Well, It's About Damn Time
Hello, internet! I am back! I took a little time there (did you notice the white blankness? There was white blankness) for various family things, and then general craziness, and then finally Dukay's birthday (Happy birthday, Jailbait!) and somewhere in there I probably should have done some sleeping, but I think I forgot, because Y'ALL, I'M TIRED.
Anyway. First off, thank you to everyone who was kind enough to send their good wishes regarding Sis. Her funeral was the Friday before last, and was lovely. We served champagne during the service (yes, we absolutely did, because we are made of Class and Manners) and placed a little split of her very own in her coffin. We all toasted her, and said goodbye to an awesome lady. My whole family appreciates your thoughts and prayers, and I can't tell you how generous your comments and emails were, and how they really (really!) helped lift my spirits, at a time when I was pretty down.
But that is enough sadness, and actually, I am kind of tired of being sad, and that is probably the main reason why I have been running around in the manner of a crazy person for the past two weeks. But meanwhile, I must admit that I have been a Bad Journaler, and have not let y'all know that I am in (generally) one piece. I am! Go, me! All toes accounted for! Fingers, too.
But let us talk about other things, namely that, during my unintentional hiatus, we here in the Doxie household celebrated the second most fabulous holiday of the year, that being Halloween, and that being the holiday that is most likely to make me appear deranged, because Y'ALL, I LOVE HALLOWEEN.
I do not think I have ever told y’all that when it comes to Halloween, I am kind of insane. No, really. No, REALLY, and I am about to admit the extent of my insanity, and it is going to freak you the heck out.
People, I love Halloween with an unrestrained passion. My love for Halloween is Not Normal. Nobody in my family knows where this came from. We are the kind of family that carves a pumpkin, MAYBE two, and that is all. We do not fuck about with spiderwebs and mood lighting. We open the door, dole out a Three Musketeers or a Snickers, and that is the end of the matter.
But something in my genetic makeup was dissatisfied with that arrangement, and somehow, y’all, I have become...I have become That Person who feels the need to decorate the everloving HELL out of her house. I am That Person who BUYS those full-sized skeletons, hanging witches, and packages of fake spiderwebs. I am That Person, and That Person is me, and together, we are a nutbag.
Now, before I can even begin to tell you all about Halloween at my house, you need to understand that I am really not kidding about my Halloween decorations. I go ALL OUT. I have a cemetery set up in the front yard, with little stakes that hold candles to illuminate the Scariness. There is a skeleton popping out of the ground. There are corpses dangling out of windows and standing behind doors, and a witch hangs from the lamppost. Add to this the spiderwebs draped through the entry hall around scary portraits, the black lights in the overhead fixtures, and the various other skeletons and bodies sitting in chairs, and I AM TELLING YOU, I AM YOUR FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD CRAZY PERSON.
Dukay does not know what to make of all of this, but he has embraced it as a “Charming Quirk” as opposed to “Totally Inexcusable And Morbid Freakiness,” and has himself become very useful with the decorating. I just love the decorations, and collect more every year (because, I AM INSANE), but I do have some rules. First, I will allow nothing that is too scary; second, I will allow no blood. At the end of the day, skeletons are fun and creepy, but the gore is just too much for a doorstep full of toddlers to handle. And besides, I am just not a gore fan. Gore stains, people. Gore stains.
I am, however, a fan of scary sound effects, dry ice, and strobe lights, so all of those items have been produced and used by Dukay in our creation of The Neighborhood Scary House.
In the weeks leading up to Halloween, children and their parents walk by my house, and I see their huge, saucer eyes taking in the skeletons crawling through the cemetery, the creatures climbing out of the upstairs windows, and the tombstones planted at crazy angles. They Do Not Like my house. They Do Not Like the fact that their parents point out all of the scariness, and say, "Bet you can't wait to go there on Halloween, right?" The kids look at their parents with a mixture of horror and disbelief, and while they do not speak their minds, I know very well that they are thinking, "You foolish, foolish adult. I am not risking life and limb for a goddamn Snickers bar. Honestly, that crazy woman can take her Three Musketeers and shove them where the sun don't shine."
