Monday, 25 October 2010

Halloween is Like Prawn Crackers

When I was 14 my pal and I were given money from his dad to go out and get ourselves a chippy.  Instead, we decided it would be a better idea all round if we took that money and purchased a bottle of vodka from the corner shop. The Spar in Dingwall wasn't big on ID at the time but even we, at 14, didn't consider for a second that we would actually get served. I say "we" but I actually mean "me"; being taller than my friend meant I was nominated the daunting task of trying to get the booze.

As it turned out acquiring the alcohol wasn’t all that problematic. I don't think the chap serving behind the counter had considered the "Think 21" policy, he kindda just took your word for it........

Not a great interregation I must say.  Did he expect me to crack under that pressure....???

We were in an unlikely, unprecedented situation.  We had the voddy but having made the decision to go upmarket and buy Smirnoff instead of Grants (a decision I felt would validate my credibility as an eighteen year old) we had spent our all our money. We had no money for food and, even worse, nothing to drink the vodka with. No problem though. With the £2.00 we managed to cobble together my friend could go into the shop and innocently, and legally purchase some coke or perhaps irn bru.  And of course we could always make ourselves some food, beans or dairylea on toast, this would surely suffice? But no. It was decided that the better idea would be to drink the vodka straight using two shot glasses, and to ‘fast’ for the evening.

We weren't even drunk when we made that decision. As we shotted our way through the bottle things became decidedly worse......

Since we had decided to forgo the chippy in favour of straight vodka the only thing we had eaten all day was prawn crackers left over from my mates chinese the previous evening. Those prawn crackers were eventually regurgitated in the back of my dads car (an Audi A2 which was a piece of shit anyway..) and on my bedroom carpet (a minging green thing that needed updating...) and in the driveway (which is outdoors so doesn’t count).

So how is Halloween like prawn crackers? Well, an unfortunate experience with a bottle of straight vodka has put me off prawn crackers for life, and likewise a series of terrible Halloweens has meant this 'holiday' is nothing more than a perpetual disaster.

Aside from the opportunity to cause mischief and eat sweeties until you go blind, Halloween has never been much fun.  There was the inevitable disappointment of excessive, unwanted monkey nuts, used mainly for hurling at people.  While bobbing for apples has always reminded me of how Mum tried to drown me when I was a kid. An unfortunate event she claims was down to a "particularly bad bout of post-natal depression" (12 years after she gave birth funnily enough). Furthermore most Halloweens tended to end up with us getting chased by the 'homies' (the looked-after-kids from the home, nothing to do with 'fidy cent' bloods or cribs or anything). Then of course there was that bad idea that came annually...'Mooning' the neighbours......

But the real reason I will always hate Halloween is the same reason I hate lazer tag, bowling, Easter and public swimming Mum. Now my mum has many talents (mainly making soup) but she isn't the most artistic or creative of people, nor is she particularly bothered when it comes to humiliating her children. But to give you an idea of why I dislike Halloween here is a list of some of the costumes I was sent out in......
  • WINDOW CLEANER - (a railway boilersuit with a shammy and a bucket)  
  • FRANKENSTEIN - (this was a black jacket with a Frankenstein mask)
  • A MEXICAN - (this consisted of a poncho and a sombrero borrowed off my uncle Johnny)
  • THE KARATE KID - (I wore my taekwondo suit with a bit of paper that said 'the Karate Kid' taped (not pinned) on the back)
  • TEENAGE MUTANT HERO TURTLE - (though this one was actually amazing, but only because my auntie Bunty made it. I was Donatello and my brother was Raphael)
but my personal favourite had to be....
  • GOALKEEPER - (basically my goalie strip and gloves I wore every other day at training)
A goalkeeper!! You can’t eat crips or open bubblegum juice or american soda with big goalie gloves on. How could my mother do this to me?? This was just like the time she sent me to the school disco in shorts because I kept sliding on my knees and ruining my trousers. In hindsight I can see this attempt at dressing up much the same way I imagine the teachers at the school disco did......pathetic! But when you're 9 years old you still believe you're in with a shout of winning the best dressed competition.....


So consider this, young, proud, parents. What you do this Halloween can, in the future, have a profound effect on your children. Dress them properly, make the effort, and if not?? Consider the disappointment of the child at the Halloween disco who genuinely believes they can win the best-dressed competition dressed as a goalkeeper.

Halloween, it'll always leave a bad taste in the mouth, just like those prawn crackers.....!! 

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