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Taking Your Priorities Lightly
A story of about strategic holiday planning.
It’s that time of the year when the leaves turn to fire and the wind takes on a slight chill. A time when we harvest the gourds and decide that the spice of pumpkin needs to be sprinkled on everything with crazed abandon.
My wife Deb loves Halloween1 and loves to decorate for it. No matter where we’re living, be it an apartment or home, Deb does a bang-up decorating job and makes the perfect pastiche of harvest festival and goosebump scares.
But every so often, things go awry in ways that only Deb could have orchestrated.
Like the time she decided to string up those nylon spider webs on the second floor balcony porch, while standing at the top of a wobbly ladder. She though that tacking one end of the web in just the right spot could be accomplished by balancing on one foot while over-extending her reach.
When the ladder tumbled over she luckily managed to land on the porch—and not the ground 20 feet below!
On another year, she decided to run holiday lights along the ground. In anywhere else except the Pacific Northwest, this is normally not a problem. However here, when October rolls around, that’s also the time our torrential rain season begins.
The lights looked great—for all of 5 minutes—until the 1/2 inch of water that the cords were sitting in caused an electrical short which destroyed the outlet and nearly created a fire inside the walls of our apartment!
During the first year when we moved into our current home, Deb created a wonderfully frightening witch on the porch. It was built over a dress form and sat on the front porch near our door.
But the one thing Deb again didn’t count on was that this is the Pacific Northwest, and in October when our torrential rain season begins, it’s also accompanied by heavy wind storms.
On one particularly blustery day, as my new puppy Zeke and I were sitting on the couch, I was watching TV and he was looking out the front window, we both got a particularly good fright as we saw a witch go flying past the front window of the living room!
Deb forgot that the dress form had wheels on its base and she didn’t bother to secure the witch in place. So of course one good gust of wind rolled the witch across the porch!
I have to admit though, once I realize what happened, it was pretty hilarious to watch Zeke flip out and scream at the front window, “WITCH! WITCH! WITCH! WHO IS THAT? SCARY! I DON’T LIKE IT!”
Since that time the poor little pup has never trusted Deb around Halloween.
I don’t blame him, because Deb is a sucker for buying Halloween decorations that either light up, or make sound, or do both.
For example, The Dog Skeleton she bought a few years ago. She thought it was cute that it was the same size as Zeke. However unlike Zeke, it had eyes that glowed red and made scary haunted barking sounds.
If you ever want to freak out your dog and cause them to have an existential metaphysical panic, buy this decoration.
Zeke hates that dog with a passion.
Then there’s also The Evil Caged Crow which is motion activated and makes a screech whenever someone approaches.
It’s actually a pretty good defense against potential nighttime porch prowlers. However when you live, such as we do, on a busy street with cars rolling buy at all hours, a screeching crow gets kind of…um…annoying.
Then there’s Deb’s latest purchase that she found at an antique shop. It’s a large Frankenstein’s Monster Head.
Zeke hate this one as well. He doesn’t like the way it keeps staring at him with its creepy face, glowing red eyes and mouth.
I suspect that the only thing Zeke likes about this time of year is that he has access to his favorite treats of Pumpkin and other squashes. Everything else for him, the decorations, the scary movies, and especially the strangers who come to our door asking for treats, is a hard pass.
Just wait until he sees the Halloween costume we’ll force him to wear.
AND NOW FROM THE SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION DEPARTMENT:
I have a new book published. It’s called “Buckshot Sugar Plums and Other Tales.” It’s a collection of mostly true comics and crazy humorous stories taken from experiences in my life or those of friends and family. It available as a paperback and ebook from Amazon.
Of course all paying subscribers to Escape from Clowtown will be getting a free copy mailed to them2, which seems like a fine time to mention the following:
Escape from Clowntown | Comics of E.R. Flynn is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Ok, OK. Enough with the sales spiel. I’ll leave you this week with a classic
Halloween themed Dad joke.
Q: A vampire bat and a fruit bat fell in love and had a baby bat. What was the baby bat’s favorite food?
A: Blood Oranges.
That’s for my pal, Brian T. who is the current world title-holder of “Dad Joke Raconteurism.” Add this to your list of groaners , buddy.
I’m more of a fan of Samhain and Dia De Los Muertos but I make accommodations to humor Deb.