I’m normally a holiday grinch and dread the approach of almost any widely celebrated holiday. Halloween is one that oddly enough doesn’t seem to bother me as much as the other red letter days, which is odd given how it’s pretty well centered around the kids, and I generally
hate can’t tolerate kids. But tonight, I will be in my kitchen sketching tomorrow’s comic and keeping a big bowl of all the unwanted candy I’ve saved up throughout the year, ready to dump handfuls of it in the bags of any kids (or wannabe kids) who happen to stop by my door.
I know people who turn out all the lights and hide in a dark corner of the house on Halloween evening, and by all due rights I should probably be one of those people as well. But I recall how much I looked forward to Halloween as a kid, and there’s a part of me who just thinks I should pay that forward to the kids today for all of the wonderful treats I got for free when I was young.
I was able to retire from trick or treating when I was 14 since I had four younger sisters and was able to just raid their bags throughout the month of November. Yeah, I was an evil brother. But it was those first few Halloweens staying home that I got to be the giver of candy instead of the taker, and I thought it was kind of cool and over 20 years later, I still do. So the House of Evil Squirrel will have plenty of candy to hand out, even leftover blue raspberry Fun Dips with Valentines cards (I only like the cherry, but at post-Valentines Day clearance prices, I can live with the unwanted half).
One of my Halloween traditions since I went out into the world on my own 3 years ago has been the Squirrel o’lantern, which is there on my doorstep to greet any ghosts and zombies who drop by for a handout. Here is my first squirrel o’lantern from 2009:
I was quite impressed with my first go at carving something other than the standard stupid jack o’lantern face! One of my message board friends posted an avatar in 2010 that inspired my design for that year….
There was no squirrel o’lantern last year thanks to the effing Cardinals and their World Series run…. but the tradition returned this year, and with a couple challenges. First, to create a design that set itself apart from the previous two carvings… and second, to make do with a sad ass pumpkin I bought at my store just 3 days ago after all the decent ones had already been picked out. It not only was tilted back to where it actually faces up at an angle, but the stem was completely broken off. If I wanted to buy a pumpkin with a stem, I’d have had to take one with no workable surface, or one that was already covered in
Well, I think I managed to rise to both of these challenges. What do you think……?
Have a happy Halloween! And should you stop by a house with a squirrel o’lantern on the porch, enjoy your Valentine! Be Mine!