HAPPY HALLOWE’EN 2015!
I decided on a mix-bag of Halloween “treats” to celebrate the day.
Let’s start with Warren Zevon and “Werewolves of London” from 1978.
Next stop, is the 1980’s and one of my favorite songs. I don’t find many people who even remember this Chris Deburgh hit. I always thought they should have played the Charon reference in the video a little stronger. But in true MTV-Eighties fashion; the video still has a creepy feel complete with little weird kid dressed in white.
And, while you may have carved your Jack O’Lantern–you may have had more trouble, if forced to carve a turnip. That’s what the Irish do to honor their story of how we came to have that glowing orange vegetable on our front porch.
“As the story goes, Stingy Jack—often described as a blacksmith—invited the Devil to join him for a drink. Stingy Jack didn’t want to pay for the drinks from his own pocket, and convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin that could be used to settle the tab. The Devil did so, but Jack skipped out on the bill and kept the devil-coin in his pocket with a silver cross so that the devil couldn’t shift back to his original form. Jack eventually let the devil loose, but made him promise that he wouldn’t seek revenge on Jack, and wouldn’t claim his soul when he died.
Later, Jack irked the Devil again by convincing him to climb up a tree to pick some fruit, then carved a cross in the trunk so that the devil couldn’t climb back down (apparently, the devil is a sucker). Jack freed him again, on the condition that the devil once again not take revenge and not claim Jack’s soul.
When Stingy Jack eventually died, God would not allow him into heaven, and the Devil, keeping his word, rejected Jack’s soul at the gates of hell. Instead, the devil gave him a single burning coal to light his way and sent him off into the night to “find his own hell.” Jack put the coal into a carved-out turnip and has supposedly been roaming the earth with it ever since. In Ireland, the ghost lights seen in the swamps were said to be Jack’s improvised lantern moving about as his restless soul wandered the countryside. He and the lights were dubbed “Jack of the Lantern,” or “Jack O’Lantern.”
And finally, a little (long) quote about the joy of pouring out all your Hallowe’en candy on the floor upon returning from Trick-or-Treating.”
“I’m a great lover of visual art and I will happily discuss the color and texture of Van Gogh’s Starry Night…. But I can think of nothing on earth so beautiful as the final haul on Halloween night, which, for me, was ten to fifteen pounds of candy, a riot of colored wrappers and hopeful fonts, snub-nosed chocolate bars and SweeTARTS, the seductive rattle of Jujyfruits and Good & Plenty and lollipop sticks all akimbo, the foil ends of mini LifeSavers packs twinkling like dimes, and a thick sugary perfume rising up from the pillowcase.
And more so, the pleasure of pouring out the contents onto the rug in the TV room, of cataloging the take according to a strict Freak Hierarchy, calling for all chocolate products to be immediately quarantined, sorted, and closely guarded, with higher-quality fruit chews and caramels next, then hard candies, and last of all anything organic (the loathsome raisins). A brief period of barter with my brothers might ensue. For the most part, I simply lay amid my trove and occasionally massed the candy into a pile which I could sort of dive into, à la Scrooge McDuck and his gold ducats.”
–Steve Almond, “Night of the Living Freak”
That’s all of what was in today’s bag. It was your Saturday AND your All Hallow’s Eve Diversion.