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Let's talk about Halloween. Thanks to a certain virus who shall not be named in this blog, this year will likely be void of Halloween parties and the joys of trick or treating. As if it's not already a questionable idea to send your kids off knocking on the doors of strangers to beg for high fructose treats, now we have to add the C-word to the mix. But here we are so we band together and we get through it together.
Let us fondly go down memory lane, before our new normal, and remember some of our favorite Halloween costumes, shall we? I will never forget my friends, Glenn and Reid, who dressed up as Neiman Marcus beauty counter fragrance consultants. They walked around in full drag with smocks embroidered with Neiman's logo, spritzing anyone in sight with bottles of gardenia-forward perfume, perfect strangers included. Reid still dresses up as an "aging film actress" - perhaps his favorite alter ego of all - even on random days of the year having nothing whatsoever to do with Halloween. For some of us, costumes are appropriate whenever one feels inspired. I personally like to wear my tiara when I vacuum the house because when else does one get to walk around with a bejeweled head while sucking up cat hair? I also fondly remember the time I was in the third grade and my mother dressed me up as a Christmas tree...for Halloween. I couldn't sit down the entire day, for she had attached glass ornaments to my 360-degree costume, including upon my little derriere. I also had a pointy green hat with a chin strap. That one was special.
Speaking of my mother and my favorite holidays, she really was on a roll that year. That was the year she called the Easter Bunny to tell him to not leave me an Easter basket because I was being naughty. Talk about psychological warfare - the woman literally warned me that she would call the Easter Bunny if I didn't stop torturing my younger brother, which had become my favorite sport at that age. I remember thinking that was preposterous, no one has his phone number, not even my wily mom. Forever seared into my childhood memory is the moment I was trying to force my brother to enjoy a bowl of cold water with vegetable scraps that I "cooked" on my play stove, as he pleaded with me to not make him do it, until I heard her say,"Heather, come here, the Easter Bunny wants to talk to you."
Of course these were the days all phones were attached to walls with twisty-gnarly cords that allowed you a range of maybe five feet at most. I always thought it was peculiar when someone would call and say, "I hope you're sitting down for this," To which you would say, "why, no, I am standing quite far away from the couch which is on the other side of the room." But I digress. Back to my scheming mother...I sheepishly went over and put the phone to my little ear and this deep voice says, "Heather, this is the Easter Bunny." To which I responded by breaking into a fit of hysterical sobs, hyperventilating and swearing I would behave, just pleeeaaaasssseee do not cross me off the list, Mr. Easter Bunny. I then went on to firmly believe for an unnecessary period of YEARS that The Mr. Easter Bunny was very much real, as I had spoken to him directly on the telephone. I also walked away from that experience thinking that my mother was like a mafia boss - so well connected, it just wouldn't be worth it to ever cross her again.
Let's also talk about vampires as we're on a path here, discussing shady characters like my mother and the Easter Bunny. Anne Rice most definitely brainwashed us all into thinking vampires are about as unappealing as the idea of Brad Pitt seducing you, only so he can suck on your neck after you've had too much wine by the gentle glow of the fireplace and the delightful sound of classical music in the background. But in my experience, that is total hogwash. Vampires are pasty, malnourished weirdos walking the streets of San Francisco dressed in a tuxedo and ball gown gloves in the middle of the day.
My best friend, Rachel, and I had just returned from an overnight jaunt to Napa Valley. We had pulled the rental car up to the hotel entrance and Rachel went to find a valet so we could unload the ridiculous amount of wine we had purchased, mostly while sloshed which is when it's best to make sound financial transactions on your credit card. I stood by the car, like a lookout, so no one could steal our loot, and that's when the vampire approached me. It wasn't just the ring of alarm bells going off in my head that alerted me to the fact that he was a nutter, but he actually introduced himself and said, extending his ball gown gloved hand, "Hello, I am a vampire, and you're beautiful." And this is when I realized that my best friend would sacrifice me in the face of danger, for she stood there observing this from afar, not taking a single step forward to save me. Rather, she was more like, "yikes, scary weirdo, I'm going to stay far away from that situation and let Heather deal with it."
Anyway, I am a sucker for a compliment and when someone says you're beautiful, the right thing to do is say thank you. I thanked the vampire who was now holding my hand, as my "best" friend kept a distance, and it was the valet with his wayward trolly with the broken wheel that saved me from, I suppose from what I gather about vampires and their intentions, losing a pint of blood that day. The spell was broken, the vampire went along his merry way and I'll never go hiking in the California mountains with Rachel because I know exactly what would happen should we have the misfortune of encountering, say, a pissed off mountain lion. I'll also add that my understanding is that once a vampire bites you, you too become a vampire. The part about not aging ever again is of course interesting to me, but more pertinent to the story, take a gander at who my very first victim would have been. Yeah, besties for not just life, but eternity.
And friends, this is why I encourage you to stock up on Biltong Baron's Vampire Defense before the end of this month. While I now know the Easter Bunny is a farce, I assure you vampires are real.
The Biltong Baroness