Sunday, October 31, 2004

Trick or treat
Smell my feet
Give me something good to eat

Here are pix of our Jack-o-lanterns this year. M made a likeness of Shrek and I did a self-portrait. Whaddya think?

Halloween was one of my favorite days when I was a kid. The Onigiriman family was never very rich, and things like soda, chips, and cookies were extranvagances that I enjoyed on special occasions, like someone's birthday party or dinner at a relative's house. I remember once being invited to a classmate's house for lunch--no special occasion--and we had pizza, potato chips and soda. I was completely puzzled. What was the occasion, I wondered.

"Is today special?" I asked my friend's mother.

"Yes, of course. You came over to play."

I was stunned, but when she smiled at me, I realized that she was just being nice. Yet, for that brief moment, I felt so special. In that split second I thought the pizza and soda gods were smiling at me finally.

Anyway, treats of any sort were special at home. We weren't living off of bread and water. We ate adequately, three square meals a day. But no extracurricular eats at my place, one of the major reasons why few of my friends wanted to come over to play. So you can imagine how I felt on Halloween. I would get my large brown paper grocery bag, and canvas my neighborhood collecting as much candy as I could. This was my only chance to stock up and enjoy candy at home. I would gorge on butter toffee candy, Abba-zabbas, lemon drops, taffy, much to the chagrin of my mother. All she could do was remind me to brush my teeth, which I would do but then sneak another piece of candy or two before going to sleep. And not brush. A recipe for dental cavitites... But it was worth it for me.

In elementary school, we would always have Halloween parties. We would wear costumes, play games, draw pictures, read stories like Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman. In fifth grade, I bobbed for apples for the very first time, getting pointers from some of the girls. Apparently, you had to force the apple down to the bottom or toward the side of the tub, pin it and then take a bite. Of course, I was paying less attention to their explanation and more to their strange affect on me. These were the same girls I had been growing up with since kindergarden, but for some reason they began to stir something in me. I finally figured out what it was when I reached the seventh grade.

Well, that's not really true, I figured it out in the sixth grade, but couldn't really do anything about it until the seventh. By then, games and stories wouldn't do it for Halloween. Fortunately, we were invited to a class dance with the eighth graders. The guys were a fountain of information for us young men. They helped us understand our vague curiousity, allowing us to hone in on our desires, all the while making us hornier by the minute. Certainly by today's standards, we were pretty innocent, but we talked about kissin--using tongues--and the proper technique of "feeling up" a girl. We learned how to tell the difference between real breasts and Kleenex. One guy, an hornery sort, would make it a point to spill water on girls whom he had determined were using tissue to fill up B cups--he believed in "truth in advertising" and wanted to force them to take 'em out.

We also learned the art of "high stepping". This is the technique used while slow dancing. You move your right leg between the girls legs and rub up against her with your thigh. This was to ellicit a reaction--any reaction--from the girl. This also ellicited a reaction from me as well: as you all know, the most sensitive bundle of nerves for 13 year old boys is located in the thigh just above the knee. I remember dancing with a few girls, fine tuning my "knee" step, and realizing how easy it was to distinguish between real and Kleenex enhanced breasts--they're usually harder...

Needless to say, my seventh and eight grade Halloweens were memorable. There was candy and cookies on the table, but for a growing, naive kid like me, the treats were on the dance floor.

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