I had to scrape the frost from my windshield last week, but somehow, it was 500 degrees out today. I think they refer to this as an “Indian summer.” If you live in or around the part of the country that I do, it’s hard for your Halloween spirit to withstand a sudden increase to swimming pool climates. My only defense is to drive the torso of a styrofoam mummy into the grass. Take that, sun.
Sold for a bloated twenty-five bucks, my mummy is officially referred to as a Light-Up Ground Breaker. I don’t think I’ve seen a product title try so hard to explain what the product is and still leave absolutely no firm impression. It’s a good thing I’m not blind. If my talking guide dog led me through a Halloween store and asked me to pick between a package of cotton spider webs and a Light-Up Ground Breaker, I’d have no idea that the latter was the right decision. It would’ve been just as catchy and far more direct to label the things as “Decorative Half-A-Mummies.” And black market street lingo could shorten that to “Decorative HAMs.” Life would be so awesome.
For all my holiday bravado, I usually don’t put any/many decorations outside. It’s not that I don’t want the entrance of my home to appear seasonally spirited…it’s that I can’t stand the notion of neighbors peering out their windows to watch me as I decorate. I don’t know why this upsets me so much. Even with this, a simple Decorative HAM, the photo shoot was delayed for two hours because the people across the street were sitting on their front porch.
The Halloween store had cooler Ground Breakers in stock, but since the mummy was the only one whose “Try Me” attractor wasn’t overused to the point of dead batteries, I went with him. The set includes a lawn stake to help keep him in place, and the whole thing took around fifteen seconds to assemble and admire. Compare this to those gaudy lawn inflatables, which take forty-five minutes of ridiculous pumping only to end up looking doofy anyway.
With corpse-positioned arms and missing teeth, my mummy appears to be smiling. I don’t recall him looking so pleased, so I assume this is the work of an impossibly precise camera angle at some unknown specification of natural light. Not that there’s anything wrong with a mummy who has accepted his fate as a crude Halloween decoration.
At night, you’re free to flip a little switch on the back of the mummy’s head, which enables his single exposed eye to blink red until dawn. It’s a subtle touch, but I gotta tell ya, there’s something amazing about knowing that I can walk outside the front door right now and see a mummy with a blinking red eye. And here I thought that my “happy place” was a figurative term. Now I have more reasons to rush home from work than just catching the last ten minutes of Seinfeld.
I got my mummy from a Halloween Spirit store, but you can find similar varieties in pretty much any Halloween section of any department store that has the balls to see this shit through October and not turn their freaky spooky aisles into festive stocking aisles.
In other news, I am so ridiculously upset by Hostess’s Hulk Cakes cupcakes. They’re sold under the “Scary Cakes” banner, which, if you’ll recall, is the banner Hostess dusts off every October for Halloween-themed snacks like these and this one. Hostess products are incredibly malleable, and the company is usually quite good at reforming its edibles to fit in with the various holiday seasons that spring up.
What upsets me is that they didn’t have enough faith in Halloween to let the green-iced cupcakes to just be Scary Cakes. Instead, they’re both “Scary Cakes” and “Hulk Cakes.” They can hedge their bets all they want, but I’m of the opinion that cupcakes can only have one theme.
Sucks, because the cupcakes are perfectly Halloweeny. Instead of the usual chocolate icing with white swirls, these are topped with eerie slime icing and dark green sprinkles. True, that also makes them perfectly Hulky, but would it have been so hard for them to say, “hey these are for Halloween,” and not, “hey these are for Halloween, but if you don’t like Halloween, they are also for people who enjoy the Hulk?” Has Hostess never read that timeless classic, The Berenstain Bears And Too Much Messaging? I now and forever hate the Hulk.