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My ABC's of Halloween

Well, folks... we finally made it.  Halloween!  It's been a long month, and for whatever reason, it feels like Halloween was LAST weekend.  It has to be the Hallmark Christmas movies starting last week that push us forward, never letting us live in the moment...  Or maybe the election is heating up... who knows.  

But we'll dive back to the Halloween season for one more day!  One last post for the 2020 Halloween season, I thought, what better way to wrap up the holiday with my ABC's of Halloween.  Leave a comment below with what you think or if you have ones you think are better!  

Happy Halloween, everyone!  Click on for the list!

A  Apples-  My neighbors across the street, Joe and Marie, were old school Italians.  They were the meanest people on the block, getting into fights with other neighbors, yelling at kids on their lawn, and just being all-around nasty... except to my family.  They were always welcome on holidays in our home, and I grew close to Joe before he passed away.  My wife and I will never forget his posthumous generosity of a wedding gift.  But they handed out apples on Halloween every year, and even as a kid, I felt bad when other kids would throw them back on the lawn.  

B  Bats- I've never liked bats.  When we'd vacation in Maine over the summer, bats would be all over the lake at night while we were fishing, and occasionally we'd get dive-bombed.  A year or so ago, a bat lived in my neighborhood that my wife called "Belfry."  He divebombed me as I walked to my car at 3am, and it was caught on our security cameras.  I need my Mom's old anti-bat hat.

Coors Beer-  The "Official Beer of Halloween" Along with Elvira and it's iconic 80s and 90s advertising, I'll never be able to not think of Coors as anything other than the official Halloween beverage.  I don't really drink beer, but while in college, Coors was the cheap "silver bullet - piss water" that my roommate drank, but to me, it's always made me think of the 80s ads with Elvira and their modern "Queens of Halloween" promotions.

 Dungeon of Doom-  Back in the early-to-mid 90s, WCW had a faction called The Dungeon of Doom.  Featuring "The Taskmaster" Kevin Sullivan, his band of creatures like Kamala, The Zodiac (Brutus Beefcake,) and The Shark (John Tenta/Earthquake) they were set on destroying Hulk Hogan and Hulkamania.  Fall Brawl 1995 is my favorite all-time WCW Pay Per View, and it features the Dungeon of Doom taking on Hulkamania.  It's worth going back and watching, and eventually, I'll get around to writing about it!

E  Elvira-  Of course, Elvira gets the "E" spot.  I don't need to say anything more about her, other than her movies are annual watches around Halloween in my house.

 Fox Halloween Bash-  The week-long programming block on FOX was always a joy to me as a kid.  I wrote a great article about it earlier this month, which you can read by clicking HERE!

G  Garfield Halloween Special-  Another one of the great holiday specials of yesteryear; I've already written about this one, too!  Check it out HERE!

H  Halloween Havoc in N64's WCW Revenge-  When I was in 7th or 8th grade, WCW released the groundbreaking videogame WCW/NWO Revenge.  I was so excited when my Mom drove me across town to buy it at Toys R Us.  What made it so groundbreaking was it was one of the first games to let you choose the arena backdrop, change wrestler's attire, etc... and I was SOOOOO excited to be able to choose the Halloween Havoc arena.  It was just a few simple graphics, but it made it so worth blowing my allowance on it.  

 Individual Gift Bags-  My Mom would buy these little paper bags, usually orange or black with cute ghosts or pumpkins on them, and stuff them full of goodies for any kid that came to our house Trick-or-Treating.  She put a lot of effort into it, and it was always kind of fun to help her pack them.  Little junk erasers or toys from the Oriental Express catalog or Dollar Store and a few pieces of candy would make every kid happy when they got home and opened their bag.

Jack O Lantern-   Every year we'd carve pumpkins at the kitchen table as a family.  It never turned out like I wanted, no matter how many times we tried that expensive kit you see in stores that promise you can easily make neat designs.  Eventually, I'd just revert to the standard triangle-shaped eyes and nose and call it a day.  

K  Kit Kat Bar-  One of Lauren's favorite candies.  It kills me that kids today don't know the "Give me a break..." song.  Or any jingle, for that matter.

Leaves-  Halloween always reminds me of a yard full of crunchy, colorful leaves.  As I type this, I'm looking out at my lawn and dread having to rake them this weekend.  But they look darn pretty until I do!

M Monsters of the Grid Iron-  In the 90s, Coca-Cola held a promotion in conjunction with the NFL that turned stars of the football field into monsters.  All sorts of promotional materials, from phone-in contests to trading cards, resulted from this and is, to this day, one of my favorite Halloween memories.  I've written an article about the promotion that you can read HERE.  Or "Retro Scans" article about the trading cards, that you can read HERE.

