October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

I'm sure we all remember sitting in class, back in elementary school, working away on some arts 'n' crafts project that involved colored construction paper, glue (or rubber cement), tape and safety-scissors because of some forthcoming holiday, such as Halloween. That "Cat Boy" up there sure knew how to use the tape! And you can tell he's proud of his creation! I miss those simple times. Yes, I can still sit and work on an art project at home on a weekend afternoon, and I occasionally do, but it's not the same. As an adult you'll never again have that sense of total freedom to create, or the young mind that was virtually uninhibited by the types of thoughts we now have as adults, like paying for rent/mortgage, bills, groceries, etc. Being a kid certainly had its perks! It's too bad we didn't know how good we had it, back then. Seems like most of us just couldn't wait to grow up... and do grown-up things.

I know that's why I was sooo excited when I became old enough to start going Trick 'r Treating without my parents! Nothing personal against them, of course. It was just that new taste of freedom, if only for one night a year, that I found very exciting! And I think that it plays a big part in the development of children's independence. Yes, times are different now, and a lot of neighborhoods are not as safe as they once were. However, I do think that lots of modern day parents over-react by not allowing their kids to go out unchaperoned, even if they are technically old enough. And it's not like the kid is going to want to go out totally alone, anyway... He or she is more than likely going to want to join some of their other friends, and then see what sort of havoc they can wreak! Good-natured havoc, I'm sure.

Please enjoy my gallery of Halloween treats, below. They're just some of my favorites from a book of collected vintage holiday images put together by Editor/Art Director Jim Heimann, and published by Taschen.

"Sshh! I'm a very, very quiet little
mouse... Could I trouble you for, maybe,
one small piece of candied cheese?"

"Billy, you know that bitch Jane is
talking shit behind your back to that
new boy, right?! All the while, she's
sitting there "innocently" cutting out
her paper bats..."

"Well, Dick, I guess it just means
this pumpkin won't be the only
thing that I'll be carving today."

"Yes, that's right. I've been a baaad
skunk! Don't you want to spank
me? You do want to spank the baaad
little skunk, don't you? Sure you do!
Now, come lift my tail and I'll
give you a good reason to spank me..."

(Alright, they're in the kitchen, so we
know that the butcher knife
can't be too far away...)

"So long, everyone! Thanks for stopping
by! Have a safe and
spooky Halloween! And
remember to always inspect your kid's
candy before you eat it, parents!"

Gee, I think J.P. (Jaunty Punkin) pretty much wrapped everything up for me! So my job is done here. For now, anyway...
Bwa, ha, ha, ha, ha!

~All images taken from Jim Heimann's book, 'Halloween: Vintage Holiday Graphics', published by Taschen~


  1. Fabulous Photos!!!

    I agree kids should be allowed to enjoy this holiday. The supervision has ruined the spirit of it. For example...

    Last year was the first year that we owned a home and i was SOOOOoooo excited when Halloween approached. I imagined sitting on the stoop and handing out candy all evening. Well, I bought 5 BIG bags of the good stuff (chocolate bars, no bottlecaps!) from BJ's (same as Costco and Sam's Club) and waited, and waited, and waited. I got maybe a total of 10 trick or treaters and they all came together.

    I was so bummed out! We ate that friggin' candy for at least the next 6-8 months.

    Such a let down.

  2. I love Jaunty Pumpkin! And I wish I could eat "candied cheese" with that timid little mouse! I agree that Jane is totally talking shit behind Billy's back. I love your description of craft-time with construction paper, rubber cement (LOVE it), and safety scissors. Your new Pop Circus picture with that talented duck is PERFECT. Is it from Santa's Village?

  3. Oh yes, my heart breaks for my kids that they never saw the freedom I had. I was all over our town on my gold stingray bike and every halloween I couldn't wait to get through the traditional stew and biscuits for halloween dinner so I could jet out the door with my little brother in tow. We were gone for hours, until our pillow cases were full! Then we dragged ourselves home and mom and big sis got to have first pick of the booty. Sorry to say, I escorted my boys until they were in their tweens. They didn't mind though, I'm a cool mom! Thanks for another great post.

