Lost Journal: Sounds of the Season are More Scary than Merry

Journal entry: October 28, 2008 (age 39)

Ah, the sounds of the season.  Nothing brings home the holiday cheer more than the traditional music inspired by this magical time of year.  We can all relate to the familiar comforts of an old-style family holiday, set to music.

You know the big day is getting close when Dad gets out his Bobby “Boris” Pickett records so the whole family can do the “Monster Mash.”  Meanwhile, Mom is in the kitchen, humming “Tubular Bells, Part 1” as she cuts up a dead animal for dinner.

Soon it’s time for the Halloween carolers.  After they’ve pelted the house with a few rotten eggs and some toilet paper, they gather on the front steps to ask the age-old question that’s on every child’s mind tonight:  “Who ya gonna call?”  As you open the door, you know the answer, but you let the little ones in the house yell it out.  They know that if you have a dose of a freaky ghost, then you call those wondrous Ghostbusters!  You smile to yourself, because you’re not too old to remember that bustin’ makes you feel good, too.

By now, all the neighbors are out on their porches.  In a rare spirit of community, everyone is joining in on the chorus of Alice Cooper’s “Welcome to my Nightmare.”  The leader of the carolers, a chubby parson from the satanic cult down the way, asks if anyone has any requests.  “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald!” cries one ruddy-cheeked youngster.  An itinerant tinker emerges from the bushes and bellows “How about ‘One-eyed One-horned Flying Purple People Eater?’” There’s an awkward silence, as most of the assembled folks know that a purple family recently moved onto the block.  Happily, Great-Grandma lightens the mood by croaking out a long-forgotten folk song about the Donner Party, entitled “I Can’t Believe They Weren’t Butter.”  No one else knows the words, so we all just accentuate her performance with the “Chee, chee, chee – ha, ha, ha” sounds from the Friday the 13th movies.

By the end of Great-Grandma’s song, some of the little ones are starting to yawn and rub their eyes.  There’s time for just one more song.  Members of the Rotary Club hand out orange prison uniforms for the neighborhood’s annual synchronized zombie dance from Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”  You missed most of the dance practices this year, but ever since the crossing guard next door spontaneously combusted in aught four, you’ve been the best Vincent Price lip-syncher on the block.  After the dance, the evening is brought to an abrupt end.  The spandex-clad spinster on the corner, who everyone knows is a huge Pat Benatar fan, is awkwardly screaming out “Hell is for Children!” as the parents shepherd their kids inside.

With the kids tucked into bed, it’s time for the adults to share some holiday romance.  You and the Mrs. decide to drive around the neighborhood to look at the houses with no lights.  As you slowly drive by three dark homes, Jim Morrison’s comforting voice rises from the radio.  “There’s a killer on the road – his brain is squirming like a toad.”  And for just that moment, all is wrong with the world.

Tim Mollen
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