Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Halloween is by far my favorite annual ritual. I don't typically do a lot for Halloween myself, but I have a lot of fond memories of Halloween from my youth and every year I get a big bowl of candy and hand out fun size Snickers bars and the like to small children. I get a kick out of all of the costumes, but the ones I love most are the ones that were clearly thrown together by an unenthusiastic parent at the last minute: the vampire with the plastic bag cape and food coloring blood running down one lip with regular black clothes underneath; the hobo wearing dad's rattiest to-be-given-to-charity threads; the karate master wearing the gee from his older brother's brief interest in the martial arts. More than once I went as something akin to one of these costumes (vampire was by far my favorite, though once I wore a black dress tucked into black jeans with a black scarf around my head and called myself a ninja).

Anyway, in celebration of this holiday I'm going to link you to Neil Gaiman's short story "How to Talk to Girls at Parties." While not explicitly about Halloween, I think it fits the pattern well enough, and Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite authors to read in the little leisure time I have left. He has a wonderful story that combines the Cthulu mythos if H.P. Lovecraft with the Sherlock Holmes stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, called "A Study in Emerald," which is also quite fun and well worth a read if you're a fan of those two authors.

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