In the British/Irish tradition, the festival which has become Halloween was known as Samhain, which referred to the end of summer (see below).
Part of that fun is, of course, Jack o’Lanterns. My old friend, Vince the Sign Guy, has a comment regarding them which I found both amusing and to the point in spite of the fact that the original jack-o-lanterns were turnips!.
I confess that when we did a production of one of the many Dracula plays at Western many years ago, I was (somewhat pleasantly) surprised how many people asked me about our having Dracula suddenly “appear” in a painting above what seemed of be a burning fire in a fireplace. I have to agree that the “bit” worked pretty well, but it was just a carefully constructed electrical fire effect in the fireplace and some careful use of paint on scrim, combined with delicately focused and timed lights, which made Drac “appear” in the painting. Okay, it was using some fairly complex stuff, but the basic idea dates back to the Renaissance.
Still, I don’t really enjoy people jumping out at me and screaming in my ear as a source of “fun.” That doesn’t mean that even I don’t think of Halloween as an occasion for “scary” costumes and stuff. Perhaps you have to have been the father of daughters to really understand thisDustin comic strip, but I suspect not. Parents, especially fathers, are somewhat notorious for their desire to prevent their daughters from wearing clothes which they think are too skimpy, sexy, etc. Actually, I don’t remember my daughters ever pushing that particular button on me too hard, but I do understand (and enjoy) this strip.
Thinking about the excitement of holiday celebrations got me to thinking about the challenges which many folks have noticed in regard to their dogs and Fourth of July fireworks. I know that the loud noises and bright lights have become a real concern for many dog owners, at least in recent years. When, and where, I was growing up, fireworks of any serious nature, were kept strictly under the control of licensed pyro-people. Civilians could have “sparklers,” which caused enough burns, etc., but REAL fireworks were confined to professionally supervised shows. None of this setting off of fireworks on city streets and in parks in Evanston, IL, thank you very much. Omaha is MUCH more “wide-open” regarding fireworks, at least for July 4th and New Year’s Eve. I can’t say that it bothers me too much, although I don’t like to hear the medical reports on the local news the next day very much.
Still, I’ve always been glad that our pets were cats. It may not be true in all cases, but I’ve not noticed cats being overly bothered by fireworks and such. This got me to thinking that Zits creators Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman seemed to have it correct in this strip where Jeremy is concerned that his cat, Clapton, is going to be upset by Halloween festivities leading to the following test.
I’ll be back in a couple of weeks.
“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.”
— Nelson Mandela
“Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic; capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.” ― Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
“Not everything which can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”
— from a sign in Albert Einstein’s office