Wednesday, October 27, 2010

All Hallow's Eve

It’s October, that singular month solely dedicated to haunted houses, ghosties, ghoulies, and things that go bump in the night.  Growing up, my friends and I would have sleep-overs at each other’s house, and stay up late into the night to watch the Friday night scary movie. Then we’d try to sleep without becoming incontinent. (No easy task. It’s still a challenge.)

There was a whole compendium of Hollywood 1940’s B movies of terror, from Frankenstein to the Werewolf to the Mummy…and, of course…Dracula. They all gave us grand mal bejeebers.  But the greatest challenge to bladder control was always Vlad Dracul.  What a spooky invention he is.

Bram Stoker created a disturbing mythological creature whose horror is so potent in part because he is a count…Count Dracula to be exact.  By the way, did you know that Bram Stoker slept with a sarcophagus in his bedroom? Dennis said he could top that, but I advised him to think it through very carefully. The name “Dracula” actually comes from a Transylvanian word meaning “dragon.” He isn’t hairy.  He doesn’t snarl or drag his leg because his bandages are sagging. His manners are impeccable. He is charming and articulate. He is always dressed in his finest cloak and slicked back hair.  And his fangs lie covert under his lips.  That is, until he needs them.  And then he rips back those lips to reveal the incisive suckers that will ultimately puncture two perfect holes in the neck of some hapless, penoir-clad, really stupid woman’s jugular. Most of his victims are neuron-non-functioning females with a penchant for pajama couture.

Dracula is a very sloppy diner, however. He tends to slurp and slobber and do socially unacceptable things with his food. But I suppose that’s because he must hastily eat and run in order to prevent clotting…another argument for going vegan. I can’t believe there are so many females with the intellectual agility of a fruit fly that have managed to provide the Nosferatu with sufficient nourishment to perpetuate the species of undead mutants throughout the centuries.  Of course, I also could never understand how the mummy was able to catch a fleeing girl while wrapped in gauze and dragging a gimpy leg…except that she was always tripping over her long, flowing nightgown, (constructed of transparent material that was little more than lace over nude).  Witless women who are always falling are the ultimate nocturnal horror.

Every year I debate about whether or not to wear a costume.  Assuming another identity or a third personality might be a pleasant pastime. Perhaps this wouldn’t be such a dilemma if it were not for the rigorous routine I go through on a daily basis just getting dressed and preparing myself to enter polite society.

First of all, the fashion barracuda proclaim that one must not only be dressed, but presentable.  Being a raving cutie is mandatory.  Well, that’s just fine, except that through the years, Nature has caused everything adorable to spiral downward so drastically, it actually shifts one’s center of gravity.  This constitutes felonious assault.

It has been said that anatomy is destiny.  I believe in destiny.  I also believe in anatomy.   So to combat such unmitigated anatomical, graphic sag, I bought a rather unique invention that goes by the brand name “Spanx.” It is this century’s version of the Victorian corset. It is a shape shifter with a vice squeeze of such vengeance, that it requires a hydraulic engineer just to elevate it above the thighs, that is, if you once get both feet in the opening. 

One is then obliged to grunt, groan, push, pull, stuff, lubricate, curse, contort, and utter polyglot expletives to maneuver the device upward into its targeted position.  Breathing is not an option. You know you got it right if there is serendipitous collateral cleavage enhancement due to thigh fat that has popped into your bra by blunt force trauma.

 Once you are clad, and the apparatus is in its final resting place, you experience something akin to the vague calm you get after puking. You’re ready for your close-up.

The first time I succeeded donning this “jaws of life” undergarment, I resembled a yak in spandex.  The look is finished off with a whole tube of mascara and stilletoes.  Of course, attired thus, I couldn’t possibly outrun even the most pokey mummy.  But then, looking like this, Dennis assures me I’m not in danger…unless there’s a demented mummy somewhere out there looking to drown me as a humanitarian gesture.

Unfortunately, nothing short of a toxic oil slick or agent orange and latex gloves can dislocate the Spanx from the torso, and the idea of wearing the outfit for a week should be considered.  One must really think it all the way through

It’s no secret that I don’t like Halloween.  It marks an anniversary that’s scarier than anything the mind of Bram Stoker could invent.  Dennis’ most recent foray to the phlebotomist revealed a slight elevation in his CA 19-9 tumor marker.  (Those Huntsman blood-suckers can conjure some serious nightmares.)

So in order to ward off evil, I got out my trusty vampire-killer kit.  I have put a garland of garlic in the windows, over the doors, in my cauldron, and around my neck. (I also ate some raw cloves to throttle up the potency, but so far I’ve inadvertently offed strangers, stray cats and small children.)  I’ve placed mirrors on all the walls, so I can detect if someone does not cast a reflection.  Sadly, my own reflection would scare Beelzebub out of Hades.  And I have a stake and a hammer.  I’m ready. Extreme cage fight! Bring it on!

 Dennis said this was all well and good, but he thought Dr. Mulvihill’s recommendation more efficacious than my “Van Helsing” remedy.  He will have his blood re-drawn on Friday to re-check the values. Hmmmmm.  How utterly devoid of flair.

I know all will be well.  But I will be glad to get out of October altogether, when the only thing that goes bump in the night are my thighs as I make the midnight run to the latrine.   I love the season, but not the holiday.  I can’t wait until November, the month of pilgrims and gratitude.  As always, we have so much more to be thankful for than afraid of. 

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