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The sounds of Halloween

Posted: October 24, 2008 10:27 p.m.
Updated: December 26, 2008 5:00 a.m.

It was a dark and stormy night.

Well, it wasn't exactly storming outside, but this story works better with wind and pouring rain, lightning and thunder-KABAM! BAM!

"No, don't go up there," my wife warned me. Her forewarning came too late - 32 years too late. I'm a man, after all. I was born stubborn.

"Why are you looking at me like that?" my wife asked as I stared her down. Even my son seemed frightened of me. I cackled like the mad scientist, and then I turned, climbed up into the rafters of my garage, and pulled down an old black steamer trunk.

Inside the container were various knives, axes, torture devices, grisly body parts ... and other terror-ific Halloween decorations. I rubbed my hands together with evil glee as I stared at the ghoulish contents within. And then I noticed my wife and son were still watching me.

"What are you looking at, you meddling fools?" I asked my family in my wickedest voice. "I don't like when people see what they're not supposed to see."

"Mommy, what's happened to Daddy?" my 5-year-old son asked nervously. "Is he crazy?"

"Yes," she said. "He's cursed with too much Halloween spirit."

"I told you meddling fools to beat it!" I said. KABAM! Lightning and thunder crashed down, scaring my family out of the garage.

Once they left, I got to work, turning my home into a haunted house. In the front yard, I strung up spider web all over the trees. I set out gravestones and wooden goblins and monsters that would greet trick-or-treaters on Halloween night. From a HiFi stereo system in my garage, I blasted some very scary sounds - no, not country music, but chilling sounds of Halloween.

My wife came out and told me I was too loud and would disturb the neighbors.

"Quit meddling," I said in my mad scientist voice. "Nobody will complain, you fool."

Five minutes later, the complaints came rolling in.

"Ah, but listen to the sounds," I told a group of neighbors in my driveway. "Monsters in the night. What sweet music they make."

"He's nuts," one neighbor said. "We're gonna call the police," they told me.

"How dare you threaten me," I said, "when you race your loud cars up and down the street in the middle of the night as if there were a checkered flag and a trophy ceremony at the end of the block? How dare you complain about my holiday spirit when your cats use my lawn as a litter box? I have so many dead spots on my grass that I could use my yard as a Twister game mat. You call the cops, and you'll be sorry. You'll all be sorry."

I sent my neighbors away, and I got back to my work.

My neighbors gathered in the cul-de-sac.

"He's not that much of a nuisance," one person said. "He's only putting up his Halloween decorations. Not even the cops could do anything."

"She's right," said the leader of the group. "The cops aren't going to do anything. He isn't doing anything illegal." Everybody agreed. And then the leader said, "Everyone grab some torches. We're gonna burn him out of the neighborhood."

And that's when my neighbors - now an angry mob - surrounded my home with fire.

"You'll never take me alive!" I shouted from the rooftop, stringing up a ghost on a pulley system from my house to a tree in the front yard.

My neighbors set my house on fire. But even a major blaze couldn't stop me from my greatest Halloween decorating achievement yet. I continued dressing my home. And I finished my work while under attack.

And then I ended my pretend evil scientist/angry mob scenario - I became myself again - and I went into the house and asked my wife and son to come outside to see what I'd done.

"But you told us that you didn't want us meddling in your work," she said. "Thanks, but no thanks. We'll stay right here."

Michael Picarella is a Valencia resident and a proud husband and father. His column reflects his own opinion, not necessarily that of The Signal.


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