Hallowe’en seems to have become the biggest secular money-fest of our times. (Of course, historically, it’s not secular, but religious, but that was way back in the day.) I mean, for Thanksgining you might want to buy a couple of gourds and a turkey, but you don’t have to erect faux tombstones in the front yard, hang strings of teeny pumpkin lights, and head to a party store to buy a cheesy costume that will transform you into a hot dental assistant or a pirate wench.
The one chink I can find in my idol Martha Stewart’s radiation – proof armor is that she’s infatuated with Hallowe’en. Hey, we’ve carved a pumpkin after Goya. I sewed elaborate costumes for Honor — OMG, that dinosaur! I have it around somewhere. We found out, accidentally, that the ethereal last act of “Der Rosenkavalier” scares kiddies out of their wits when you open the door, so I hear it at least once a year. I’m attaching the Hallowe’en pic of me and Ian from, well, a zombie’s lifetime ago.
OK, the Hallowe’en theme is the long way round to http://snopes.com/ , a respected fact-checking site. I was reminiscing about the terrific treats we got handed into our pillowcases, way back then. They were homemade: fudge and divine popcorn balls and Rice Krispie squares, and yes, apples. Did you know that there’s not one documented case of poisoned Hallowe’en candy? Not one? That’s why we’re stuck buying wrapped mini Mars bars.
Really. Check this out: http://www.snopes.com/horrors/poison/halloween.asp
Snopes.com has a great Urban Legends topic, Popular Scams, and you can type in something like:” Did Earl Butz really say that awful thing?” (He did.) The Mikkelsens, the couple who run it, are researchers by profession, and you can smell how much they love their work.
Well, if Univac hadn’t been a mere glimmer in a mathematician’s eye when I was a kiddie, if the internet had been around back in the days of the family Olds station wagon, if Snopes had been around … kids would be scarfing down the popcorn balls and fudge their friends Mom’s made. Oh! How could I have forgotten Mrs. Bellefeiulle’s brownies ?