Saturday 31 October 2009
Dylan Jones: 'I love the fright masks, the scary sweets, the useless plastic Halloween gifts in all the supermarkets'
Talk Of The Town
Halloween has always been big in our house. Not as big as Christmas, obviously – and I probably buy into the whole commercialism of the festive season more than anyone else I know, including my children – but big enough. In fact I've always loved it, in spite of being unceremoniously ignored by our neighbours when my brother and I attempted trick-or-treating in the wilds of Suffolk when we were young, something we had picked up from the nearby US
air-force bases – "What are you doing?" people asked. "And why are you dressed up all funny?"
I love the fright masks, love the scary sweets, the chocolates made to look like spider-webs, love the fact that for weeks beforehand the supermarkets are full of useless plastic Halloween gifts. No, I don't answer the door to any trick-or-treaters after 7pm, but then I don't answer the door after 7pm on any other day of the year.
However, I fear I may be taking a little too much interest in the occasion, at least if last year's experience is anything to go by. As usual, I spent ages buying "Halloween-style" gifts from the shops up and down the Edgware Road, but instead of just giving them to the children, my wife and I devised a treasure hunt, placing them in various places around the garden. I then feigned a power-cut, telling the kids the electricity had been cut off, stalking around the house wearing a variety of different masks in the hope of frightening the living daylights out of them.
I thought the evening had gone to plan until I overheard my youngest describing their Halloween experience to a friend a few days later. "Our Halloween was OK, but I think Dad gets more enjoyment out of it than we do. This year we had to pretend to be scared while he ran around the house flashing a torch across his face. We liked the sweets, though."
Was I crestfallen? Well, only completely. But I have taken my daughters' lack of interest as a sign, and have recalibrated our celebrations accordingly. This year we're spending Halloween in Antigua. Where if anyone comes to our villa after 7pm I imagine it will only be to deliver two very large, very cold, gin and tonics.
Dylan Jones is the editor of 'GQ'
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