Saturday, October 30, 2004

Dead People, Adolescent Cross-Dressers, Inverted Jack-O'-Lanterns and Dog Tumours

My daughter went to school on Friday in her Halloween costume. She's 11 years old and, in the past, has been a cow, a scarecrow, and Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. This year, she is "Little Dead Riding Hood." We found a jumper and sweater at Value Village and I sewed her a red, hooded cape. Then she took the scissors to the lot to simulate the results of a wolf attack. Some fake blood completed her look. It's gruesome and very effective.

Dead is probably the #1 theme in middle school costumes. I discovered this last year when our son was in Grade 8. Of course, there are ghouls and zombies and mummies and Jason and Freddy (didn't see any Tabithas, but I bet there were some). More popular though are dead cheerleaders. Last year and this year, Dead Cheerleader was the most popular Halloween Costume at Moody Middle, for girls and boys. Cross-dressing is a favoured at-school activity of 11-13 year old boys. They don't just do it at Halloween either. Last December's spirit assembly featured what I thought at first were 3 very homely girls doing totally manic cheer and dance routine, until I realised they were actually 3 of the best-liked grade 8 boys. One of the teachers confirmed it. "The boys all want to dress up like girls in middle school," she said. My daughter also reports that short boys are admired and sought-after. "Every short boy already has a girl friend. The girls like the little ones," she says. Anyways, there's potential for lots of research into adolescent psychology there in case anyone wants to look into it.

I took the dog to the vet. The tumours are mats of hair that have formed at the base of her ears. Five minutes and $43 dollars later the mats were shaved off and I was instructed in how to properly and regularly comb this sensitive area. The vet tried to comfort me with a story of another canine patient with a similar affliction. Thanks doc, I know, I'm still a beginner dog-person. Mostly I'm relieved that she's not sick.

We carved the pumpkins yesterday afternoon. Behemoth still awaits us in the garage, but the little ones are done. I thought I was so clever, opening mine at the base instead of the top, so the clean curve around the stem is preserved. But then I forgot to flip it right-side-up before I carved the face, so now I have an upside-down-jack-o'-lantern. Hmmm, actually, I kind of like it that way. Yeah! I meant to do that. Right.

By the way, add to your list of things not to do: Jack-o'-lanterns attract bears. Bring all pumpkins indoors after trick-or-treating so the bears are not attracted by the scent of parched pumpkin. It's all over the news. I don't mind disposing of the small ones on Halloween night, but I count on the boys with firecrackers to help get rid of monster pumpkin. If they don't blow it up I have to take an axe to it. It has to be reduced to liftable chunks before it can be put in the dumpster. Last year somebody stole it (all 80 pounds or so) and apparently took it up to the top of the fire road and rolled it down to the bottom - we found the smashed carcass there. I wonder how they got it to the top - you'd need a wheelbarrow, or maybe a skateboard?

So there's all that's weird enough to report for Halloween eve. Happy spooky weekend.

Question: Are you dressing up?

mompoet - gathering up candles and putting on warm socks

ps The middle school principal dressed up as Austin Powers - complete with teeth and English accent all day.

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