CLARENCE CHATTERBOX: Eyes are rolling over US tradition
OK, SO I am just going to put this out there for everybody to read and have a bit of a laugh at. I'm a scaredy cat.
I don't do rides, watch scary movies, enter any kind of "haunted attractions" or anything associated with any kinds of clowns, zombies, vampires, ghosts, ghouls, or witches, (except for Charmed, the 80s fashion made it somewhat less intimidating).
So, when this time of the year rolls around and we seem to increasingly embrace the American tradition of Halloween, I get somewhat perplexed. Why is it that for 364 days of the year zombies, black cats, graveyards, ghosts, skeletons, witches, monsters and wizards are considered scary for the average child but for one night on October 31, fill them full of sugar and they seem somewhat immune to the horror.
Granted, the attraction for the children is knocking on neighbours' doors for their bags to be filled with sugar-laden treats. The kids in my street no longer come knocking after I offered them bananas one year as I was ill prepared for the occasion.
And what about the abuse of the poor pumpkin around this time of the year. It goes from being a humble night-time dinner plate staple to "protector of the undead" in the form of a jack-o'-lantern. If I needed a protector of the undead at my house I would just put my lawn-mowing shoes at the front door.
This really is a confusing time for me, so I consulted the always accurate Wikipedia to find out the true meaning behind all the hype and commercialism.
This is what the first three lines said: "Halloween or Hallowe'en (a contraction of Hallows' Evening), also known as All Halloween, All Hallows' Eve, or All Saints' Eve, is a celebration observed in a number of countries on October 31, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows' Day. It begins the three-day observance of All Hallowtide, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed."
Seriously, how that translates to Aussie kids dressing up and walking the streets wearing fake blood and toilet paper I'll never know. So, for the next few weeks I will just have to walk the aisles of the supermarkets looking at candy in the shape of eyeballs, skulls, bats and ghosts as I make my way to buy a very Australian packet of Tim Tams.