Tuesday 06 Dec 2016

Zombies and Snoopy
Jennifer Flaten

This household is over fifty percent girl. This means that not only have we cornered the market on hair products and lip-gloss, but also our Halloween decorations fall less on the scary side and more on the cute side. Oh who am I kidding, while we have an abundance of decoration, scary is not a word I would use for any of them.

Every year we drag out box after box of decorations. Every year the kids declare this year will be the scariest. I suppose I might agree with that statement if I was less than 12 years old. 

Unfortunately, for an adult, it would only be possible if you find a three foot Snoopy dressed as a witch scary. Wait, isn’t that snoopawiccaphobia? That’s its name.

Oh, we have all the requisite decorations witches, bats, ghosts and even goblins, just not scary ones. We also have a disproportionate number of stuffed animals dressed as Halloween characters. Truly, how scary is a penguin dressed as Frankenstein; would you be more scared it I told you it sings?

Even our scary movies aren’t scary. There was nothing scary about “Spooky Buddies.” Well, maybe, the fact, the fact that such a movie exists is scary.

Every single one of our decorations has a happy smile, nary a menacing snarl amongst the group. Why even our pumpkins have happy faces carved into them. I try to carve something scary, really, I do, but the minute the kids realize the pumpkin has a bat or a skeleton on it, they insist it would look much better if it were smiling.

The only thing we don’t have is zombies. I draw the line at zombies, even if we could find a zombie with a smile on its face, how incredibly creepy is that idea. Anyway, I am pathologically afraid of zombies and refuse to have one in my yard.

It also means that we have more decorations than any other house on the block. We have lights, giant spiders, yes, a smiling spider, and great heaps of spider webs. Okay, so maybe I use Halloween as excuse to get a little lax with the cobwebs, I am adding atmosphere.

The fake spider webs are a great invention. I give the kids a giant wad of it and send them out in the yard to decorate. If I am lucky, it takes the kids about 8 hours to get it “just right.” Of course, I do have to check the work, though. Where’s the younger brother, wrapped in cobwebs or adhered to the tree, in a giant cocoon of faux web.

Obviously, this happy trend means our costumes run cute and cuddly, as well. We’ve had penguins, a mouse, a cat and more Star Wars characters then I can count. Although this year one kid did make noises about wanting to be something “darker” for Halloween.

She asked if she could be a zombie, sharper than a serpent’s tooth, that one. After they coaxed me out from under the bed, I tried to convince her that a zombie costume was no fun. I pointed out that zombies don’t wear glitter and certainly can’t have eye shadow, a special treat for trick or treat only.

Trust me I will use every trick at my disposal to dissuade a child of mine from dressing like a zombie. She finally settled for a “dark” fairy. Essentially, this means the child in question wears a black dress, but her wings and make- up are still colorful. Go figure, it is better than is a bloody zombie.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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