As October cusps into November,
We embrace quite a sinister theme,
And the world becomes peppered with pumpkins,
For this day that we call Halloween.
Not exactly a new fascination,
It’s been kind of a regular gig.
But I find myself sat here reflecting…
“Just when did it get quite so BIG!?”
Back in my day, we didn’t do pumpkins.
It just wasn’t so much of a thing?
We’d potentially butcher a turnip,
Which we’d dangle on bits of old string?
Trick or treating was mostly unheard of,
Or reserved for the kids on TV.
Asking strangers for sweets was “Just begging!”
Which was frowned upon, apparently?
Fancy dress was reserved for the disco,
Which they’d possibly throw at “Big School”.
By which age it was all about ego
And which one of us looked the most cool.
All our outfits were one of three options,
There was “Witch”, “Frankenstein” or “Mummy”.
And each costume was swiftly created,
With just one prop for each of the three.
Food-colouring doubled as face paint.
Which would stain with a murky green tinge,
And we’d spend the next week getting laughed at,
But we’d do it and not dare to whinge.
We would strut in our self-made witch outfits,
And would cackle out loud when we talked,
Wearing jeans and a taped up bin-liner,
Which would rustle and split as we walked.
There was no range of fabulous outfits,
And no loud things that flash for your head.
The shop just did not offer zombies,
Or a chainsaw to buy with your bread?
There were no pumpkin patches or picking,
And no “Injurebread” biscuits for me!
Just some green fizzy pop “If I’m lucky”.
egg “young chicken” and chips for my tea.
Whereas now it’s a whole different ball game,
Dominating the calendar page.
It requires a new kind of commitment,
To join in with, regardless of age.
There are scarecrow trails, ghost hunts and dungeons,
All our windowsills host orange veg.
Friendly neighbours hold fierce competitions,
To see which spooky house has the edge.
Half-term is “The Week of the Pumpkin!”
Where they all must be picked, carved and drawn.
ALL THE PEOPLE must dress like “The Munsters”.
Even Gran and those recently born.
We must ONLY eat pumpkin-spiced morsels,
And all things that are shaped like a bat.
If it doesn’t resemble an eye-ball,
It’s not fit for consumption.
We all know Halloween is a legend,
But it has us all under it’s spell,
Every house, shop and street is enchanted,
Stately homes, farms and castles as well.
As we count down the days to The Big One,
When small night creatures merge on the street,
And descend on the front doors of many,
Where then knock and demand: “Trick or treat!
* * * * * * * *
By November the 1st it’s all over.
No more zombies or monsters to fear.
All our kids still vibrate full of sugar,
And behold enough sweets for a year.
But I still find myself sat reflecting,
As I marvel at what it’s become.
It requires a new kind of commitment.
… But it’s also spooktacular fun!
To every person that made their own “coffin” outfit aged 12 1/2, entirely out of white A4 paper and a stapler, and then had to try to line up two pencil holes with their eyes to see through as they shuffled along the street with their ankles trapped into the bottom end of the paper coffin. This one’s for you!