It’s Halloween in “Kidsville”

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There are two dates in “Kidsville” that are calendar markers—well actually three.

Obviously one is a birthday. Kids can’t wait for the next birthday, so much so that they are never 3 going on 4 or 5 going on 6. Somewhere during that year they are 3 and a half or whatever but they can’t wait to grow up and be a bigger number. If only they could know now what we old fogies know now. Big numbers are not kind when you’re dealing with age. As a matter of fact, somehow those “big numbers” make things go faster than we really want. But I digress.

So, the residents of Kidsville love their birthdays because they get older and they get presents. Those special people also love Christmas because of the excitement of getting things. Of course, there are grown-ups who would try to dull that avarice by extolling the virtues of the religious aspect of Christmas. A noble cause but one that I think can live in harmony with the one of getting things for Christmas presents. It boils down to one’s upbringing.

The other great event in Kidsville is October 31st—Halloween. Kids love Halloween, even more than Easter because not only to they get things, they have fun collecting or earning them and they get to dress up in really cool outfits as befits a true Halloween aficionado.

Halloween is upon us.

For the past month at least, residents of Kidsville have been talking to their friends about what disguise or costume will they wear on this magical day. In some cases, minds have changed as fast as the years go by for an old guy (like myself). The real young residents of Kidsville tend to go with the flow of what Mom and Dad want them to dress up as such as Cowboy, Princess, Hobo or Monster. Sure, I’m missing a few here, but you get the idea of what I’m talking about especially if you’re one of those who stay home handing out the goodies on Halloween.

As you move to the next age level of Kidsville, Mom and Dad sometimes have to take a back seat to what they think their clever ideas are and bow to the almighty marketing dollar that has entranced the older kids into believing that they will be laughed by their friends until they receive a pension if they don’t go out dressed as rad and cool as everyone else who has been market entranced as well.

It’s here you run into the movie/television disguises. Depending on the year and the success of any given event, Darth Vader, Spider-Man even that Harry Potter guy would be costumes of choice. Now I understand that in the last week or so, the costume of choice appears to be that of “Balloon Boy.” This comes as a result of the incredible hoax that was perpetrated on an unsuspecting public and news media by one family, using their kid to try to land their own reality TV show. Richard and Mayumi Heene apparently faked the fact that their kid 6-year-old Falcon had inadvertently climbed into homemade weather balloon which took off from the family’s backyard. The rescue attempt was nothing short of spectacular and caught the fancy of just about everyone in North America and around the world as the balloon trundled across two counties in Colorado. The truth of the matter was the kid was never in the balloon but hiding in the family garage, again apparently deftly planted their by his parents as part of the hoax.

It’s almost a real life, giant-sized Halloween presentation. This “trick or treat” turned out to be a trick that didn’t work and now the family has a reality-check in court.

Anyway, entrepreneurs being what they are, the hottest costume of them all as we headed into the last week before Halloween was the Balloon Boy costume. One person has put a cardboard box over his head, wearing it like a shield, adorned with some decals from the news media who jumped all over this ruse at the beginning and you attach to the box or your neck, a Mylar balloon—the type you see used during that other date in “Kidsville,”—birthdays! Voila!—you are Balloon Boy. Some websites extol the virtues of such a costume that could bring you “triple the treats” you usually get for only $19.99!

Of course, you can make your own probably for the cost of the balloon alone. he bottom line is, this is the costume of the year.

And for all the fun kids have during this second-most to-die-for date in Kidsville, the adults have fun, too. Many just enjoy staying home and seeing all the kids come to the door for their booty. Some grown-ups enjoy scaring the bejeezuz out of the kids that dare to come to their darkened door. Alas, there will be many darkened houses as well. Some grown-ups want nothing to do with Halloween or the kids so they hide in their darkened homes.

Finally, there are those adults who, after the kids are finished collecting and are at home savouring those treats already checked by Mom and Dad (yes, that safety ritual must be carried out), they will be allowed some treats then off to bed. Then Mom and Dad get dressed up in their outfits, and off to a party or a bar they go, to be kids again as well, but with the option of having a beverage or five.

Halloween on a Saturday. Does it get any better than that? By the way, you grown-ups, if you are out partying on Halloween, do it responsibly. No drinking and driving. Don’t end up being “Halloween road candy.”

Happy Halloween.

I’m John (Hopalong Cassidy) Divinski (yeah I know, I’m as old as dirt)!

Geographic location: Kidsville, North America, Colorado

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