  4. I know what you mean about going Trick or treating without parents for the first time, except that my first experience with it turned all weird and traumatic because the older kids started smashing all the Jack-o-Lanterns in the neighborhood and I couldn't understand why they'd do such a thing. I ran home and moved our Jack-o-Lantern indoors and told my parents what they were up to. I was stunned at how nonplussed they were about it; I thought it was the start of Armageddon.

    Kids are stupid that way. And cruel. Kids suck. Get off my lawn.

  5. Thoroughly enjoyed this post, Anthony. I do know what you mean about the freedom of being a kid. Our parents used to take us "into town" sometimes to trick-or-treat, because we kind of lived out in the country. I remember once we knocked on a door, and the man came to the door- I think we could see others in the background - playing poker or something - he didn't seem to even have a clue that it was Halloween, no candy - we could not even IMAGINE how that could be so! Funny to think about that now, as lots of people choose not to "participate" in trick-or-treating these days. My stepson lives in the hardest hit neighborhood in our town, and he sets up a live webcam at his door for the evening - it's fun to watch!

  6. Halloween is my favorite time of year. It's a happy time that brings neighbors together to give small gifts to young children.

    I have to admit that I get very protective of my children's creativity this time of year though, as if 'someone' or 'something' is out to steal it.

    It's getting more & more difficult to keep my kids away from "mall trick or treating", jack o lantern "stencils" and box costumes. I don't want to be THAT parent that tells their child what to be for Halloween, but it breaks my heart to see seeing them in storebought costumes...

  7. Thanks, Townhouselady!

    What a bummer about your trick 'r treaters, last year... I hope you had a much better turn out THIS Halloween! Although, maybe you'd be happier now to be stuck with ALL of that CANDY again, since you're all pregnant and stuff. ;)

  8. Thanks, Tommy!

    Yes, indeed, it IS the Piano Playing Duck from Santa's Village! Good eye, my boy!

  9. Thank you, Mid Century Madam!

    I loved the vision of you whizzing through the night on your gold Stingray bike, AFTER your traditional Halloween stew & biscuits, of course! I'm curious whether your little brother had his own bike, or did he just ride on your handlebars? Either way is totally cute!

  10. Hey, Matt!
    Thanks for dropping by!

    I always hated seeing smashed pumpkins (Billy Corgan, too!) the following day... And you always knew that it was done by the neighborhood bullies. That's so sad that you were as traumatized by it, and yet your parents didn't seem to care! I hope they at least tried to comfort you.

    Did you REALLY think it was Armageddon?!
    Poor li'l Matt. :(

  11. Glad you liked it, Heidi!

    Boy, I guess you're kinda lucky that man came to the door fully clothed. I mean, he and his guests could have been playing Strip Poker, or something! Eww... THAT would've been REALLY creepy, huh?!

    Your stepson's trick 'r treating webcam sounds like a hoot! Is it something anyone can access, or just a private family thing?

  12. Hey, Leah!

    I TOTALLY know what you mean about current-day Halloween missing that old-school creative flava! I never liked store bought costumes, even as a kid. Especially those cheap plastic ones that had a cartoon picture of the character you were portraying, right on the front of it! Ugh, sooo STUPID! It was always way more fun to cobble together my own spooky/kooky outfit!

    And the MALL Trick 'r Treating... Oy vey! THAT is a total travesty! If I was a parent, I would NEVER walk my kids past a Food Court and some escalators to have them say "Trick 'r treat!" to a teenager working at Brookstone!

  13. This post really made me laugh - your captions, Sir Anthony, are once again superb.

    And I'm loving the piano playing duck image - nice touch.

    (Thanks for the birthday wishes too)

  14. Great writing, A! You summed up that lost feeling of total freedom to create very aptly. I miss that. Love the piano playin' duck and those creepy flowers. That skunk costume with the wall of masks...wonderfully disturbing!

  15. I'm pleased you had some good laughs, MoonDoggie!

    And wouldn't it be cool if we could actually HEAR what the Piano Playing Duck is pecking on his/her li'l toy piano?! Maybe, there's a way for me to do that... Hmm.

  16. Thanks, Jules!

    Yeah, that musical duck is classic... but "something" tells me those flowers ain't too fresh!

    I figured you would appreciate the naughty li'l skunk. What do you think he DID to feel soooo deserving of such punishment?

  17. I wish I'd been here for Halloween. I love skunks and I always need a good spanking!


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