But on Halloween night, they come anyway, mostly because their parents are either (a) pushing them up the walkway, or (b) dragging them, screaming, towards my house. And then they are rewarded with LOTS of candy, because for all the grief and aggravation I put into my Halloween decorations, there just...aren't that many kids around. So I end up with maybe twenty trick-or-treaters, but because I am a nutbag, I have always purchased nine BAGS of candy (just in case!), and so each kid in my yard receives a handful of processed sugar and all of a sudden, MAYBE I AM NOT SUCH A BITCH AFTER ALL.
But anyway. So this year, like all other years, the decorations were in full effect. Scary lights! Scary sounds! Skeletons and witches and ghosts, all about! A cemetery! A huge spiderweb! And there, right slap in the middle of the driveway...a dumpster!
And...yeah. Yeah, that kind of killed the mood.
See, what had happened, was that I went and cleaned out my storage rooms, and brought a ton of shit back to my house. And when you finally get around to cleaning out storage rooms that you have had for, oh, FOUR YEARS, you begin to realize that, uh, you really don't...want any of that stuff anymore. Look at all these magazines! you will say to yourself. They are encouraging me to wear leggings under my cut-off jeans! They are extolling the virtues of the velvet choker necklace! I don't want these magazines! I don't want any of this shit! And...AHHHHH! Here are MY cut-offs! Here is my very own velvet choker! O, SHAME! I bring shame on my household!
And so you pack everything salvageable into boxes and donate it to Goodwill, but then there's all this...CRAP, just leftover CRAP, and so you call the dumpster people, and they bring you a massive dumpster the size of Cleveland, and they plop it in your driveway, blocking the entrance to your garage. And the dumpster will then sit there, like an angry red Buddha, as you fill its insides with everything from broken chairs to those FUCKING WASHING MACHINES that nobody could ever make work.
And then it is full, and you think, "Whoa, have I got a lot of shit in my possession, if I can fill a whole entire dumpster." And then you call the dumpster people and you ask them to please get the dumpster, and take it to a place far away, where you will never again have to deal with its contents for the rest of your life, amen.
And they say okay.
And then you spend a few days doing other things, and staying with your parents, and preparing for the funeral, and generally not being home. When you do eventually come home, you are therefore surprised to see that the dumpster is still...sitting there. Still angry. And now, thanks to the combined evil forces of "wind" and "rain", the dumpster is now belching out old newspapers and ripped towels all about your front lawn, leading to a yard that could be charmingly and accurately described as a "demilitarized zone".
So you grumble, and pick the crap up, and toss it back into the dumpster. And you call the dumpster people AGAIN, and you say PLEASE, PLEASE take this dumpster AWAY from my HOME.
And they say okay.
And then several MORE days pass, and you attend a funeral, and a reception thing, and a drunken slide show, and then you go home and you THINK that you will not have a dumpster in your otherwise haunted scary yard, but lady, you think WRONG, because there it IS, and it has now become surly, and also it is plotting, I mean you can LOOK at it and tell that it is PLOTTING, and maybe soon it will lurch itself into the backyard and eat the dogs.
SO YOU CALL THE DUMPSTER PEOPLE AGAIN. AND THEY ARE NOT THERE BECAUSE IT IS FRIDAY NIGHT. And you HATE THEM.
But you leave a nice message anyway.
So, the weekend comes and goes, and Halloween is Monday night. And you get home from work to discover that the dumpster is still sitting there, malignant and waiting, and there's really not a damn thing you can do about it. So you embrace the dumpster, and happily tell children who gaze at it skeptically that it is a haunted dumpster. The children think you are disturbed, until Dukay gets the brilliant idea to hide and BANG on the damned thing, which makes a gong sound so deep and intense that children shriek and RUN INTO THE NIGHT, and...heh. Ah, dumpster! You came in handy after all.
