The moment I’ve been waiting for all year long: October. The best month on planet earth. The best month in Ohio! The best month IN THE UNIVERSE. Oh yes. Don’t even try to fight me on this. You can’t argue with October.
It’s the month of the best most awesome holiday: Halloween. It’s the month the trees turn all pretty red, yellow, and orange. It’s the season of Trick or Treat, when I get to hand out full-size candies to the kids who are brave enough to come down our forgotten side street. It’s also the season for the last and best county fair in the state of Ohio: The Fairfield County Fair, home to funnel cakes and a farm combine demolition derby. Let that sink in. Not just a car derby, a combine derby. Oh. Yeah. You heard that right.
Just look at the pile of giant farm-picked pumpkins on my front porch. The Halloween decorations joyfully strewn about the house. The smell of pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin waffles, pumpkin burgers.
Have I mentioned that I love October? Oh, yes. I do.
But, if I’ve learned anything reading and writing fiction, it’s that all bright shining wonderful things come with an equally menacing dark side.
Cue needle scratching across a record. Here’s the dark side of October: I absolutely cannot under any circumstances be trusted in any virtual or real-world retail environment. Oh no. Not me. Something happens. Some sort of October Halloween Voodoo. It takes over. I get dizzy. Time is lost. When I come to, I have $100 worth of Halloween swag in the trunk of my car and I don’t even know how it happened.
Something happens. Some sort of October Halloween Voodoo. It takes over. I get dizzy. Time is lost. When I come to, I have $100 worth of Halloween swag in the trunk of my car and I don’t even know how it happened.
Exhibit A: My weekly trip to the grocery store. I do this fifty plus times a year. No incidents. No problems. But as soon as the pumpkins arrive in the produce department and the seasonal section is stocked with witches, spiders, and candy I lose control. Budget? What budget? Food? Who needs that? I MUST BUY ALL of the bendable tinsel spiders and Starbucks Halloween mugs!
All of this is INSANE, considering I don’t really enjoy shopping and don’t like owning stuff. Until it’s Halloween stuff. Then I want ALL the stuff. GIVE ME ALL OF THE STUFF PLEASE OR I WILL DIE!
Seriously. Don’t believe me? Here are the top six reasons I can’t be trusted shopping in October.
Reason 6. I went to Target yesterday to buy a birthday card and walked out with this. Meet Bob, my new sponge holder. And yes, he will be out all year. Oh, and this is just the start. I love the tchotchkes. Vanilla hand soap in a black cat dispenser? Check. Every. Starbucks. Halloween. Mug. Check. Last week, I walked out of Trader Joe’s with a skull-shaped planter. I MUST HAVE THEM ALL.
Reason 5. Yeah. I just bought not one, but a wheelbarrow full of ridiculous gourds at a farm stand in Stoutsville, and they, along with pumpkins bigger and heavier than elementary school children are now decorating my front porch. Seriously. They’re so ridiculous looking they’re cute. And it’s fall, the time of year we all must admit belongs to the squash. Let me be the first to welcome our gourd overlords. Hail Cucurbits!
Reason 4. All the Halloween movies are on sale. This year’s indulgence? Elvira: Mistress of the Dark. If you haven’t seen this movie, you must. (caveat: If boob jokes offend you, seriously, it’s not for you!) Elvira and October are inextricably linked forever for me, maybe because I grew up in the 1980s. Every October in the 1980s, Coors put life-size cardboard cut outs of Elvira in the every beer aisle in America. Seriously.
So yeah. now I own this movie. Because I can’t be trusted. Gah! Last year’s haul? Saturday the 14th. YThat was my favorite movie when I was a kid. I watched it on a loop. Past purchases? Mad Monster Party, Beetlejuice, Sean of the Dead, The Worst Witch, Teen Witch. Need I go on? Ugh. Why do I love them soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much?
Reason 3: I must own all the inflatables. Seriously. I MUST OWN ALL THE INFLATABLES!!! The taller, the bigger, the more awesome, the better. Seriously. This guy is as tall as my house and he is only the start. I have four more I haven’t put up yet. I have some that go in the backyard for the haunted trick or treat trail. I have some I haven’t gotten out of the box once because I don’t know where to put them. Serious problem people. As in, true friends don’t let me near the clearance aisle on Nov. 1, and my partner has placed a limit of one new inflatable per year.
And those lights that project images of dancing skeletons and ghosts onto your house and garage? Yeah. I’ll take ten.
Reason 2: I must eat all the cereals. Boo Berry? Frankenberry? Count Chocula? NomNomNomNom. MUST.HAVE.ALL.OF.THEM. I don’t even eat cereal the rest of the year. Like never! But this cereal. Must eat. It transports me right back to 1983 with every (kinda? Maybe?) delicious bite. And oh, don’t think I’m dissing Count Chocula because he’s not in this picture. Oh, he was here, but we polished that cereal off first!
And that brings me to my final reason…
Reason 1. THE CREATURE IS EVERYWHERE AND I LOOOOOOOOOVE HIM! Seriously. Look at me. I’m in my dining room wearing a brand new Creature from the Black Lagoon rubber mask that I picked up when I was supposed to be grocery shopping. Yeah. Refer back to Exhibit A. An innocent trip to buy milk and veggies shouldn’t lead me down the slippery slope of Universal Monster temptation. It’s not even a good Creature mask, but it landed in the cart, and I danced a jig of joy as I forked over the $20 for it. $20! A bargain! So…here I am. Wait…Why am I light-headed? Ohmigod, I’m nearly dying in this thing. What’s that smell, rubber? Are there any air holes? WHERE ARE THE AIR HOLES? Woah boy. I better take this off and get back to work on Jess, Resurrected!
As always, thanks for spending a few minutes with me. Want to keep in touch?
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