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Nostalgia October 2016

Vintage Vibes

Trick or Treat?

By Elaine Marze

Imagine if you can, a big man – who did not have a sense of humor on his best day – running backward off the porch in the dark while emitting unintelligible sounds of terror while crystal cups went flying.

Treats are nice, but Halloween is often a night for pranks – especially in bygone days.

My mother had a rubber witch mask with big, nasty, hairy warts, green skin and an evil smile. Every October she would stuff clothes with straw until they took human form, added the mask, a broom and wig and this spooky apparition sat in a chair by the front door for weeks. Frequent visitors found the sight a little unsettling at first, but they soon ignored the ugly creature since it was an annual fixture at our house.

I had a much younger teenaged brother. One night when my mother and stepfather left to attend an auction, this brother decided to play a prank on our parents and change places with the witch.

Larry chuckled to himself as he dressed in the witch clothes and donned the mask and wig. What a neat trick this was going to be.

It was a dark night in the country with only a single porch light on when Mom and John got out of the car carrying items they had bought at the auction – which included a large crystal punch bowl filled with crystal cups that Larry’s dad was holding. There Larry sat, dressed in the witch costume, wearing the hideous mask and wig, waiting to jump up and yell, “BOO”!

But then in the recesses of his teen brain, some little voice of caution warned, “Don’t do it! You could give your momma a heart attack!” So, surprisingly, Larry actually paid heed to the little warning voice in his head, and he decided not to jump up and scare them. He was going to sit there quietly until after they entered the house.

But when his dad got to the door and struggled to open it while juggling the crystal punch bowl filled with delicate little glass cups … well, Larry only meant to help. He swears he was just being mannerly. He had no intentions of what happened next. Since his dad was obviously struggling to get the door open, Larry was only being polite when he suddenly stood and said, “I’ll get that.”

Imagine if you can, a big man – who did not have a sense of humor on his best day –  running backward off the porch in the dark while emitting unintelligible sounds of terror while crystal cups went flying. He ran down our mom on his way through the yard still screaming, and it was a while before he came back. His near coronary was understandable when it appeared that a hideous-looking witch/dummy which hitherto had been non-living and stationary suddenly stood up with arms outstretched and spoke.

And, yes, Larry got into big trouble! A little discretion please when planning for Halloween tricks!

 

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