Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Down the Block, A Minion of Beelzebub

It's just an impression, but it looks like neighborhood Halloween decorations are scarcer this year than even last. Maybe people have less taste for contrived frights among the real economic frights of our time. Inflatables seem very scarce. They're ridiculous, but that didn't stop people before. But it does cost money to operate the things, which might have inspired some second thoughts about them.

The family about four houses down has decorated more than most. Last week a straw-stuffed dummy with a pumpkin head appeared in a lawn chair on their front lawn. Then a mock giant spider and its web were erected on a small window. This afternoon as Ann and I were walking by, the father of the household, a fellow I know slightly, was standing outside smoking a cigarette and looking into his picture window.

"You want to see it move?" he said to us.

Then I noticed a black-draped, mostly faceless figure in the window. Supposed to be witch-like, I figured. It had glowing blue eyes, so it was already plugged in. That or in communication with Beelzebub.

He must have just finished setting it up. He ducked inside the front door and soon the figure started a slow gyration. Not bad. Better than any inflatable. Ann wasn't scared, but she might have felt differently about it at night.



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