Friday, February 5, 2010

Family News in Brief -- October ’09

Dozens of new graveyards have been showing up in the area all month and homeowners are screaming, “Not in my backyard.” Several of these NIMBYists said they moved to the Santa Clarita Valley to get away from things like overdevelopment, overcrowding and graveyards. “Where did this cemetery come from?” asked one of my neighbors when he saw my Halloween gravestones. “Not in my back yard,” he said. The graveyard, incidentally, happens to be in my front yard, and it’s going away after tonight’s trick-or-treating celebration. However, someone stopped by the house yesterday and asked how much for a plot. Considering the hard financial climate of the day, I thought long and hard about suggesting a price.

The Witching Hour, which is the haunting time that takes place during Halloween season, is continuing to take its toll on innocent people. Officials on Tuesday released figures showing that spooky witches, ghouls and goblins are the cause of more than 20 unsolicited scares in my house alone since the beginning of the season. “Just last week,” my wife said on Wednesday, “we had only 6 scares. Now that we’re in the home stretch to Halloween, scares have been around every corner.” Witching Hour experts suggest that numbers are expected to rise in years to come as my son, a 6-year-old, enters the prime age for scaring his parents. The scares, these sources added, will become progressively elaborate as the boy becomes older and more inventive, but will taper off during the teenage years when he wants nothing to do with his mom and dad. According to the individual behind the scares, “I’m not Mommy and Daddy’s son. I’m a scary ghoul. Rrrrraooooar!”

“Daddy, we have a problem,” said my wife in an urgent phone call to work yesterday afternoon. It seems my 6-year-old son stuck his hand into one of those Halloween candy bowls with the motorized attacking zombie claws, was attacked by the claw, and then couldn’t shake the claw loose. “These mechanized candy bowls have become so routine that it’s easy to forget it’s not wise to let a motorized zombie claw clamp down on your hand,” said the general manager of the store that sells the spooky dish. “Bring it back to the store and we’ll give you a full refund.” Turns out, the guy couldn’t take the dish back with my son attached. So now my son’s going trick-or-treating tonight dressed as a trick-or-treater who got eaten by a candy bowl.

After only a few months as my future sister-in-law, my younger brother’s wife-to-be made a move yesterday that could cost her a walk down the aisle. She told sources that she wanted to go to a college football game on Halloween Day. “I’m all for football games,” my brother said in a statement following the announcement, “but on Halloween? You’re supposed to be carving pumpkins, watching scary movies, haunting up the house for trick-or-treaters and basically getting ready for the big night.” Making matters worse, the girl said her favorite Thanksgiving was the one she had with lobster instead of turkey, and that getting a Christmas tree during the Christmas season was something she rarely did. “Holidays were never that big of a deal in my family,” she actually admitted. Sources claim that my family, including my siblings, my parents and my grandparents, are holiday extremists. But this girl, whom my brother plans to marry, is just plain crazy. My brother did the sane thing and signed her up for an extensive 6-month holiday boot camp. Officials said she’d be marrying material by Easter.

-October 2009

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