Scary Cold On Halloween | HumorOutcasts

Scary Cold On Halloween

October 30, 2013



In my adult years I’ve never been a fan of Halloween, especially now that I’m not supposed to be eating candy anymore. I mean, what’s the point?

It pained me to see store shelves stocked with Halloween products in August, a time when werewolves and mummies would be dropping of heat exhaustion. They replaced back to school products, which hit the shelves around the time school let out earlier in the summer. Those products often have to fight for space beside Christmas displays.

In the defense of businesses, they have to get some of that merchandise sold off by November, so they have room for Valentine’s Day stuff.

January and March are only there to give the merchants some breathing room.

But my biggest problem with Halloween is the timing. It’s the middle of autumn, the days are getting colder, the trees have shed their leaves, and winter’s ready to have at me with both icy barrels. What’s to celebrate? National Frostbite Month?

Researchers say 43% of adults who have Seasonal Affective Disorder, as I do, had that form of depression in childhood. In other words, I wasn’t just a miserable kid because I was a miserable kid, although I’m sure I was that, too. That means that as a child I probably approached October 31st with the attitude of my two media heroes, Eeyore the donkey and Grumpy Cat. If anybody cares. Which I doubt.

That explains why my main goals when it came to Halloween, then and now, was to find the warmest costume available, and to eat enough candy to put on a good coat of insulation.

My earliest Halloween memory was dressing as a little devil. I was covered head to foot in red felt, had a forked tail, and carried a wicked looking pitchfork. I looked a lot like an IRS agent.

That must have been an unusually warm fall, because I remember actually being a visible devil. Usually in northeast Indiana you could only see that part of the costume between the bottom of our winter coats and the top of our rubber boots.

Many years later, as a teenager, my friends and I talked each other into going trick or treating dressed as women. I saw the benefits immediately, and went as a “frumpy” woman. In other words, I wore layers of clothes and stuffed the front of my chest with insulating material, then put on a huge wig and a princess mask. Every part of me was protected from the elements except my hands, which had to be free to collect treats.

Once I was too old for the treats part I pretty much lost interest in Halloween until I had kids of my own, and began looking for ways to dress them warmly and cheaply. Turns out they weren’t as bothered by the weather as I was, and were more willing to do crazy things like decorate, and go outside, and care. Just the same, I think the Giant Box of Popcorn outfit was a work of pure insulation genius.

Now I’ve come up with a list of ideas that can meet my goal of warmth while also being an actual costume:

Werewolf. We have a dog who resembles a wolf, so Emily suggested we all three dress that way. I accepted the idea immediately, because it meets the goal of being completely covered.

Polar Bear. Any bear will do, as long as there’s fur.

Dumbledore. He’s a Harry Potter wizard, best known for long robes, big hat, and flowing beard. I could wear ten or twelve layers under that. According to J.K. Rowling he’s also gay, which means I could also cover myself with a rainbow blanket.

Firefighter. Easy-peasy … I already have the outfit. Ironically, while it does a great job protecting from heat, it also holds heat in very well. Sometimes too well.

Eskimo. I don’t think that’s the PC name for them anymore, but the important part is that you get to dress like someone who’s dressing warm. Just stay away from the people costumed as polar bears.

Costumes to avoid in northern Indiana during October: Pole dancer; Olympic diver; Miley Cyrus; college cheerleader; Aquaman (being wet saps body heat); and deer.

The costume I’ve always wanted to try, but haven’t because it’s not warm enough: politician. I know what you’re thinking: A liar like that? His pants have got to be hot. But really, I just wanted to add one really scary costume to the mix. I figure I’d dress up like Joe Biden, act out of touch, take half of your candy, and spy on your house.

It probably won’t scare the kids too much … but the adults will be terrified.

Mark R Hunter

Mark R Hunter is the author of three romantic comedies: Radio Red, Storm Chaser, and its sequel, The Notorious Ian Grant, as well as a related story collection, Storm Chaser Shorts. He also wrote a young adult adventure, The No-Campfire Girls, and a humor collection, Slightly Off the Mark. In addition, he collaborated with his wife, Emily, on the history books Images of America: Albion and Noble County, Smoky Days and Sleepless Nights: A Century or So With The Albion Fire Department, and Hoosier Hysterical. Mark’s work also appeared in the anthologies My Funny Valentine and Strange Portals: Ink Slingers’ Fantasy/Horror Anthology. For two decades Mark R Hunter has been an emergency dispatcher for the Noble County Sheriff Department. He’s served over 32 years as a volunteer for the Albion Fire Department, holding such positions as safety officer, training officer, secretary, and public information officer. He also has done public relations writing for the Noble County Relay For Life, among other organizations, and served two terms on the Albion Town Council. When asked if he has any free time, he laughs hysterically. Mark lives in Albion, Indiana, with his wife and editor Emily, a cowardly ball python named Lucius, and a loving, scary dog named Beowulf. He has two daughters and twin grandsons, and so naturally is considering writing a children’s book.

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4 Responses to Scary Cold On Halloween

  1. October 30, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    I remember the cheap one-sized fits all outfits and having to pull them over my winter coat… somehow spider man just doesn’t look like pulled over a down-filled ski jacket. Looks more like Michelen Spidey man!!

    • October 31, 2013 at 12:53 am

      Michelen Spidey man … you’ve invented a new superhero for the modern age of overweight kids!

  2. October 30, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    I always went for and regretted the summery costumes which meant Ihad to wear a coat and that just sucked. Still love Halloween though!

    • October 31, 2013 at 12:55 am

      Well, there is candy …

      My youngest daughter once went trick or treating as Sailor Moon — who wears a short skirt and short sleeved outfit. Hey, her choice, but I told her I wasn’t paying for the hypothermia treatment!

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