Halloween 2010 - Bah, Humbug!Tuesday, November 02, 2010
I despise Halloween. I simply do not understand the concept much less the idea that fireworks have anything to do with witches and goblins. Rosemary's cat Casa spent most of Halloween under the bed. He was scared. We watched Robert Wise's, 1963 The Haunting with that favourite actress of mine Julie Harris (her raspy mezzo-soprano reminds me of Lauren's and I love Harris' freckles and red hair.) and Claire Bloom. We did not have to get up to answer the door too many times.
When we left Mexico in 1975 for Vancouver I had never experienced a traditional American or its Canadian equivalent (is it different?). But I do remember that even then a pre globalization in the form of American cultural encroachment had begun to erode the Mexican concept of death and its celebratory Día de los Muertos. In fact by then the Mexican government was attempting to eradicate (if slowly) the Mexicn lower class custom of spending el Día de los Muertos in the family cemetery sharing a picnic over the tombstones of loved ones. These customs were being eroded by street urchins who would come to you and instead of begging as they would have done on the day before (or after) on Halloween they would say, “Deme mi Halloween,” or “Give me my Halloween.” In retrospect I would believe that money was better for those children than sweet candies.
When me arrived in Vancouver and lived for a few years in Burnaby, it seems that it always rained on the day of the witches. My daughters Ale and Hilary would arrive all soaked with huge black garbage bags full of candy. In spite of their booty I felt very sorry for them. They immediately grew angry when I would help myself to some of it.
Rosemary was always in charge of answering the doorbell, and the loud knocking of children clamoring for their treats. To this day I refuse to answer the door and Rosemary does it. I tell her I hate Halloween. And yet I have never been visited by ghosts of Halloweens past!
But this Halloween we had almost no knocks at the door. There were a few children accompanied by their parents and it all seemed too planned to be safe, and so boring.
My sister-in-law, back in Ontario is most frugal yet to my amazement she told me that her house is popular because she hands out real and full size candy bars. This year she told me, “My hair is really short so I am wearing a witch’s hat and an orange plastic cape. I plan to have fun.
As I write this I am helping myself to little packages of yellow M&Ms. There is a pile of empty packages on the floor. The sweetness does not compensate for the depression that my wife and I felt when so few came knocking. It is sad to live in a neighbourhood with few children.
I despise Halloween and I am sure that Casa the cat would concur.
For the top picture I used a Mamiya RB-67 ProSD and a 90mm lens. My exposure was f-11 for 5 seconds with Ektachrome 100G. I used a 2x3 ft soft box attached to a Dynalite. For the picture, left, I used my iPhone 3G