Saturday, October 20, 2012
PORFLE PRESENTS: "A HALLOWEEN STORY"
The reason that I can't stand Halloween anymore doesn't have anything to do with any religious or moral objection to ghosts and goblins and stuff. I love monsters and horror and old Britney Spears videos just as much as the next person. No, what turned me against Halloween was what happened on the night of my very last trick-or-treat outing, when I finally discovered that the delicious Halloween candy I'd been eating all those years was really made out of...people.
That's right! Halloween candy...is PEOPLE!!!!!!
Okay, I just made that up. What really happened went something like this...
The year was nineteen-sixty or seventy-something. Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin had just eaten the very first Hostess Ding Dong on the moon. Teenage girls all over America were worshipping Sumo wrestlers dressed as giant hamsters because of a misprint in the latest issue of "Tiger Beat." And Richard Nixon was still "cool." I had just achieved my childhood dream of becoming a citywide pariah well before my 18th birthday, simply by showing up at the mayor's daughter's wedding in a gorilla suit and passing out chili dogs with sparklers in them to the guests.
I was just in the middle of performing an impromptu ventriloquist act with my dummy, The Great Leprosini, when suddenly everyone started throwing their chili dogs at me. Normally that would be a good thing, but in this case I could sense a certain hostility coming from the crowd--especially the bride and groom, whom I had playfully slathered in hot tar and covered with chicken and duck feathers in lieu of a traditional wedding gift.
While making my escape, I quite understandably had to beat up a few old ladies who had gotten in my way, and as I kicked one of them face-first into the wedding cake it occurred to me that it was Halloween. Oh, boy! Pulling the trigger on my industrial-strength spray gun, I doused the rest of the wedding guests with several gallons of wolf urine contained in two large tanks strapped to my back. Then I bid a fond adieu to the distinguished assemblage, released the rabid warthogs, and skipped merrily home to put on my Princess Leia costume. It was trick-or-treat time!
"You can't be Princess Leia," Mom scolded as I got dressed. "You're a boy."
"SHUT UP, Mom!" I eloquently replied.
Grabbing my candy bag, I skipped merrily out the door and was soon joined by my friends Tubby and Mr. Jim-Jim. Tubby was dressed as Vice-President Spiro T. Agnew in drag, and Mr. Jim-Jim was dressed as Tubby. So I kicked him in the balls for not paying me back the ten bucks Tubby had owed me for two weeks. It was a merry mix-up!
I laughed heartily at my honest mistake, but Mr. Jim-Jim continued to moan and complain so I hit him really hard a whole bunch of times until he didn't make any more noise. Tubby backed away real scared-like, as though he'd just seen a ghost. Wow! It was already turning out to be one spooky Halloween!
Well, I decided that we'd knock on old Mrs. Wilson's door first. "C'mon, Tubby!" I said cheerfully. But Tubby had disappeared! I got that really creepy feeling, like I did every time the police stopped in front of my house and got out of their car and told my mom that something "had to be done" about all those maniacal assaults or arsons or whatever--it all sorta gets mixed up in my head, ha ha--but, like, all the bad things that "Joe" had done and then blamed on me the way he always did.
Sometimes I would just suddenly go to sleep, and then "Joe" would appear and do bad things, and when I woke up people would be pointing and blaming me for them! When they did that, I would just have to hit them really hard a whole bunch of times until they stopped saying those bad things about me.
Well, the next thing I knew, I was holding Mrs. Wilson upside-down by her feet and trying to flush her head down the toilet! "Gimme some more of that damn candy!" I could hear myself saying in a real mean voice like The Hulk. "Where's the rest of those f***in' popcorn balls!" Okay, I don't even like popcorn balls, so I'll bet that was Joe who had done all that and left me to take the blame again!
So I propped Mrs. Wilson up in her easy chair real nice in front of the TV, put her feet up on some cushions, and screamed into her face as loud as I could so she'd be sure to hear me, "THAT WAS JOE THAT DID ALL THAT STUFF, MRS. WILSON!!! DON'T YOU GO BEING BAD AND BLAMING ME FOR IT!!!" I think that did the trick, because as I left with my bag full of delicious candy I couldn't hear her saying anything.
