Tag Archives: halloween

Alien Attack at Local Safeway! ©

Encountering an alien with Len Hodgeman       

alienI had stopped at my local Safeway on the way home to pick up a few things for dinner.  But it wasn’t very “Safe” that day. Coming out of the store, I was accosted by an alien.

Honestly, he looked like any other typical five-year old.  Bowl-cut blonde hair, striped jersey, jeans and scuffed sneakers.  He looked at me with piercing blue eyes, freckles and a Grand Canyon grin, standing boldly in the middle of the sidewalk.  He told me, rather matter-of-factly, and very convincingly, “I am an Alien From Another Planet.”

He had what appeared to be a thin stick in his hand, though I had a suspicion it may have been a disguised ray gun.  There was a dark-haired boy next to him with a Saint Christopher pendant around his neck, who also waved his stick towards me.  “And I am a Dragon Slayer,” he exclaimed.  “Are you a Golden Dragon?”

I think the ray gun must have worked, or the Dragon Slayer’s stick was really a magic wand a la Harry Potter.  I was frozen in place for some reason, completely unable to move.

Lucky for me, the sound of a car door slamming nearby also had a magical effect.  Suddenly I could move my head.  I turned toward the sound to see this attractive young woman—In her early twenties I’d say–looking at me curiously and perhaps a bit protectively.  Was she too an alien, or perhaps a sorceress?

No, I thought, she must have been one of the boys’ mom.  I met her gaze bravely and smiled.  “So, he’s an alien from another planet?”

“Apparently”, she replied with a conspiratorial grin.  “Today anyway.  Last week he was Abraham Lincoln.  Ran around freeing all the slaves in the neighborhood.”

Just then both boys pointed their sticks towards me.  The Alien From Another Planet made a soft sizzling sound–tsssst-psst, though it may have come from the ray gun, and the Dragon Slayer solemnly exclaimed “Animagicus … Planetarium.”

There was no question what needed to happen next.  I clutched at my chest and made a loud gurgling sound.  My face contorted in pain and horror—eyes round and my mouth wide open.

I dropped to me knees on the sidewalk.  Ouch, that hurt.  But it was well worth the look on their young faces.   A look of wonder, grateful complicity and absolute delight, tinged with just the slightest hint of doubt and absolutely real concern.

As I crumpled to the ground and the groceries spilled out onto the sidewalk, I closed my eyes in respect.

I too, many years ago, was once a Space Alien, a Dragon Slayer, a Cop and a Robber, a Cowboy and an Indian.

photo by connor vicki

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Halloween Of Yesterday ©

Shinazy’s  Halloween Memories


My earliest Halloween memory is when my younger sisters and I dressed our baby brother for his first trick or treat.  We costumed him in our frilliest feminine frock with bows in his hair and patent leather Mary Janes on his feet.  He was our living doll.

As the first door opened to our knock knock, the neighbor complemented each disguised sister.  But when the neighbor’s eyes dropped to my brother her smile faded.  In a concerned maternal expression she asked, “Oh, sweet girl, why aren’t you in a costume?”  And, in a forlorn voice my brother said, “But, I am … I’m a boy!”  The neighbor’s words validated our fashion designer talent.

When we became moms, we continued the family’s Halloween tradition and introduced our children to the art of masquerading.  One year my daughter and her friend, Helen, dressed as the couple in the painting, ‘American Gothic’.  The disguise’s realism convinced the candy-givers that Helen was my daughter’s chaperon.   The girls were prouder of their artistry than their haul.

Another year my middle sister visited with her five-month old son who was wearing a yellow fleece sleeper.  Instantly we all saw the possibility and out came the black electrical tape and white pipe cleaners transforming him from sleepy cherub into cuddly bumblebee.  As the girls buzzed out the door, they carried him in a sling, giving the appearance he was flying.

Each year we thought about who would be what.  There was the year my daughter or son transformed into a clown, scarecrow, Thing from the Adams family, Oscar the grouch – complete with garbage can.

My son’s favorite persona was being a mummy.  For two years I cornered the local four-inch gauze supply on the entire San Francisco Peninsula.  I appreciate the patience required by Hollywood make-up artist; for several hours I wrapped, shredding at strategic points, rubbing other areas with carbon paper.  The longer he paraded about the more unraveled he became – a creature of the living dead.

Then came the pivotal year when either age or height interrupts the notion to repeatedly say, “Trick or Treat.”  When this happened to my daughter it was Toga Party time.

halloweenThe year this happened to my son, he, a friend and I dressed in all black.  We blacked our faces, and loaded my 1969 VW Bug with toilet paper and set off to TP several friends’ homes.  This was no roll-tossing-into-trees happening.  We draped a hedge with TP garland, tied bows on branches, gift wrapped a car.  With each home we became more skilled at the craft of TP art; we even returned to the first home to improve our Halloween caper.

When October approaches I think how fun it will be when the next generation is ready to continue our family Halloween habit – what will they want to be?  Perhaps an iPhone.  It’s possible.

photos courtesy sister72 and stevendepolo

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