I thought I’d slap together a few questions just to see how they might hit you. Since most of the answers are subjective, there’s no real score or prize here, other than the memories that might be triggered, and that’s the real focus. Halloween has always been a special time for me, and I thought we might share the road backward for a bit. (And please, if you feel compelled to copy this list to stir memories on your own blog, why, that’s mighty fine with me.) Enjoy.
1. What are your thoughts on green pea soup?
2. Would you rather be Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy or Sarah Jessica Parker?
3. Do you carve pumpkins or do you consider it to be a violation of their civil rights?
4. Have you ever screamed whilst watching a horror movie? (Legitimate screaming, not mere gasping or knocking over your wine glass.)
5. Who was the actual killer in the original “Friday the 13th” movie?
6. As a young child and presumed trick-or-treater, did you carefully plan the streets and houses you would conquer, or did you rush up to each one you could find, full of great expectations, thus setting you up for a lifetime of disappointment?
7. As an adult and presumed non-trick-or-treater (not judging if you still do), have you ever turned off your porch light on Halloween night because you just weren’t in the mood and/or somehow forgot it was Halloween despite the candy displays that have been in every grocery store since Labor Day?
8. If dared, would you stand in front of a mirror and repeat “Candyman” five times?
9. Do you remember the time when you could safely eat anything in your collected stash of treasures without fear or worry?
10. Do you remember the time when those treasures might be popcorn balls or candied apples because grownups made an effort to do it up right for the children of the neighborhood? And we would say thank you, ma’am, and really mean it?
11. Do you believe in ghosts? Spirits? Lingering traces of what once was?
12. Have you ever read “Something Wicked This Way Comes?” (Because Ray Bradbury is a master, and you should.)
13. If you were raised in a country or culture that doesn’t observe Halloween, do you have a similar holiday or time of year? We all have shared experiences, but they often go by other names…
14. Did you (or your parents) make your own costumes as a child, or were they store-bought? We always made our own, because we were broke-ass poor most of the time. (Slight exaggeration, but not by much.) Example: I once sauntered out as Dolly Parton, using slightly-deflated soccer balls to represent her signature anatomy as well as my own mother’s green-velvet mini-skirt, because it was the 70s and women actually had such things in their closets. It took me a few years to come out of my own closet…
15. What are your thoughts on school systems and communities having “Fall Festivals” instead of “Halloween Parties”? My opinion? The overwrought religious folks who want to dilute the innocent fun of Halloween (because it’s all about Satan!) are doing a disservice to the very children that they are pretending to protect. Let the children use their imagination, because it’s the most important thing about them, and without that imagination, we stagnate.
16. Did you ever read a scary book, in your bed and under the covers, with a flashlight?
17. Who is your favorite horror author, if you read such? If you don’t, why are you still taking this quiz? Just kidding. Sort of. (Alternative question: What author best reminds you that life is far too short to read anything that isn’t worth your time?)
18. What horror movie series starred a young Johnny Depp in the first installment?
19. Would you rather walk through a remote cornfield in the middle of the night, talk to a clown that you discover in a sewer grate, be the winter caretaker at the Overlook Hotel, live in the last house on the left, sign the guest register at a questionable motel that features a taxidermy theme, or use an ATM in the bad part of town at 3AM?
20. If you were to write a horror story about your own life, would you change the names of the people who did you wrong?
21. If you were offered the chance at everlasting life, albeit with some not-so-good side effects like having to suck the lifeblood out of innocent people who happened to be in the Ikea parking lot at just the wrong time, would you do it?
22. Of all the people who have passed before us, known or unknown, who would you most like to see sitting across from you at a table in a tapas restaurant in southern Spain, with that golden sun making everything surreal yet perfect, and you can just talk and talk and talk? Because I shouldn’t end this thing with real horror, but with love, and remembrance, and hope, and peace, and the imagination of little Dolly Partons in green-velvet mini-skirts who clutched a bag of treasures and briefly thought that everything was right as rain…
Previously published, slight modifications made.
Mea Culpa Moment: I just reviewed the comments from the last time I shared this post and, to my embarrassed surprise, I discovered that I only responded to the first of said comments and then I left the rest of them forlorn and neglected. There is no valid excuse for my malfeasance, especially considering the sterling quality of most of the contributions, but I’m fairly certain that the negligence was the result of my sudden but relatively-short abduction by aliens. That seems fair, doesn’t it?
In any case, if you are still smarting, two years later, from my inexcusable affront, please accept my apologies and I promise to do better this time. Unless the power goes out and a strange orb descends on Bonnywood. One never knows…
Categories: My Life