There it was, rising up from the pavement, a big orange orb. As I approached, I could see that it was a giant inflatable pumpkin. Interestingly enough, parked next to it was a semi trailer, inexplicably marked with the words, "Be Sexy."
This can only mean one thing, Halloween.
Every year a local costume vendor sets up this pumpkin in a parking lot, as a temporary shop. The shop is crammed with all their spookiest decorations and costumes.
Naturally, I went on an initial foray with the kids to scope out Halloween costumes, I mean, who can resist a giant pumpkin?
Keep in mind, this store sells nothing but Halloween related items. They have the biggest assortment of monsters and monster makeup this side of Hollywood. If it seems they are setting up earlier and earlier, they are, they have to convince you to part with your hard-earned money to buy a bunch of rubber skeletons and paper witches.
Until you go into a Halloween store, you can never truly grasp how many ways there are to depict blood and guts. Apparently, Halloween isn't about ghosts and ghouls anymore. Now, it is about dismembered corpses, rabid oversize rats and many other gory items.
Apparently, when choosing the Halloween decorations, the grosser the better.
Once inside the store, I realized that the split of decorations to costumes is about 60/40 with costumes edging out decorations by just the tiniest bit. While browsing the costumes, I realized two things.
First thing I realized was that unbeknown to me, all women secretly harbor the desire to dress like hookers. It has to be true, how else do you explain the fact that almost all the costumes for women contain the word naughty?
As in Naughty Nurse, Naughty Pirate, and oh wait, just for a little variety, Lusty Bar Wench. Okay, that solves the mystery of the "be sexy" semi trailer in the parking lot.
The most frightening thing (well to me) was that each of these costumes, which consists of nothing more then two or three tiny, flimsy scraps of material retails for about $50.
Second thing I realized is that footwear is an integral part of your Halloween costume. At least according to this store, I have never seen such an assortment of tacky vinyl heels. Most of the shoes seem better suited to standing on the corner asking the guy if he wants a date, then walking around asking for candy.
The most disturbing thing in the store was not the scary decorations or the sleazy costumes for women. It was the fact that the slutty costume trend had trickled down into the preteen costumes.
I have no problem with a grown woman acting out her pretty woman fantasies, but there is no way I want my little girls dressing like naughty nurses.
It happens so quickly, one minute you are looking at the little kid section which is all forest fairies and cute, fuzzy animals them bam! You are in the Pre-Teen section.
You can tell it is the pre teen section because all the cute princesses and fairies are gone, replaced by Goth Goddesses, Rock n' Roll stars and Divas.
Each of these costumes comes complete with short skirts and skimpy tops. The models on the package are shown wearing copious amounts of makeup and wigs that would make Tina Turner envious.
If a grown woman wants to parade around like Hugh Hefner's latest bunny that is fine, but certainly not a little girl.
While the girl's section is fraught with sex, the boy's section contains silly sight gag costumes like gum stuck to the bottom of a shoe or gory decapitated zombie cannibal costumes.
If you believe the costume industry, even the sweetest little boy can't wait to dress up as a vicious ax-wielding maniac.
Halloween seems to unleash hidden desires in people, which translates into either dressing super sexy or dressing to scare the pants off people.
Halloween is all about the dark side. I believe I read somewhere that Halloween surpasses Christmas for money spent on decorations.
If you can't believe Halloween surpasses Christmas, I can. Scaring people (or yourself) is fun), it is that touch of the forbidden that makes it so exciting.
Let's face it Christmas is all about giving, love and peace. At Halloween, it is all about dark, scary forces and getting (in terms of candy), what could be more appealing.
Halloween represents laughing in the face of death, even if it is a little kid dressed as the grim reaper.
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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