Sunday, May 27, 2018     Volume: 19, Issue: 12

Santa Maria Sun / Humor

The following article was posted on October 16th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 32 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 14, Issue 32

Young superheroes aren't just for Halloween anymore


Halloween is a holiday that really creeps up on you! Before you have barely dried the salt water out of your hair and brushed all the beach sand out of your crevices, pumpkins magically appear on the piers.

Costumes are on the racks at your favorite stores, and aisles overflow with candy and Halloween décor. My husband and grandson, The Brit and The Britween, both love eating the candy, whereas I love décorating.

Every year I add something new to my growing collection of ghoulish seasonal décor, but I spend most of my shopping time and budget stocking and then restocking bags of candy for trick-or-treaters. The candy mysteriously disappeared almost as soon as I bought it until I found a foolproof hiding place where my two fools never look—inside the washing machine when it’s not in use, which it never is by either of the gents in my home.

What The Brit and I love best about Halloween is handing out treats and seeing all the costumed revelers who come to our door. Some are creepy and fun, others are funny and weird, and tiny tots are simply darling and sweet.

The most popular characters seem to be heroes and heroines. I see plenty of comic book superheroes from the Incredible Hulk to Ironman to Superman, from Wonder Woman to Cat Woman to Marge Simpson. Yes, Marge! Who else could love and live with a doughnut-devouring, tidy-whitey-wearing, beer-guzzling doofus like Homer Simpson?

I wore my share of heroine costumes as a child. I dressed as Sleeping Beauty for my first Halloween. Mom recently reminded me of the angel costume she made for me—white gown, white wings, sparkly halo, and all. I had forgotten about that one—mercifully, I thought, until she hit me with the Italian guilt trip.

“How could you forget that costume? I made it myself just for you,” she bemoaned over the phone. I didn’t forget. I blocked it from my memory. I had wanted to be Diana Rigg in a black cat suit as Mrs. Peale from The Avengers. Uh, I mean, thank you, Mom, I love you so much!

When I was 9, I dressed as a Mouseketeer from the original Mickey Mouse Club. An early bloomer, I went as Annette. Years later, when in high school and fully blossomed, I wore an orange halter dress to a costume party and went as the Great Pumpkins. I was very popular with the boys. Not so much with the nuns, though.

My youngest brother, John, loved Batman and was the Caped Crusader a couple of Halloweens in a row. Mom bought him the costume when he was 5 years old after walking in on him in her bedroom. He was leaping up and down on her bed singing the Batman television theme song while wearing her nightie as a cape and one of her bras as a mask. “Da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, BATMAN!” Yeah, he was really bats, man.

Now I have my own superheroes. The Brit bravely faces Halloween, a holiday he never grew up with in London, as I deck the halls with demonic glee. He has always steadfastly held down the fort, treating trick-or-treaters on Oct. 31 while I took our then Mini-Brit out for his own Halloween revelry through the neighborhood.

My little guy had his own superheroes to emulate. Two years running found him in a Spiderman costume, followed by Poppy, our faithful black English Staffordshire dog, dressed up as a spider. Then loyalties shifted a bit and Mini-Brit became Donatello. No, not the Renaissance sculptor—the Ninja Turtle, and I accompanied him dressed like ninja master Splinter the Rat.

Then a new hero floated into his life and I made him a remarkable, if I may say so, SpongeBob SquarePants costume. I was, of course, Gary the Snail! Meow! But, sadly for their grandmas, little boys grow into little men and Mini-Brits become Britweens. Mine is now fascinated by literary heroes and wants to be Ichabod Crane—the Johnny Depp version, of course, because he is just so cool and awesome! I do have to concur with the boy.

What I did not expect was for my little boy to do something truly heroic, which he did. Some of you may even have seen a recent event in local papers and on the television news. Last month, my grandson, Samuel Waterman, was honored by Sheriff Ian Parkinson with the 911 Hero Award and Medal, the first Sheriff Parkinson has bestowed since taking office three years ago. Sam is a dog-walker in our neighborhood and late last December heard cries for help on his way home.

He investigated and discovered an elderly neighbor who had fallen and had been lying on her living room floor for more than 28 hours. Sam asked if he could come in and entered her home through an unlocked side door. He carefully helped her into a sitting position, assessed her condition, and called the EMTs, who assisted her.

After the EMTs took care of her and left, Sam made her something to eat and drink, then cared for her little dog. He brought me her phone number saying concernedly, “Grandma, I think we should check on her.” I contacted her family and she is now doing very well.

The Yiddish have a wonderful word—kvelling. It means justifiable bragging and, yes, I’ve been kvelling a lot lately. Especially after hearing Sam’s speech, which he wrote himself, at the award ceremony. He ended it with, “Now I would like to say something to everyone: It doesn’t take much to be a hero. All everyone has to do is watch out for each other and the world will be a better place.”

Superhero costumes are fun to wear any time of year, but I know what a real hero looks like. He looks like my Britween!


Ariel Waterman is now looking for a new hiding place for the Halloween candy, having given it away in paragraph three. Send her suggestions and bags of KitKats via her editor, Ryan Miller, at

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