As soon as I began to skip down the sidewalk again, my youthful mind aglow with happy thoughts of tricks and treats, I noticed that some police cars had pulled up just ahead and that Tubby and Mr. Jim-Jim were talking to the police and pointing at me. I wanted to appear innocent and nonchalant, so I skipped real hard and swung my arms like I was really carefree and happy. They stared at me with this weird look on their faces, and I think it was because they'd never seen such a cool Princess Leia costume before!
I skipped harder and harder, and looked more and more defiantly nonchalant, until finally I was screaming my head off and the candy was flying all over the place and I just wanted to hit them all really hard a whole bunch of times until they would just LEAVE ME ALONE!!! And even Mrs. Wilson agreed, because by that time she had stuck her head out the front door and was screaming, "LEAVE ME ALONE!!!"
I don't know why, but the police took their guns out and started coming after me. I ran and ran, around Mr. Burton's house, up the alley behind some other people's houses, and back around to where one of the police cars was. I hopped in and started it up, racing the engine like they did in that cool "Speed Racer" movie. VROOOM-VROOOM!!!
I put the police car into gear and rammed the gas pedal to the floor, and before I knew it I was chasing the police and Tubby and Mr. Jim-Jim and some other people who had come out of their houses all up and down the street and across everybody's yards and through their picket fences and everything. It was just like "The Dukes of Hazzard" if Princess Leia was the guest star!
"Get out of my way, bad people!" I heard Joe's voice scream. "I'll turn you all into roadkill!" Since he seemed to be driving the car, I just sat back and relaxed. It was fun, zooming up people's front steps and crashing through the front walls of their houses, chasing them around for awhile, and then crashing out the back walls again. Pretty soon there were a lot of people running for their lives as Joe and me careened all over the place with the police siren going full blast. Policemen, neighbors, and little kids in different festive Halloween costumes all scampered and dove out of the way like insects. Ha ha ha ha ha! "I'M THE KING OF THE WORLD!!!" I shouted triumphantly out the open window.
And then, as suddenly as it had started, my fun came to an end when the police car finally ran out of gas. It coasted to a stop and I got out, happier and more at peace with the world than I had been since Dr. Feldman gave me the really big pink pill that made all the TV shows a hundred times funnier. I barely noticed the police approaching me with extreme caution, guns drawn, and then wrestling me to the ground and slapping the handcuffs on me. I was still in a state of extreme euphoria when they fingerprinted and booked me, beat me with rubber hoses, and threw me into a cell with a bunch of drunk, hostile bikers and serial killers. "You can't do this to me!" I heard myself shrieking through the bars. "I'm Princess Leia, DAMMIT!"
But it wasn't Joe's voice this time. It was mine. I had finally learned to stand up...for myself!
Mom showed up a few hours later to bail me out. She didn't say anything on the way home, which was worse than if she'd chewed me out. When we walked through the front door, Dad looked up from the TV and gave me this kind of...I don't know..."disappointed" look. It was at that moment that I realized for the first time that, after all the trouble I'd just been through, I didn't have a single piece of candy to show for it. I'd even lost my cool "Barney" trick-or-treat bag. And that's probably why Dad looked so disappointed. He'd been looking forward to eating some of my delicious Halloween candy.
"I'm sorry, Dad," I said in my most sincere voice. "I meant to save you some gummi bears or some of those little 'fun-size' Mr. Goodbars that you like. I really did. But then Mrs. Wilson, and the police, and Tubby and Mr. Jim-Jim...well, they were all very bad, and--"
The thought of all these bad people and what they'd done to me started to make me madder and madder. Suddenly I wasn't "sorry" anymore. Bristling with anger, I straightened my Princess Leia hair buns and skipped really, really hard up the stairs to my room. Too wired to go to bed, I skipped really, really hard around and around my room, harder and harder, my blazing nonchalance growing in intensity until I realized that I was stomping holes in the floor and the downstairs ceiling was starting to crumble. I was still skipping, skipping like King Kong would've skipped if he were a cute little kid like me, when the whole house suddenly caved in and the ruptured gas line exploded.
Needless to say, I heroically made my way through the flames and pulled Mom and Dad to safety. But did anyone appreciate my heroism? Of course not. I was still a citywide pariah, which wasn't quite as much fun as I'd thought it would be back when I decided to be one instead of a fireman or a cowboy. To everyone else, I was still "that bad kid." Well, I'd show them. I'd show them all.
I would become...PORFLE.