Sunday, October 31, 2004

Howl 'O Scream & the Costume Crisis

Busch Gardens has outdone themselves again this year. I am hoarse - no not A horse. Maybe a horse's ass at times, but tonight just plain hoarse. Howl 'O Scream was kick butt. I screamed like a school girl. I jumped. I clung to #1 Son. The Little One clung to me. We learned that C.'s attempts to walk while his wife and kids are clinging to him makes it very difficult to move forward. He's a strong guy, though. He got over it.

There are four haunted type houses/attractions at the park this year. The first two we had done before so we skipped them tonight: Escape from Pompeii, which I walked through clinging to #1 Son with my eyes closed almost the entire time, and Festa Dementia, which was the one with the day glo paint, strobe lights, fog... oh yeah and all the creatures that jumped out at me. Tonight we went for the attractions we missed last year. The first was the Sea Dog cemetary. It's a walk-through graveyard filled with dead pirates. Lots of zombies and psychos here. Now the rule is that they will not touch you, but they'll come MIGHTY close. Some of them (and this is standard throughout the park) have these shakey cans full of rocks or something that startle the crap out of you. Others just scream, a scream that belongs in a B movie. The zombies are the creepiest. They just walk up to you, stare and get real close. Of course everywhere we went the park players seemed to key on The Little One. She wondered why this was. I said, "Perhaps it's because you're little, you're cute, AND you are planted in my arm pit!" Well Duh!

I think our favorite tonight was Sleepy Hollow. They did a fantastic job of turning the old Drakenfire building into a haunted mansion. The story goes that Ichabod Craine walked home from a party one night and met up with the Headless Horseman. He was never seen again. They take it a step farther saying the Horseman went back and killed all the remaining party goers. This was the party mansion. What a great job! No sooner were we in the door than I started screaming. I'm not exactly positive that I ever stopped. I do know I heard #1 Son scream like a girl, so either I had lowered in my intensity or he hit a higher pitch. I was holding my own until we walked through the very narrow hallway where the bodies were hung by their feet. I could SWEAR one grabbed my ankle. Really! Puffs of air blew around our feet. Doors would open and you'd get startled by some goul screaming at you. Yup. Great family fun.

All in all it was a great night. We even got out of there without purchasing an expensive dinner (definitely unusual for us). All through the park, no matter where you walked, you were in danger of being jumped at. There were pirates in England. Psycho clowns in Italy, Gypsies in Scotland, werewolves in France and undertakers in New France. All had the potential to be hiding just around the next corner or behind a trashcan. They all seem to have taken lessons from last year's pstcho clowns. They stand or sit completely're never quite sure if they are a person or a dummy (and there are LOTS of those around the park, too). Eventually people will get brave and go near them...that's when they pounce! My favorite incident of the evening involved a werewolf that had to have been about 6'5". He was leaning against a fence. I swear this guy never moved a muscle. The group of girls in front of us were convinced that they had his number and went up taunting him. Unfortunately they never saw the bush attack them. Yes, the bush. People are dressed as flora and fauna in the park. You walk around all night never knowing if a bush or tree will jump out at you and chase you or if a trashcan will start following you. It's scary and oh so fun all at once. I can honestly say that this was one of my more enjoyable visits to Howl 'O Scream. And yes, I am hoarse.

On the way home from the park, we finally resolved the costume crisis. #1 Son went trick or treating last year, but he got bored after one street, remembered we had crap tons of candy at home (I'm always scared of running out) and decided to go home and hand out candy with his NaNa. I think he also wanted to play on his computer, too. He had already let us know, back in the summer, that he has no desire to go begging this year. Since July The Little One has insisted that she wants to be an Oompa Loompa for Halloween. Unfortunately anytime we tried to help her with her costume she copped an attitude and said she didn't need our help. OK, fine. Well, here it was (yesterday) 2 days before Halloween and her costume was not ready - it was not even started. I took her to the store. "Tell me what you need. Tell me what to get for your costume." Here comes the sulk: "Forget it! I'm not going trick or treating!" Huh? What the heck happened there? She then decided that she was NOT going and wanted to stay home and watch scary movies instead. Fine, if that's what she really wants. But aaaaahhhh, if you have a young daughter then you KNOW that's not what she really wants. She wants to go trick or treating. *sigh*

Before I go on, please keep in mind that my idea was to use her grim reaper cape from last year, we'd paint her face and voila! A costume. No joy. Please also keep in mind that I have always made the kids' costumes. I don't actually sew, so if sewing is needed my Mom helps out. The Little One was an AWESOME penguin (her idea) last year. We've gone all out on other costumes in previous years, too. The problem lies in the way kids trick or treat as they get older. Gone are the days of them strapped in the stroller, eventually falling asleep, yet still hitting all the houses. OK, that was my bad. Gone are the sweet days of them holding your hand and toddling up to a few doors on your block hollaring "twikertweet." Now it's all about volume. And volume means hitting as many houses as possible before their lights go out. Volume means SPEED. Apparently big elaborate costumes do not lend themselves to exessive trick or treat speed. So what happens? We get halfway around our first block and the kids are shedding parts of their costume like they are dancing on a pole. Where do these implements of the costume end up? You got it. C. and I end up wearing and carrying them. I have many pictures of the kids' costumes throughout the years. What I WISH I had taken pictures of is C. and I as we straggle back to the house at the end of the night wearing wigs, beaks and hats, carrying scythes, bones, staffs and pillows. We must look like the 75% off sale at the Halloween Store on Nov. 1st.

All that being said, please know that we can pull together a stupid Ommpa Loompa costume tomorrow afternoon between her soccer game and the bewitching hour. C. and I have this last minute Halloween Costume gift. But that was not her decision tonight. Tonight she decided to be a skateboard accident. Yes you read that correctly. At least she decided. Tomorrow morning before her game we'll be scrambling to get all the needed materials together. We'll call my BIL (C.'s brother - the professional clown) to borrow makeup and protheses and damnit, we'll have a skateboard accident. I'll try to snap a picture and BEG her to let me post it. Since she found out about my blog she's been funny about letting me post pictures of her. Feel free to comment and beg her. I have no shame.

Happy Halloween my friends!


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Name: Cattiva
Location: Virginia, United States

About Me: I'm the mom of three: #1 Son (20), The Princess of Wails (17) and their baby brother - The Baby (6). I was a grad-student working on an MA in history until we were surprised - I mean blessed - with The Baby. I'll get back to it...someday (the thesis, not the kid - I have no choice concerning the kid). I am one of only a few people I went to school with who is actually using their history degree in my career (and to think my Father called it Basket-weaving!). I live a very hectic life amongst massive clutter. I call it a good day if we have managed to get home at night without losing one of the kids (no matter how hard I try!). Friends say I have a humorous take on life's happenings. The sad part is that what I write about is true. I laugh to keep from crying.

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