On Halloween there are always the requisite witches, pirates and rock stars. But with the general election days away, we’re guaranteed a few glimpses of political personalities. Not long ago, I heard a tap on my office door and there stood Obama, at least from the neck up, courtesy of an amazingly realistic mask. My daughter’s boyfriend has had a ball with that one. I threatened to take the broom to him if he tries to go vote while wearing that mask. A West Hollywood (Calif.) man hung an effigy of Palin from his chimney, perhaps the most tasteless and biased Halloween display this year.
I figure we’ll see at least one Joe the Plumber. What would really be funny: if you could come up with a costume resembling the whackos working in Ohio State government offices who invaded Joe’s privacy because he dared to ask Obama a question when the senator strolled through an Ohio neighborhood, film crew in tow. How do you dress yourself as a bureaucrat?
One Halloween my husband and I were going to a party and King Kong was driving the car in the lane beside us, giving us concerns about the driver's ability to see while wearing a lifelike gorilla mask. Each year as our children celebrated the least taxing most imaginative holiday on the American calendar, there was always a pop celeb whose success sparked many imitators. There was the year of Britney Spears and long before that, the rather frightening year of Madonna. This year I figure we may see a lot of Miley Cyruses.
There are a number of theories about how Halloween came to the United States. The History Channel notes traces in Celtic customs, but I suspect man has always come up with a means of expressing defiance towards death. Setting aside a day for being something we will never be may also figure into our celebration of Halloween here in the U.S. I find myself wondering how many Joe the Plumbers, Obamas, McCains and pop stars will wander the streets in search of tricks or preferably treats on Friday. We’re sure to see at least one fireman, one policeman and if custom holds true, Superman or Batman. As always, I’ll stock up on candy. There’s no fun in a healthy treat on Halloween—sorry, Doc.
[For more reading on Halloween, follow links in 'References' below.]