31 October 2008

Halloween Memoirs

When I was a punk kid Halloween meant the smell of eggs and shaving cream. We'd go "bombing". Finast wouldn't sell you eggs if you were a kid and then there was the urban legend of the evil posse of kids who'd put Nair in their eggs and all your hair would fall out or instead of using regular shaving cream, they'd use Nair cream. Everyone had a story about that which never actually happened yet the fear was still quite tangible. It was sort of like that story that made the rounds of the kid who took too much acid and started to think he was a pitcher of orange juice. Yeah, never happened.

We used to melt and manipulate the plastic caps on the Barbasol cans so the shaving cream would spray with the consistency of silly string. It was such a mess. I remember one year we realised if you threw flashbulbs they'd explode on impact like lighters and fluorescent lightbulbs. So we'd buy a pack of flashbulbs for those 110 cameras and we'd throw them like idiots. It was truly retarded. I don't even know how it all started but I can remember the anticipation of that day; getting all your supplies ready the weeks before because as it got closer and closer to October 31 the shelves of Morris would be cleaned out; no shaving cream, nothing. That's when you knew, it was on; it was war. Other kids in the hood were obviously stockpiling, too.

You'd take the B16 to school and it would get pelted with eggs the whole way there and the whole way home. The sound was hysterical. And the old ladies would recoil in horror and then shake their heads in disgust and talk amongst themselves. The kids old enough to drive would cruise around and throw eggs at everyone waiting for the bus or walking home. For an afternoon into the evening, it was total mayhem. You felt alive; afraid and alive.

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