Skip to main content

Mutants, Creeps, and Monsters!



 At first glance, you may think this Halloween day column is about the White House and the current administration, but it is not.  It’s not for one reason and one reason only – although there is a direct correlation, it wouldn’t be fun.  Accurate yes, fun no.

There’s nothing funny about what is coming out of Washington, not that I can tell.

Way back in 1965 when I was 13 wonderful years old, there were two genres of movies very active on the television set.  Spies and monsters.  Of course there were westerns and family shows, but these two lines of thought were emerging and possibly peaking all within a space of about 5 years.  I Spy, Get Smart, The Avengers, Mission Impossible, The Saint, Danger Man, T.H.E. Cat and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. were hugely successful and in the dark shadows of the heinous Commies, everyone wanted our spies to outsmart their spies.

Boy has that changed.

Thanks to Edward Snowden, the good ol’ USA is now an open tome for every spy agency on earth, especially those who want to destroy our country.  My friend who retired from the Air Force’s secret intel organization, with tenure in the NSA and CIA told me what Snowden did was akin to blatant treason, hurting and crippling our country irreparably.  I guess that would brand Snowden as an extreme Hollywood creep.  Maybe we could talk Jane Fonda into playing his alter ego Chelsea Manning in his life story?  Now that is funny!  I told you this week’s column would be humorous.

When I was 13, I would watch those many monster movies, shivering in my dark room, scared senseless and love/hate every second of it.  Frankenstein’s monster, the werewolf, Dracula, The creature from the black lagoon, and the Mummy to name a few.

One in particular took place in snow country where a woman scientist was taking injections of wasp venom to preserve her youth and as a 13 year old; I never saw it coming when she disappeared only to attack people looking for her, mutated as a human-size waspish insect.  Horrors!

Today’s equivalent of a real life monster  is when you have your taxes did and realize you owe $1100 or that mutant sprinkler head in your yard jumped your water bill to $452.79!  Aside from real criminals and deviants, life’s hardships are the real monsters we face.  Of course they are and like the wasp woman I experienced as a 13 year old, we never saw them coming.

Life’s hardships are the opposite of fun, funny, or anything involving a smile, unless it is Joe Biden’s glorious mug.  Old Joe can light up a dark room like a jack-o'-lantern!  His grin brings me Halloween hope in fact.

My siblings and I on Halloween night would venture out into the neighborhoods - unchaperoned mind you - carrying doubled brown paper grocery sacks, or a pillowcase and return within an hour to dump out our full sacks of ghoulish candy, only to rush out for a second go.  There were no cars on the streets because people knew kids would be dashing back and forth and back then, common sense ruled.  The real danger wasn’t pedophiles, it was cars and it still is today.

We wore homemade costumes using whatever we could come up with and it was the happiest of times.  We were monsters, mutants, creeps, pirates – or maybe a combination of all of them and ate every bit of candy we were given without parent intervention or second thought.  Sugar was cheap and many people handed out candy bars or whole handfuls of sweet deliciousness.

In today’s world of creepy ultra-phobias, it is a much wiser choice to take your kids to your local church or friends only houses for their safe Halloween fun, then run the risk of them being ran over by someone in their car worrying a pedophile is going to get their kids.  There are so many cars parked on neighborhood streets at night that they are reduced to one lane of traffic only and with kids darting back and forth, it’s a recipe for a disaster.

I would love to return to that one day in time I anxiously waited for, beat out only by Christmas, but that time has come and went.  Back then the mutants, creeps, and monsters were portrayed by Vincent Price and Bela Lugosi.  Now all I have to do is watch the news.  Happy Halloween folks and this year get out and walk with your kids.  It will do you both good.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Agree 100% with your article this morning in The Baytown Sun. Another great one! Hope you are having a great retirement day. DDC
Anonymous said…
Sandi White: I was waiting to see what long, tall yarn you were going to spin for our Halloween enjoyment, but you nailed it. The Monsters don't lurk under the bed anymore, they are exposed on the evening news. It's enough to scare you silly.

Popular posts from this blog

Camp fires, wood smoke, and burning leaves.

When I was a kid, everyone burned leaves in the fall. I always enjoyed it so much.It was a happy time. Man, that smell was amazing and you couldn’t go anywhere without smelling it. Of course now I know that it is a major source of air pollution and those of us that live inside the city limits are restricted from doing it. I don’t think I would burn them anyway, choosing to compost instead.
The whole family would engage in raking the yard and the reward was burning the leaves. The thick gray smoke would pour out like liquid clouds and we would run through it. Afterward, we smelled like smoke, but we didn’t care. I would wager that most people under the age of 30 have never even raked leaves into a pile, let alone burn them.
Growing up in north Georgia in the late 60’s, my 3 brothers and I would camp out most of the summer and burn anything and everything on our campfire. At the end of summer there wouldn’t be a stick, pine cone, or needle on the ground. We smelled like mountain men a…

Riding the waves

Back in 1974, after coming back to the USA from the unpleasant conflict in Southeast Asia, I was stationed at Vandenberg Air Force Base in Lompoc, California. Vandenberg has 20 miles of coastline that is basically closed to the public and people in residence, regardless if you are in the military or not. This rule didn’t seem to affect my fellow airmen and I from going body surfing on a lonely stretch of beach, far from controlling authorities. There was a submerged shelf that ran out a couple three hundred yards from the beach that was flat and about 6 feet deep.You could swim way out there and as the ocean waves came in, they would hit that shelf and make 5 feet high waves that white-capped all the way in. Now mind you, this was pre-Jaws and none of us had ever heard of a Great White shark. Year later I read where this stretch of beach was prime habitat and a couple years ago, an airman was killed right there.
We had been in the 65 degree water for about an hour and I was turning …

Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic

I wish I could remember who it was that said you can get a basic education in three years, but let us take a look at Ben Franklin as an example of that. We have a family joke that the answer to almost any Jeopardy clue is almost always “Who was Ben Franklin?”
When I am asked who I would most likely enjoy an afternoon with, it is always Ol’ Ben, the only President of the United States, who was never the President of the United States. Did you know he was the master of self-promotion and a man I admire? Even as a young lad, if he spotted a person of higher station, he would grab a shovel or some tool and begin to work diligently. The person would see him and remark, “What a fine worker that young man is!”
I’ve read a couple of books on the man and it still amazes me that he did so much with so little organized education. “From 1714-1716, Franklin attended Boston Grammar School and George Brownell's English School (for one year each) but he was withdrawn due to the expense of formal…