Wilder by Far

A look at life with the Wilder family. Updated most weekends and some vacation days. You can contact me at movingnorth@gmail.com..

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Location: United States

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

"Every Halloween, the trees are filled with underwear. Every spring, the toilets explode." Dean Vernon, Animal House

A throng of people waiting to get into Spookytown. Despite the minutes-long wait, no riots. Perhaps we're just not trying hard enough.

Halloween in Fairbanks is different.

It has to be. It gets darker, sooner. And, it gets colder.

One of the adaptations for this weather is that one of the indoor malls (we have multiple malls) has a vacant store. In it, Spookytown.

Spookytown is nice, because it's heated, and because it was on Sunday. After the football game was over. That's another nice feature of living in Fairbanks - the NFL's second game is done about 3:30PM.

Imagine (if you're old enough) when school gyms used to be turned into haunted houses, with tons of games for the little kids. Spookytown is like that. It's a wholesome charity event (benefiting Special Olympics) where kids come together and shout and wiggle and wander about aimlessly, getting scared about nothing. It's like a miniature version of Congress, except the kids at Spookytown had adult supervision.

We got in the line, as pictured above. A smiling Gypsy sold us tickets, and Crocodile Dundee let us in. As usual, I saw several people I knew at the event.

Spookytown was good for The Boy. He bagged some candy, and got scared witless in a haunted house. I think the Christopher Walken exhibit scared him the most, man, that guy is creepy. His rendition of Lovealot Bear in a stage version of "The Care Bears on Ice" was enough to give me nightmares for the rest of my life. Driving home from Spookytown was the first sign that fall had finally hit Fairbanks. We saw the thermometer in The Mrs. car drop down to 0F (that's -725C) on the way home.

Monday night, though, really was Halloween. Keeping 'em inside was just silly. So, we got the car going again to hit the neighborhood. Most of the lights were out, except we swung by and hit the house of Coldfoot and Dame Coldfoot where The Boy jumped through the front door, shimmied out of his coat, and proceeded to run off and play with the Little Coldfeet. We had left The Other Boy to watch the car (nothing's better to guard a car than a nearly-six-month-old, since you'd have to change it if you stole the car) so we had to scoot off. Besides, The Mrs. had dressed him in so many layers of clothing that it was impossible for him to move anything but his eyeballs, and I had to get back to the car to move his eyelids so his eyes wouldn't dry up.

We scooted off to another friend's house, and, again The Boy shimmied out of his coat to display his Bob the Builder outfit to the world, and again we chatted for a few minutes.

At this point, I'm fairly certain that The Boy has developed a twisted view of Halloween - to wit, you go and visit friends with Ma and Pa, and then you play at the house. For some reason, they give you candy. Not a good combination if Dennis Hopper were to move to your neighborhood. Perhaps I'll have to start the "Keep Dennis Hopper out of Fairbanks" movement. Let's face it: Dennis Hopper is the founder of the "Just Say Yes" movement. Think what he would do to property values.

As we drove home from putting a spleen's worth of gasoline in the car (it takes a pancreas in trade to fill mine), the thermometer began to plummet. By the time we got home it was -5F (76C). We turned on the light, but no trick or treaters arrived. One of the more surreal sights of the evening was when we lit candles in the jack-o-lantern and put it out on the deck. Steam from the pumpkin rose through the moisture hungry air, making it look like the pumpkin was on fire.

Here's what happens when you leave your dog out all night at -20. Oops, no, that's our jack-o-lantern. You can see the frost around the pumpkiny eye sockets, from bitter tears over the idea that someone would remake Predator.

So, I ate the Hershey's from our candy bowl, and The Mrs. ate the Kit-Kats and the Reeses' Peanut Butter Cups. That leaves The Boy to suck down about 1296 Whoppers Malted Milk Balls. In packages containing three balls.

Three balls? That's just wrong.


Blogger the Witch said...

Little candies = "fun size"
What does one call a 16oz Hershey bar? Unbridled ecstasy?

Wish I could remember the comedian who'd said this - many moons ago after a SNL broadcast.

8:57 AM  
Blogger Duck Hunter said...

no loitering! That looks like a doorway. I think if I lived in Alaska, I would take the picture AFTER i got out of the cold.

5:48 PM  
Blogger Woofwoof said...

One reason I would escape to Alaska is to get away from silly things like Halloween. Too bad you have it too. Here the adults seem to celebrate it more than the kids. But that's wacky California.

8:41 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

Christopher Walken is the scariest man on the planet. Which is what makes this so scary. It's a joke, true, but so was 2000 and 2004.

8:45 AM  
Blogger Woofwoof said...

Hehe you said "throng". Oh wait, it's not "thong".

7:11 AM  
Blogger Sonny L. said...

Hey - Cool blog, nice layout! Checkout my google people find blog if you can.

11:08 AM  

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