under the overpass) and seeing your daughters creative costume gave me the best Halloween ever!

Looking forward to next year,



I love that you're coming around to the fact that a mermaid costume counts as " more creative" than witch or princess. Being dressed like everyone else in a store-bought costume trumps interesting and clever every time with the under-10s. And you, as a good parent, have to suck it up. Kinda like when I told myself way back when, "MY kid is never gonna wear a pair of those tennis shoes with the ridiculous flashing lights when you jump up and down". Um...

I had that Laffy Taffy moment raiding her bag of candy, ugh, and went for 3 Twix and a Snickers instead. And then another 3 Twix and a Snickers. Because you don't really taste the first handful, right? The Act III packaged Halloween Popcorn Ball was even refused by the dog.

Funny blog. It was like a page from my diary. Hope you got a few full-size candy bars from the big houses. That was the highlight of my kid's night. (I am forbidden from stealing those.)


I work at a non-profit lawfirm, attempting to help (mostly) low-income residents keep their gas and electricity on- not exactly a place known for boisterous laughter.

Nevertheless, that is exactly what was heard as I read, "At the underwater swimsuit store?"

Thank you, Mr. MIB, for embarrassing me greatly.

Nickel Jean

My daughter was a mermaid, too! The Little Mermaid, to be specific, and my son was Flounder. We still have shitloads of candy, and now Girl Scout Cookies have come in. I'm on my way to a 30-pound weight gain by New Year's.

ryan manning

there is no good or bad in art


If you come to our neighborhood, the guy down the road gives out FIVE fullsized candy bars, all kinds, including SNICKERS. And he likes to invite the moms in to take some too, he's kind of a perv.

BTW--why did you not inform us that Lifetime was showing Wedding Daze? I'm watching it right now. Very enjoyable, but my husband wants to talk to you about his disappointment that you wrote a "chick flick".


Felicia, I think that's a different Wedding Daze. Some guy recently posted a comment on Michael's blog about how he wrote a Lifetime movie with the same title. Here's a link to the IMDB page for the alternate Wedding Daze:



Ah, crap, nevermind - forget that last post. I'm just being a dumbass.


Have there always been leaves hanging out on the sides of your website? Cuz I just now noticed them. =/

A little Frankenstein would be soooo cute though!! I got a bunch of Iron mans and jedis and princesses at my door... And 6 month old babies with their fat parents who were obviously going to eat the candy.

And Wain did a good job with Role Models. Paul Rudd is a sexy beast!!!!! Just had to put that out there.

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