(And now it is time for a very long parenthetical story)
(Honestly, I am making us out to sound like horrible people who scare children for sport, when in reality, we're actually very nice. All of the little princesses and toadstools who come up the stairs get candy and compliments on their costumes, and nobody jumps out at them. It is only those older boys, those about to enter teenagedom, that Dukay feels compelled to fuck with. And this is a serious compulsion. It is like a religious mandate, and it is His Sacred Duty to terrify them right the fuck out of their Nikes.
And we would argue about this, with me being all, "Nooo, the house is scary enough, don't mess with the kids, you might really scare them, and what if they get post-traumatic shock or something, and then they will up and SUE me, I just know they will." To which he would scoff, and claim that those boys had it coming, in the manner that he, apparently, had it coming at that age.
"What about the nice ones?" I would ask. "Don't scare the nice ones!"
"I won't," he promised.
"But you won't know which is which," I protested.
Dukay strongly disagreed.
"I can tell," he assured me. "You just watch. I can tell. I will only scare the little shits."
"Children are not little shits!" I exclaimed, horrified. "They are made of sugar and diamonds and angel wings!"
"Some are little shits," Dukay said, wisely. "I myself was a little shit. I can smell them out."
I remained skeptical, until Halloween night of last year. Dukay dressed up in a suit and a mask, and settled himself down on the front porch, directly behind where I stood. And there he sat, still as stone, not moving a muscle, as children came up the steps to retrieve their candy. Little angels and devils all got a handful; Dukay stayed still. Cowboys and vampires got their fill; Dukay did not move. I had pretty much forgotten that he was even sitting there when a boy, probably ten or eleven, came sauntering up the driveway.
The kid left his father at the front of my pathway, and came towards the house, rolling his eyes all the way. When he got to where I was standing, he barked an impatient "Trick or Treat." And as I handed him his candy, he sneered at me.
"This isn't scary," he said. "This is baby stuff."
"You think so?" I asked.
"It's stupid," he continued. "The whole house is stupid. Those corpses look fake."
"Oh!" I thought. "You are a little shit."
"Hmmm," I said.
"AHHHHHHHHH" said Dukay, jumping up from where he was sitting.
"AHHHHHHHHH" screamed the kid, dropping his candy bag and taking off down the walk like his ass was on fire.
"AHHHHHHHHH" screamed me, who had FORGOTTEN ABOUT DUKAY, OH MY GOD, HOLY FUCK, I JUST HAD A HEART ATTACK.
"HA!" said the boy's dad, who was watching as his child continued to book up the street, never looking back.
"You got him!" he told Dukay appreciatively. "Man, I wish I could do that."
After that, I never much worried about Dukay's ability to figure out which kids deserved a little heart failure with their Butterfingers.)
So, we had a lot of fun this Halloween, and Dukay only scared one group of teenish boys who were traveling a la carte, without parents, and who came whacking on the door hours after all the other kids had stopped trick-or-treating. Dukay, who happened to be passing the door at the time, responded by pounding the SHIT out of the door from the inside, causing the door to actually shake with the vibration, and causing the kids to shriek like so many Little Women. And then he opened the door and grinned at him, and they were all awed, gazing at him in wonder, and asking, "Dude, that was AWESOME, man, did you just come up with that yourself?" Like Dukay is some kind of brain trust.
He is not. But he is what happens when little shits grow up.
ANYWAY. So that was Halloween, and we finished up the celebration by inviting over my sister and another friend, and drinking and watching awesome (i.e., bad) Halloween movies, such as Hocus Pocus, and my sister and I know kind of every word, and entertained everyone by saying "Amok, amok, AMOK!" for about ninety hours, and THEN we went to bed.
And were awakened at dawn the next morning, when the dumpster pick-up guy finally showed up to get the angry red beast, a full three HOURS before their posted "pick up times," and rang the doorbell to snootily ask me to, you know, move the damned CARS out of his way, because he doesn't have all DAY, you know. I mean, GOD. WOMEN.
That little shit. You know, it's just too bad Dukay wasn't still sitting on the porch; I would have liked to see that jackass run.