N Night-Time-  As a kid, I can remember waiting for dark on Halloween was like counting down the days to Christmas or Summer Vacation.  When it would get dark, my brother and I would head out into the neighborhood and start collecting candy!  Unfortunately, my Mom instilled a fear of the dark in me, probably due to the Satanic Hoax craze of the late 80s.  I've always had this thing about "I need to be home after dark," and even today, I'm still uncomfortable outside at night.  Not a crippling paranoia, just a nagging "I gotta get going" feeling.  

Orange-  My favorite color.  The best color.  And the best season to use it in.

Pumpkin Spice-  I hate it.  Can't stand it.  Don't like to eat pumpkin either.  How's that for a hot take?  I know the trend is to cram pumpkin flavoring into everything, but I just don't care for it.  I'd also be remiss to not acknowledge that my Granny always would say "punkin' pie."  She also said "warsh," but that's not what we're talking about.

Quackbusters-  Daffy Duck's Quackbusters is one of the best Looney Tunes features that combine a bunch of shorts to make a feature-length film.  I recently wrote about this, as well, and you can read about that HERE.  

Reese's Peanut Butter Cups-  The best candy, in my opinion.  Although, no matter what, they pretend the special holiday shape is, be it a ghost, pumpkin, Easter egg, or Christmas tree... it is the same blob-like turd.  As a pet peeve of mine, though, it's pronounced REE-SEZ, not REE-SEA.  Get it together, people.

Sandy (Hurricane)-  Three or four weeks after we got home from our honeymoon, we endured Hurricane Sandy in our brand new house.  We were fortunate to only lose a few shingles off the roof, but many trees came down all over the neighborhood.  We didn't have power for 16 days, and a few days after the hurricane, the temperature dropped below freezing, and it even snowed.  So, that was fun.  Why am I telling you this?  TWO days after the hurricane blew through was Halloween.  And we had kids traipsing through our lawn... full of downed power lines and giant tree branches knocking on our door for candy.  I had been excited to hand out candy for the first time in my own house, so we had plenty.  But there we sat, alone and bored in a dark house eating the candy meant for hordes of children.  It's a Halloween we'll never forget.

Tootsie Roll Pop Ghosts-  My neighbor's Mom would always hand out Tootsie Roll Pop Ghosts for Halloween.  Every year.  Maybe one year, we got lucky, and she switched it up to Blow Pops, but I only remember Tootsie Roll Pops.  You take the lollipop and cover it in a white paper napkin.  Wrap something around like a bow or twist tie to hold it in place.  3 dots of a black permanent marker for the eyes and mouth, and... BAM.  Instant candy ghost.

Underwear-  As in green ladies underwear.  When I was young, I was so obsessed with the 1960s version of Batman that I wanted to be Robin in the worst way.  So, to outfit my homemade costume, my mother bought me a pair of ladies' green underwear that I wore.  Out in public.  Without any pants underneath them.  Yep...  And they let me.

Voo-Doo-  I love me some old-timey New Orleans.  I don't get into the party scene, but I like the VIBE of NOLA.  The architecture, the history... something about it.  Voo-doo and witchcraft scare the bejesus out of me, but if it's done in a cartooney touristy way, I think it's fun.  I also have strong ties linking the PS4 game "Mafia 3," which takes place in 1950s New Orleans, to Halloween.  In 2016, my wife would come home from work to have lunch with me, and I'd have spent the entire morning playing the game while munching on candy that was meant for trick-or-treaters.  Good times... 

Werewolves-  With all of the remakes in Hollywood, why not the other classic Universal monsters like the Werewolf?  There were the Brendan Fraser remakes of the mummy that were quite successful... so why not The Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Invisible Man, or Dracula, or especially The Wolf Man?  And no, Twilight's werewolves and vampires don't count.  I had read somewhere that had Tom Cruise's "Mummy" not bombed so spectacularly that there would have been a resurgence in the whole universe... but it was just AWFUL.  Don't waste your time.

X-Ray-  Ok, this is a stretch, but what do you say for X?  I'm thinking the bones of a skeleton with this one.

Yankee Candle-  My Mom was a big fan of Yankee Candles before they were even popular.  She'd always buy a cinnamon spice or other festive related candle.  I don't mind candles, but some of them are a little much.  I bought one from a Disney "smell" website once, and it was so powerful we had to air out the house.  It was bad.  But cinnamon or apple spice... you can't go wrong on Halloween.  

Zorro-  Not the 90s Antonio Banderas version; I was a big fan of the 1950's TV show that would air in reruns when I was a kid.  Zorro was also one of my favorite costumes.  I dressed all in black, my mom painted a mustache on my face, and they bought me a sword and a black hat.  I played with that sword for years, long after I had forgotten about Zorro.