If you’ve read this blog for any amount of time you already know that I grew up around the corner from Deliverance. We never had cable television in our home and lived on a dirt road until I was in junior high. Our family attended a southern baptist church that was one of the oldest in the state and sat at the intersection of three country roads boondock, backwood, and redneck. To give you perspective it didn’t even have running water until I was around eight years old.
This very conservative close-knit congregation, who felt scaring people into heaven was the only way to save souls, surprisingly loved Halloween and held an annual celebration. The white clabbered country church building consisted of a sanctuary that held about 200 people and four Sunday school classroom and a two outhouses (seriously). Each Halloween we would decorate this house of worship in the most ghoulish hillbilly manner possible. One year we used roadkill as table decorations – not really – but it could have easily happened with none being surprised.
Some parents but mostly older kids volunteered to scare the younger ones during our annual fright fest. So in the shadow of a 8 foot tall cross was fake blood, spine-chilling Halloween music, and every homemade monster conceivable. The last gig I remember was having kids close their eyes and put their hands in a bowl of eyeballs and brains. I must have done an awful job selling it, instead of getting freaked like they were supposed to they started eating my props.
I had attended this church all my life as did my parents, grand parents, and great grandparents. Our long time pastor was so old he could have easily been there since the beginning, so when he finally retired I just assumed someone as prehistoric would take his place. To my surprise they chose a much younger minister to become the middleman between God and us. If anyone had thought his youthful preacher man would bring some contemporary religion to the flock we were wrong. On what would be our last Halloween celebration he pulled the plug midway through and said that would be the last as he felt the costumes, props, and music weren’t befitting a house of God. That was 1981, when K-Mart was the only costume store in town and long before Halloween became what we know it to be today.
Sometime, and I’m not quite sure when, a law passed making it virtually mandatory for respectable and well bred women to use Halloween as their opportunity to dress like complete hoochies. If any woman ever considered being a hooker, this is their chance to see what it’s like. It seems there isn’t a celebrity persona, fruit, animal, or vegetable that costume designers haven’t in one way or another turned into a prostitute. Every cartoon character I ever loved as a kid is now a part-time call girl.
Pinocchio – has clearly been a boy since the early 40’s but has suddenly become a trollop.
Peebles – the toddler of Fred and Wilma Flintstone is now, thanks to Halloween, a floozie.
Pepe Le pew – the odoriferous pal of Bugs Bunny who wanted nothing but love this season is a stripper.
Nemo – the lovable clownfish that’s entertained children the world over is now ‘Dakota on the main stage’ or a walking candy corn.
This would the perfect segue to talk about the mixed messages women send but that’ll have to wait. Speaking of churches, I’ve often wondered if dressing up like a naughty nun is a sin? Do you think the church would consider that heretical or blasphemous?
I gotta believe that the Lord of the Universe will be looking down on all of us this weekend shaking His head in disbelief,
Happy Halloween Hoochieween campers!