Culturally speaking, the United States has contributed two things to the world – popular barbecue and Halloween.

Why not both at the same time?

By “popular” I mean widespread.  No people on earth have popularized cooking outdoors over live fire the way we Americans have. For a more serious discussion, please click here. l

Considered good eating in Perth.

By “Halloween” I mean an unabashed annual celebration of the spooky.

Other cultures celebrate death.  They do it in China. They do it in Mexico.  But those celebrations are essentially spiritual and/or religious.  But not Halloween.  Halloween has nothing to do with the spiritual. It has nothing to do with religion.  It has everything to do with fun.

Every year on October 31st – when the wall between the worlds is thinnest and most easily crossed – kids and adults dress up in costumes and, when it gets dark, they go door to door essentially begging for candy – which they receive in large, monstrous handfuls.

This completely non religious festival is becoming part of the international scene.  American style Halloween is now celebrated all over the world.

Halloween in Costa Rica

Halloween in Costa Rica

Halloween in Singapore

My favorite expression of this spread is Sandra’s haunted balcony in Hamburg, Germany.

It makes sense that the Germans in particular would embrace Halloween.

Admirable Teutonic exuberance.

But I digress.  I am here to tell you – to show you – what Halloween is like here in Northern California in the small town where I live.


For me Halloween began with a knock on my door early in the morning.  My neighbor and his son came by to ask is they could install a portal into a dimension of evil in my front yard.  My lawn was destroyed when my home was remodeled, so I figured, heck, when would there be a better time to have a portal into a dimension of evil installed in my front yard?

A hole was dug.

digging the hole

The device was installed.

adjusting the device

While my neighbors tinkered with the field densities between the universes, a flock of wild turkeys strolled down my street foraging and decided to spend some time on a roof at the end of the block.

roof turkeys 1.0



It was a good omen.

I decided to carve a pumpkin, but the pumpkin bin at my local market was somewhat bare with slim pickings left.

pumpkin dregs

Nevertheless, I was able to find a reasonably decent pumpkin and was able to exercise the minimal artistic talent every American is born with and which is useful only for carving faces in pumpkins.

awaiting darkness 3

The dirt from the hole that housed the portal into the dimension of evil made a couple of fine impromptu graves.

awaiting nightfall

All we had to do was wait for darkness and some unsuspecting Trick or Treaters.

trick or treat

Actual Trick or Treaters who came to my door.

I went out and bought candy to give away to the little boys and gouls who would come to my door that evening.


In addition to the usual treats, I included in my selection the very finest fake glow in the dark sour worms I could find.


The perfect Halloween treat.


And then it was time to get our collective freak on.

kids 4

The device in my front yard worked nicely.  I had a switch inside the house that triggered the device whenever someone rang the door bell, causing much shouting and the occasional scream.


It was a most satisfying Halloween.  But I’m beginning to wonder if that portal is going to harm the value of my property.



12 Responses to “HALLOWEEN AT MY PLACE”

  1. If for no other reason, not the great work, or noble dreams or the example nay not just for these things would I forever consider the US a worthy friend but for Halloween..

    you guys deserve to lead the free world.


  2. yeah. sorry Paul but the best barbecue s are had well down below the Rio Grande

    As for halloween yes best savored in a fetsih bar in a cold climate..so I’ve heard….

    As for the front door item i guess you forwent the claymore mines and tear gas dispensors?


  3. Yeah, well, spoken like a liberal stooge, Barnesm – if that IS your real name. The world isn’t free, nor should it be. A “free” world is a socialist fantasy like universal health care and equality. Rubbish! Capitalist theory – as an expression of God’s will – holds that something is only meaningful if it can be bought and/or sold, preferably over and over again. So the concept of a “free world” is anti-American, and so we reject it. We embrace, however, leadership of a world for sale.


  4. I didn’t say US BBQ is the best, Chaz. Heck no. I only contend that virtually every charcoal or propane fired grill sold today is American in inspiration.

    Except for one sold in Bucharest in 1984. That was more Serbian in spirit. But that’s about it.


  5. Halloween: an excellent excuse to get drunk in undergrad. Now those damn kids can just GTFO our lawn. Take yr American imperialist claptrap and bugger off.

    At least this weekend we have a PROPER New Zealand holiday to mark, none of this imported garbage. Guy Fawkes night.


  6. American imperialist claptrap??? Where would New Zealand be without American imperial claptrap? Conquered by Japan, that’s where! You live behind the American shield, you North Island (or South Island) bastard!

    Wait a minute. I’m thinking of Hawaii. I hate when that happens.

    Never mind…


  7. Halloween is my mother-in-law’s birthday.
    I shit you not.
    Every year The Bloke gets to take his parents out to the Seafood Smorgasboard popular with the local seniors in their natural habitat.
    When he gets home the car smells like Elizabeth Taylor.

    You want a portal to hell?
    Try queueing at that buffet.

    Next year we’re coming to your place.


  8. 2 more contributions: jazz and McDonald’s. . . did I put those in the same line? I beg forgiveness.

    speaking of Perth, my daughter is applying for an semester of study there. I hope there is more to recommend of the place than that sorry hunk of flesh.

    This year’s Halloween I spent going for a almost full moon walk far from any silly lights. Nothing scary, almost a religious experience. Nice piece, reminds me of when my kids were young.


  9. Ana N, every self respecting sorry hunk of flesh that visits Perth jumps on the first hovercraft to Rottnest Island, home of The Quokka, and the most beautiful place on God’s Green Earth.

    While in Perth she should be well fed on Jester’s Pies and if she needs Glow In The Dark Dance Wear or a Goth Dress for an impromptu hippy wedding, every second shop in nearby Fremantle should deliver the goods.

    Other than that, all she needs to know is that it rains all winter and the Black Swans bite.


  10. The way you describe it, Perth sounds like my kind of place. And,
    as I recall, Fremantle has a fairly good footy team.


  11. Thanks for finally talking about >HALLOWEEN AT MY PLACE |


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