Before I even get to Halloween this year, who watched The Goldberg’s this week? They nailed it. Again. Who doesn’t love this show? If you were between or around the ages of 10-20 during the 80’s you love this show. If somehow you came through that decade as a teenager and don’t love this show, you my delusional friend cannot claim any affilitation, relationship or link to or with the 80’s, Gen X or, and let’s be honest, any amount of coolness. You can’t. You just can’t. I’m sure you’ll argue this point. And you will lose. It’s like trying to show off you’re knowledge of hair bands while bringing up Winger and stating with confidence that Seventeen is their best song. Again wrong. Can’t Get Enuff. Suck it. Winger by the way just played live locally a couple days ago. Just saying…
Seriously though The Goldbergs is The Wonder Years for Gen Xers. Pop rocks, Coke and Mikey from Life Cereal? The ghost in the VHS tape of Three Men and a Baby? Freaking excellent. You can only hear that rumor about Mikey so many times before it just becomes part of the fabric of time and space itself.
So as many of you know, we live in Des Moines which has the tradition of Beggar’s Night. Which is nothing more than trick or treating on the night before Halloween.
Yes, it is stupid. And I mean stupid in the strongest most literal sense. But if you go back and research the reasons behind Beggar’s Night you are really left with one conclusion. It has outlived its usefulness. Like public employee unions. It was put into place by a well-meaning individual to stop vandalism and other assorted acts of hooliganism. But then the do-gooders took up the cause and screwed it up like taking Thundarr the Barbarian off the air because, well, nobody really knows why but it sucked.
Anyway, because Halloween is awesome, I left work early to carve pumpkins. Went with a traditional geometric design. Triangles for eyes, square nose with a wide fanged smile. I’ve found that an ice cream scooper is the best tool for cleaning out the pumpkin brains. Bails and Kinz, much to my dismay, decided to carve their own this year. Not bad for their first entirely independent foray in the art of pumpkin carving. I mean all I did was cut the hole in the top and then engaged in a little bit of trim work and clean up after they were done. A couple years ago I used some of those glow sticks to light them. Sounded like a good idea. Turns out it wasn’t. Not enough wattage. So this year, after digging through a couple drawers we have that are filled with candles and other assorted seasonal stuff, I went with the plethora of mini Yankee candles we have. Sure the jack-o-lanterns smell like mistletoe and balsam fir but whatever. They looked awesome and stayed lit until well after the trick or treaters were done.
Top costumes this year? Ninja turtles and zombies. Surprisingly not a single Elsa. No wookies either. One kid was James Dean. Not kidding. He walked up and we asked if he was The Fonz. His response? “Well that was my original idea but I decided more people would know who James Dean is.”
What? You’re like 10 years old. James F’ing Dean? Seriously kid just go ahead declare Theater as your major now. As he walked away, he stops, turns and says, “Hey, I’m surprised you guys know who The Fonz is.”
Again, what? The Fonz? I’m 44. I know who The Freaking Fonz is. I know who Potsie is. I know who Pinky Tuscadero is and I know what the freaking Malachi Crunch is. I know Laverne and Shirley worked at Shotz Brewery in Milwaukee. I know Jack, Janet and Chrissy spent a lot of time at The Regal Beagle. I know BA ain’t flyin’ on no plane! I know Nick and Cody lived on a boat and I know what the Blue Freaking Moon Detective Agency is. Don’t freaking test me on Tuesday night TV lineups of the 70’s and 80’s son.
Geez. Do I know who The Fonz is…
One kid looked exactly like one of the clowns from Killer Klowns from Outer Space. Safe to say we kept our eyes on him until he was gone. Additionally I made the mistake of eating nothing but candy for about 4 hours. I don’t recommend this. Nobody is built to consume that much candy.
However the best thing, or worst depending on your perspective, was when my neighbor ordered pizza. Normal standard pizza delivery as the pizza guy pulled into the driveway, got out and walked the pizza up to us as we were sitting in the garage. However as he was handing the pizza over his van started to roll forward. Towards the house.
Yeah, he either forgot to put the van in park or it shifted itself into drive.
Pizza guy freaks out and attempts to use his super human pizza guy strength to stop the van from rolling forward with body. Not kidding, he tried to stop the van with his girth. And listen this guy was blessed a fine amount girth. But he’s not stopping a mini van. Eventually he realizes this and moves with speed he only likely dreamed about and jumps into the driver’s seat. At this point the rest of us had moved towards the van as well. None of us however attempted to step in front of the vehicle. I mean we all were in agreement that the van needed to be stopped and everything it was just that after a quick list of pros and cons, we all kinda decided against the standing in front of the van strategy. But as fate would have it the van rolled by the corner of the garage and misses it by about six inches and keeps rolling over the walk up to the front door and assumes a collision course with the front window. Luckily the left front wheel of the van hits a retaining wall. The grass slopes away from the walk so when the wall engaged in a battle of physics with the van, the wheel had to overcome about a five inch wall. The van won but the speed was reduced allowing the pizza guy to recover. But not without incident. Instead of standing on the brake he accidently hits the gas. I assume by accident. Thankfully the amount of adrenaline coursing through his body allowed him to immediately switch his foot to the brake and stop the van from hitting the house. A couple feet short. We scored that a win. Then pizza guy decides that he not only needs to back away from the house but he needs to do it quickly. So the van again narrowly misses the corner of the garage again…except going the opposite direction at rate of speed that was probably unnecessary. Unfortunately the excitement was at such a high level I forgot to find out if the pizza was free…