Tuesday, August 14, 2018     Volume: 19, Issue: 23

Santa Maria Sun / Humor

The following article was posted on October 11th, 2017, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 18, Issue 32 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 18, Issue 32

Humor: Ariel is a ghoulish grandma

Tricks and treats


My God! Is it already October? Is Halloween really almost upon us? It is my favorite holiday because I love a good fright! Give me the scary and I’m there!

My love of a good scare comes from my mother and her sisters. They were the mistresses of scare tactics. One of the last times they were all together at Mom’s Phoenix home, she told them to be sure to lock all the doors as there was a psycho at large in the area. She really sold it, and my Aunt Sharon—an easy mark who hates being scared—bought it, every word. I later learned how it all went down.

Aunt Sharon had pushed two chairs against the bedroom door.

“What if I have to go pee?” Aunt Lorna asked.

“You do and you’re on your own!” retorted her loving sister.

As they lay together late that night, Mom snuck down the hall to their room and proceeded to scratch on the door and jiggle the knob. Aunt Sharon jumped out of bed, shoved all their luggage toward the door, and then huddled in bed in terror as Mom ran outside to their bedroom’s arcadia door and tried to slide it open.

Aunt Lorna tried to reason with her sister. “For God’s sake, Sharon, you know it’s just your sister!”

Aunt Sharon’s reply amazed her: “I know it is! I just wish to hell she’d get it over with!”

Yeah, good times.

Speaking of time, it has really caught me up this year and now I find myself scurrying to get ready for Halloween and the holiday festivities to follow. It seems like I had only just finished helping sell Fourth of July fireworks for our grandson’s high school athletics program. Suddenly I found myself volunteering to work the snack bar at one of the school’s football games in September. Now that was scary!

I was put on coffee, cocoa, and Cup-O-Noodles duty. This entailed pouring vast amounts of hot water into small cups from a large urn while sucking in my gut and butt so other volunteers could squeeze past with tri-tip sandwiches, hot dogs, and Frito boats. There was never any respite. Each time I looked up all I could see was a Golden Horde of teenagers and a smattering of brave parents clutching their wallets for dear life. It was what my British husband would call “a circus of horrors”!

Things have changed a bit over the years for me. Menopause has seen to that, what with facial hair, vine-like eyebrows, liver spots, and frizzy gray hairs, I’m so scary that I now look a fright!

Besides, I no longer have a little munchkin to dress up for trick-or-treating. Our grandson, The Briteen, is now too old and too cool for that. I have to settle for dressing up our tiny shih tzu because our cat, along with our teenager, will have none of it! This year she and I are entering a contest as Groucho (me) and Harpo Marx (her). I even have a tiny, curly-haired wig for her! I’m in negotiations with the Briteen to get him to go as Chico. He already has the hairstyle.

He and my husband, The Brit, also figured why work for free candy when they can just raid the treat stash I set aside for Halloween night? I have to keep replenishing and re-hiding bags of Kit Kat bars and Milky Ways, to no avail. That’s because teenagers have an innate ability to sniff out and locate hidden goodies. Why, then, can’t they sniff out and locate hidden dirty socks and boxers? Our grandson’s bedroom needs more than just a good cleaning. It needs an exorcist!

My love of Halloween has, over the years, made me the Edith Headless of the family. I have costumed my little brothers John as a mini-vampire and Mikey as a can of tomato soup. I turned my grandson into SpongeBob Squarepants, a zombie Mafioso, and last year, 2016 presidential debate spectator Ken Bone—red pullover sweater, horned-rimmed glass, big mustache and all!

The Brit, on the other hand, does not understand Halloween. The scariest thing that ever walked around his East London neighborhood was Jack the Ripper. He thinks our American boo-fest is silly, yet this man will watch any and every crummy horror movie ever made by frights masters from Jack Arnold to Rob Zombie, the gorier the blood fest the better. Worse, he even encourages The Briteen in this, and they behave like a ghoulish comedy duo.

Screech and Prong try topping each other with goofball responses to each on-screen impalement, decapitation, and dismemberment.

“He really got the point!” quips Screech.

“Perhaps he needed a hand,” Prong parlays.

“Yeah, ’cause he’s already lost his head!” cracks Screech.

“This film is killing me,” Prong guffaws.

However, The Briteen is hesitant to watch anything with scary, jagged-toothed, psychotic clowns.

“They really creep me out,” he shivered on the way home from school recently.

“Hmmm,” I mused aloud. “Halloween is nigh, and I’ll bet there’s a mask out there somewhere that’ll fit me!”

 “Oh! Oh! Don’t you dare!” my Briteen warned me. “You will start a prank war you can never win!”

Really? Hmmm. Now which store was it where I saw that scary, jagged-toothed clown mask? m

Ariel Waterman is now the mistress of scare tactics at Waterman Manor. Send her Kit Kat bars via Managing Editor Joe Payne at jpayne@santamariasun.com.

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