Saturday, October 26, 2019

Halloween, 2019

Image by Enrique Meseguer from Pixabay 

This is a weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandchildren (who exist), and my great-grandchildren (who don't) — the Stickies — to haunt them after they become grups or I'm deleted.
                  
This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens Perusal by kids, callowyutes, and approximately 39.9% of all grups may result in a debilitating intersectional triggering. 

                                                  Glossary  

                                                    About

Erratically Appearing Hallucinatory Guest Star: Dana — A Gentlerreader

"From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night.
Good Lord, deliver us!"


Dear Grandstickies & Great-Grandstickies (& Gentlereaders),

For the record, the quote above is a poem, or a (Scottish) prayer, or an anonymous children's rhyme of Scottish or Cornish or Welsh or Celtic origin. It depends on who you ask.

If it were my job to choose, I'd go with Scottish prayer because, well, because it pleases me, I have a poetic license—and it's my column.

Which reminds me, I need to get off the dime and ramp up my campaign. I'm running for king next year. You may have missed the announcement given that the obsessed purple press is about to begin year four of all, the Donald, all the time.

Anyways, I confess that the whatever it is that I quote above fascinates me. I've always liked it for its own sake. But then I went a-googlin' and discovered that everyone says or writes it the exact same way but no one is sure where it came from.

I think it reminds us that even in the Dizzinformation Age all facts—however useful, time-tested, corroborated, etceterated—are potentially provisional given that...


[FOR THE LOVE OF GOD! Is Mr. Cranky suffering from a severe bout of dementia and wandering the streets of his neighborhood in a fugue state, peeing his pants, and asking the feral cats under the viaduct why they killed all the birds?]

Get a grip, Dana. I know perfectly well most of the birds have fled south, as I wish I could. Winter's here in Canada's Deep South (Ohio) are brutal.

[Fine then, could we move past the freakin' lame lyrical loopy introduction and get on with the show?]

Speaking of dementia, I've noticed that you seem to be losing your temper a lot more than usual lately. When was the last time...

Bam! (A door slams shut in my head.)

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My daily morning and evening perambulations around the neighborhood I've lived in, but have mostly ignored for the past decade, detailed in Mr. Cranky's Neighborhood, continue apace.

Halloween's upon us and the leaves are dying. Climate conditions this year were such that they're not going out in a blaze of glory. More like a soft glow of pastel mediocrity.

Halloween decorations, some of which went up quite early—but not as early as miniaturized candy bars encased in holiday-themed plastic bags (same candy, different bags)—have appeared here, there, and even in that street half full of deserted houses way over there.

Also, orange Halloween lights—I try to hit the streets when the sun is almost gone, sunsets in the Flatlands of Ohio are normally only at their best for a brief time—while not commonplace, are also not rare.

When I was a kid, there was no such thing as Halloween lights and miniaturized candy bars were rare. Full-sized bars were the rule and the infidels that desecrated the holiday by handing out tiny candy bars were as reviled as the people that handed out fruit.

And no, it wasn't because of a fear of carefully hidden razor blades, it was because it was fruit.

Yes, even back in the Black&White ages that story, and variations of that story, were in circulation. I went a googlin' and discovered it's so common there's a Wikipedia entry about it.

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The good news is that the Wikipedia entry, along with all sorts of other sources, have ruled that this myth is officially busted.

The bad news is that this urban legend has roots that extend all the way back to when candy started being made in factories, which according to this website, was as long ago as 1847.

"The inventor of 'chocolate for eating' is unknown, but in 1847 Joseph Fry discovered a way to mix cocoa powder, sugar, and cocoa to create a paste that could be pressed into a mold. The resulting Bar was a success."

"Candy from a factory, made by a machine? I'm stickin' with Mrs. McGillicuddy's hot chocolate. Lord knows what might be in that bar!"

The current kerfuffle concerning candy tampering commenced when I was a kid and coincided with the cultural chaos of the 60s and 70s that continues (alliteration rules! sorry...) to this day.

Although the stories have repeatedly been debunked, the legend, now more than 150 years old, lives on. Given the 24-hour news cycle, social media, and global terrorism it's not hard to imagine why. 

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In America, with the exception of certain pagans and a seemingly ever-diminishing number of Catholics, All Hallows Eve remains an unofficial and secular holiday even though it generates lots of profit, lots of jobs, and lots of fun.

Somehow, it's managed to avoid being turned into a Monday/three day weekend holiday even if some heretical communities celebrate it on a Friday or Saturday night.

Somehow, even public-sector unions haven't found a way to turn it into a paid holiday—for public-sector unions and no one else.

I've even heard rumors of places that don't have officially authorized hours for when ghoulies and ghosties are permitted to go trick or treating.

"Stop yer cryin' kid, rules are rules. If ya don't want yer candy confiscated ya gotta play by the rules. Hey, have your parents seen this costume? I mean..."

"Don't even go there, Ed, those rules are only for college students."

[Geesh, is there a point to this drivel?]

Dana, welcome back!

[Don't start, I...]

A point? I guess I'm just trying to say it pleases me no end that in America the busyiful we celebrate a holiday of (almost) no religious or secular significance primarily for the fun of it.

On a vaguely related note, I promise that if I'm elected king that I'll spend no shortage of political capital promoting the passage of the America's Closed on Sundays Just Because We Can Be amendment to the Constitution.

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

Please scroll down to react, comment, or share. If my work pleases you I wouldn't be offended if you offered to buy me a coffee.  

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Your friendly neighborhood crank is not crazy about social media (I am a crank after all) but if you must, you can like me/follow me on Facebook. I post an announcement when I have a new column available as well as news articles/opinion pieces that reflect where I'm coming from or that I wish to call attention to. Cranky don't tweet. 


 

 






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