A short story from many, many, many years gone by…
Is everyone feeling hella good??? I know that when this special dark day of the year rolls around, I’m feeling hella great! Or for adults who wear braces, or have small children, you are permitted to feel hecka great.
What a joyous and fun day to celebrate the exhumation of spirits and ghouls and ghosts and zombies that creep out from every tomb and are closing in to seal your doom.
Halloween is my second favourite holiday, just after Xmas. Third on the list is Turkey Day, and then after that, there are no other holidays that float my boat. Halloween and Xmas are the only two holidays in our culture that require massive amounts of decorations, themed parties, and costuming. Houses are decorated with strands of orange lights and pumpkins for Halloween, and are decorated with strands of white and multi-coloured lights and trees for Xmas.
Halloween brings us carved pumpkins, while Xmas brings us carved turkeys and hams. For the dark holiday we dress up in costumes that could be scary, funny, wild, naughty, sexy, Disney, or crazy. And for the bright holiday, we dress up in festive reds and whites and stockings and hats, an homage to the leader of Xmas, Santa Claus.
Halloween, however, doesn’t have the same type of official mascot as Xmas. In fact, when we look across the gamut of holidays, we have an issue. There’s an Easter Bunny, a Tooth Fairy, a July 4th Firework, but what do we have for Halloween? Personally I think it’s about time for an Officially Designated Leader of Halloween.
Those of you who are huge fans of The Nightmare Before Xmas, may begin the lobby for Jack Skellington, that hollow-headed, insane creature who has a fascination for women with stitches all over their bodies. Others of you might feel that because this is the dark holiday, we need a more loathsome, e-ville (as in frew-its of the de-ville) type of creature like Satan, the Devil, Lucifer, Beelzebub, the Fallen One, or some other derivative of the former angel of music (if you didn’t get this, please refer to the Music Makes a People Editorial).
Jack is too happy. The Devil is too devilish. We need something more better. And so this is that story…of a most memorable day in our history…The Great Halloween Massacre…
Looming larger than life above the skyscrapers of the most scrapingest city, a massively evil orange man-pumpkin – basically the size of the Stay Puft Marshmallow man from that classic Hellaween movie Ghostbusters – looms larger than life above the horizon.
What other figure could simultaneously cause laughter and screams of terror from children everywhere, as the Halloween Evil Man-Pumpkin (HEMP) comes crashing through their neighbourhoods, stealing candy, decorations, and any child dressed up as a pumpkin. And on that very frightful day, that is exactly what happened.
The world was thrown into panic, as children everywhere began to notice a massive pumpkin-shaped man looming larger in the skies above each of their respective cities. Not knowing what was happening, who this was, where it came from, and why it was so orange and as big as the sun – the children began to scream, as they madly dashed home in a desperate escape from the HEMP.
But alas, it was too late. HEMP had already blanketed the terrified population, and ghosts and ghouls from every tomb and mortuary emerged from the depths to begin the attack.
Eerie bats, who make that WEEE WEEE WEEE sound, flew out from caverns deep within the mountains…but more than just eerie they were vampire bats, swooping down on unsuspecting children and carrying them to the lair of the evil HEMP. There he would munch and crunch and gnash and gash and chew and spew until the children were mere pulp for pies.
Screams from all corners of the globe were heard as far as the international space station, as children raced to change their costumes into something other than pumpkins, so that the HEMP would pass them over.
But the HEMP remembered.
Parents quickly smashed all of their carved pumpkins into the street, not only in protest and defiance, but so the HEMP wouldn’t see how they had desecrated his next of kin.
But the HEMP remembered.
Orange lights on houses were quickly replaced with black, so the HEMP couldn’t see the scared children hiding behind the fake tombstones and witch statues.
But the HEMP had night vision goggles.
The HEMP smashed buildings, ripped out trees, broke through darns causing huge floods, threw cars around like little toys, expressed copious amounts of cloudy gas from his pumpkiny butt, and rampaged through town after town.
After an unnecessary number of hours, the government finally declared a state of emergency.
“The HEMP must be stopped! We must send in armed guards dressed in orange camouflage! We must send in helicopters and tanks! We must burn the HEMP and protect our children from this dark holiday!”
But the HEMP was formidable, and the army was unable to prevail. And so it was that the people of the country united against HEMP on their own – through referendums and ballot measures.
“DOWN WITH THE HEMP, DOWN WITH THE HEMP” they shouted, as parents and children armed themselves with the pitchforks that were stuck in haystacks in their front yard decorations, and carving knives from the pumpkin carving set, and torches burning bright to illuminate the city in the unnatural darkness of Halloween.
The HEMP crashed into the center of the last town in the world. An angry mob surrounded it. It blasted gas at the townspeople and grabbed for the children who hadn’t had time to change costumes. Those poor children became the fodder for more of the HEMP’s wretched gas.
The angry crowd chanted, “BURN THE HEMP, BURN THE HEMP, SMOKE HIM OUT!!!”.
Flames erupted around the HEMP, as he tried to jump up onto the side of a building to get away from the flames, but the force of the parents and differently-costumed children were overpowering him, burning into his tender orange flesh.
Dark black smoke filled the air of Halloween night, blocking out the last rays of the smoldering sun, sending children and parents dashing through the darkness with costumes and capes blowing behind, as the HEMP came crashing down in a blaze of glory and seeds.
The Halloween Bonfire had begun.
The HEMP grew hotter and hotter, and angrier and angrier. He began to expand and bulge, and then suddenly the HEMP exploded! Piles of pumpkin and freshly baked seeds flew across the earth, smacking unwary children in the face and blasting them miles away from the force of the seeds.
Ghosts and ghouls from every tomb flew in every direction with skeletal faces full of cooked pumpkin.
Showers of orange splattered the rooftops of houses and buildings, and the leaves of the trees and the slopes of the mountains. Pumpkin filled all the lakes and rivers with an orange soupy mess.
And at last the explosion stopped. The angry and scared people stood dumbstruck at the carnage around them. Their clothing and hair dripped with pumpkin, as they wandered about in search of their loved ones, on this the night of the Great Halloween Massacre.
But as people do – they began to rebuild. Parents found their children, still in costume, but scattered far and wide. And they realized that the day had been saved, and joyous cheering erupted from every mouth (along with seeds and pumpkin rind).
“HURRAY, HURRAH, the HEMP IS GONE!!!!!”
The government, satisfied that the HEMP infestation had been abolished, went back into hibernation. While the people of this good Earth gathered around, brought bags of brown sugar, salt, baking soda, and nutmeg, and enjoyed freshly baked pumpkin pie to celebrate the defeat of the HEMP.
And then suddenly, they realized that the HEMP wasn’t really all that bad.
Yes it had caused some destruction of city property, and yes it had caused people to run around screaming and laughing and doing foolish things, and yes it had devoured 1/4th of the population, and yes they were covered in a wet sticky mess, but there had also been a wonderful by-product of the HEMP…this delicious and marvelous spicy (and a bit fermented) pumpkin pie that they were now enjoying, and the fantabulous baked seeds that they were crunching.
Suddenly the crowd began to sing, “LONG LIVE THE HEMP, LONG LIVE THE HEMP!!”
And so even today, on this special dark holiday, as we remember the sacrifices made by the people during the Great Halloween Massacre, we are reminded that HEMP isn’t really all that bad.
Happy Halloween everyone, and enjoy that pumpkin pie :-).