31 October 2008

Shows lack of foresight, initiative and a blatant disregard for the environment

The sun is shining, the ground is dry, and over here in England Halloween feels like a silly personal custom made up by my parents, or your parents, or some other parent who lives on a continent where adults aren’t afraid of children, and you can be sure that ‘Trick or Treat’ is shorthand for ‘Fill my pillowcase with a bounty of store-bought sweets’ and not the imminent sound of shattering glass as someone throws a brick through your window.

That said, there were crates of pumpkins at the grocery store and I’d picked a smallish one with a nice smooth surface for carving, figuring the bit of pumpkin gristle on its top was the remnants of a sickly neighbour. Not so: our pumpkin had a right old gash near its stem, in the very spot that would indicate a soon-to-be-rotting pumpkin, and rot it did, because neither of us could be bothered to go back and exchange it in time.

I briefly considered putting it out anyway, because what’s spookier: an orange grin gently flickering at the window or a moldering, faceless gourd with its head caved in, possibly swarming with fruit flies? I know which one I’d run screaming from, provided it was set aflame and poised to be thrown at me by its headless owner.

But I didn’t – I just wrapped it in a carrier bag and put it straight into the bin outside (at the equally thrilling prospect of being told off by our unfriendly, environmentally friendly neighbours, who would probably compost their own mother if they thought there was a slim chance they could end up in the paper for single-handedly saving the planet). (They are good people.)

Whilst digging the eyes out of some jacket potatoes (bwahahaa), I wondered how easy it would be to turn these into Jack-o-Lanterns instead of boiling them and slathering them with butter, except that they were for our dinner and, realistically, it would have necessitated a seperate trip to the grocery store, where we could just pick up another pumpkin. Sometimes indolence outweighs even the most primordial impulse to follow tradition, however, and nothing was done about our regretful lack-o-Jack in the end.

In the absence of something to carve, then, or even a fruit bowl of individually wrapped chocolate bars to plunder (we are on diets), I asked Bruce what we could do to celebrate Halloween, because I don’t want to lose my traditions, however commercialised and socially defiled by nubile alcoholics dressed as Gogo Yubari they might be. He said he would pick up some face paints after work and we could paint each other’s faces and then post them on Flickr, but then he doesn’t want to hear another word out of me about it.

That’s fair enough, I guess! And once the baby’s here, it will be much easier to sell him on my fervent but vague tribute to this beloved holiday, as what parent doesn’t want to dress their little nipper as a cannon ball to compliment their own pirate-themed costume, hmmm? (Arrrrr?)

I’m thirty weeks along today. Thirty! That means I have ten more weeks to go. I’m partially excited, partially horrified and partially wait-and-see about the whole thing. As I told a friend from back home this week, I am just as much of a procrastinator now as I was in my university days. Some things only get done under pressure, and most things are only done well at the eleventh hour, at least for masochists like me. I will probably start cramming for the newborn exam shortly after my antenatal courses, or possibly on the way to hospital, should this kid decide to show up for Christmas.


Anonymous said...

Only ten weeks to go? And does it seem like "only" or a lifetime away? In any event, Happy Halloween to you and yours.

Amy said...

Did I tell you that I am dressing as Gogo?!!!

Anonymous said...

Lass, it seems like both an eternity and not long enough to be as unprepared as I feel. Pretty much how it should feel at this point, I reckon.