Monday, October 10, 2005

Excited about Halloween? They are.

Having grown up in Waterbury, I know that there are a few things you can count on. The air will smell of roasting coffee, the town and the village will never agree on anything, and that car slowing down to ask you directions is looking for Ben and Jerry's. And no matter what time of year it is, there is a holiday on the horizon and the house next to the car wash on Route 2 is celebrating it early and with a somewhat alarming enthusiasm.

They go so far beyond the acceptable level of holiday-related house adornment that I have to wonder if Hallmark has them on payroll. You expect Christmas decorations (and theirs are awe-inspiring) but all out, deck-the-halls-with-bats-and-skeletons Halloween decorations are rarer. And when the yard is paved with festive plastic on Valentine's Day and Thanksgiving, Independence Day and St. Pat's, you start to wonder about the people living in that house. If they made decorations for today's quasi-holiday, Columbus Day, I'm sure they'd string 'em up gladly.

It's pretty amazing to think about the amount of time, money and energy that go into this. Why do they do it? Their house must be bursting with plug-in plastic santas, crepe paper turkeys and leering leprechauns - although some of them do double duty. Notice how, this year, the Christmas sleigh has been cleverly adapted into a haunted hayride for a gang of ghosts? Sadly, most of the people in the neighborhood don't share their holiday spirit, and shake their heads about the eyesore at the end of Butler Street. I'm guessing this has something to do with the fact that these festive folks never seem to be quite as eager to take the decorations down as they are to put them up.

I just worry that they'll put those Christmas reindeer up too close to hunting season, and something like this will happen. It would be tragic.