tagNon-EroticA Halloween Inspired Editorial

A Halloween Inspired Editorial

byEgmont Grigor©

Relieving night editor Carson Franks reclined on his spring-loaded chair, pushed right back, sipping a whisky. It had been an uneventful shift.

Carson yawned, rubbed his eyes and looked at the clock. Another two hours to go. He would be in the same chair tomorrow night when the kids leave home in costumes Mattie made – Seana dressed cutely as a witch and Mason presumably appropriately grim-faced pulsating with a leer in his clothing that would make him a cross between a ghoul and a scarecrow, costumes they'd been wearing all weekend for unnecessary dress rehearsals.

Carson had a sudden thought and became energized. He called production to advise he was pulling the standing editorial entitled 'Only Zzzzzz From the White House' written with cut, thrust and maniacal laughter no doubt by the managing editor, an ex-frontline marine commander.

"Harry, I'm substituting a new editorial; it will be with you in half an hour."

"Carson, He on High reckons he's written a masterpiece."

"He always does, Harry. Let it run a day late. I'm writing about Halloween."

"Halloween? Right Carson," Harry said with rising interest; Harry had six children.

The first paragraph of the replacement editorial wrote itself, copied from a letter that Carson found in the reject bin and now had retieved it to answer in print for the writer and this year's crop of parents undecided about Halloween

'Dear Editor. I'm worried. My youngster Linus aged nine and sister Penny aged six have become over-excited about Halloween. It's all they are talking about, driving me and their father nuts. I'm worried all this focus on Trick-or-Treat, ghouls and vampires, crows and scarecrows is seizing their brains and will leave them less than worthy citizens. Please editor convince me that I am worrying unnecessary. Virginia Shields, Olsen's Creek.'

Carson's eyes after reading that plea had fixed on the name Virginia. His thoughts jumped to that famous letter and answer published in the New York Sun in 1897 in which it was stated, 'Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus'. He'd last read that article many years ago when studying journalism.

Carson pulled out his keyboard and wrote quickly, almost without pause:

Yes Virginia you are right to have concerns about the affects of demons, Dark Forces and pagan beliefs on the minds of your young. It establishes you as a responsible parent and you should be proud of being praised for that.

But Virginia, think of the excitement being displayed by your children. Is it not marvelous that they can be fired up by something in this age when the universal call by so many of the young is, "I'm bored"?

Anyone bored during a full-on Halloween night could – and I emphasize 'could' – require medical consultation.

Yes the observance of Halloween is unholy, stupid, irrational, absurd and even at variance with our country's underlying basic culture. But does that matter? In all probability you were pleased when your children were tots they believed in Santa Clause; perhaps your youngest still half believes despite the scoffing of her brother.

Think about this Virginia: How many of our beliefs from the teachings we've received and from our observances and calculations are party false, even totally false and misguided? Does it really matter in the majority of instances?

How aged forty-two, if I were to still believed fervently in Santa Claus would it really matter? In all probability I'd no longer be employed by this newspaper which expects it's editorial personnel to be conventional thinkers but people around me mostly would accept that's the way I am and my 'pathetic' belief really does no harm.

Right now I'm thinking about those predecessors of ours who believed without question the world was flat. Then followed the next wave, generations of their descendants who believed with equal zeal the world was round and some still do, overlooking the apparent fact that it's oval.

I spent most of my childhood at nights in bed converting shadows on the bedroom walls into ghosts and witches. I imagine I was bsolutely convinced I was in the presence of something I was still too young to understand yet considered it evil, or at least bad for me. I found refuge and probably fended off insanity by pulling the bedclothes over my head, believing what I couldn't see couldn't hurt me. Oh, what a profound thought for a child to take him into the complex world of rationalization.

Today I still have uncomfortable thoughts about ghouls, vampires and headless horsemen. Also objects in space hurtling in to collide with earth and destroy us all. Then there are the worries of a return of prehistoric creatures, volcanoes, tidal waves, pox, bird flu, fatal car crashes, an out of control mother-in-law and, as a journalist, being tarred and feathered and run out of town. But Virginia, the point here is that my wife apparently still considers I'm cute and that she married above herself (just joking), that I'm okay despite my weird thoughts and she believes and I pose no threat to our children, or neighborhood or indeed the entire world.

Our two trust me, implicitly I believe, and if I pulled them out of their gang of friends setting off to acknowledge Halloween tomorrow there would have been stamping and crying but I would have still received the familiar 'I love you daddy' when kissing them good night. I'd fancy they believed I'd acted like a good daddy who was always right.

Oh God, don't kids trust us so much?

Well Virginal, my two children will be set free into observance of pagan-like festivity because my wife and I believe they will enjoy participating once more. They will be under the watchful eye of their mother and although they might have the pants scared off them a few times, would that really matter? Being scared is part of growing up; going out to party is part of growing up; fantasy is part of growing up and at the end of the day, some of us never quite grow up. Like it or not, Halloween is part of our country's principal festivities and support for observing it and decorating houses to almost unbelieavable extent is increasing.

In my opinion the Trick-or-Treat element of observing Halloween is the evening's saving grace. It's injects spontaneity and excitement into an evening like no other evening in the year – apart from one in December. The air of expectancy within children as the big night draws near and the memories we store watching them being treated or running away in terror from the scary ghoul they truly know is Uncle Robbie in costume can become treasured memories and something the kids will talk about for days to come.

I can't tell you what to do, Virginia.

No, dammit: Allow your children to participate, Virginia, watch them closely. If you feel they are no coping well, pull them back and allow them to watch from the sidelines, held in your safe arms. We need to keep our children safe and at the same time to allow their minds to fly, exposing them to all sorts of experiences. Participating in Halloween fun ought not harm the little folk providing they appear to be of sound mind and are not allowed to suffer emotional overload. Yes, that's my answer Virginia: Supervision and access to a safe retreat; that's what my wife Mattie will be providing out there tomorrow tonight while I work the night shift.

May you and your family come safely through Halloween, Virginia and all others like you.


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byEgmont Grigor© 5 comments/ 17283 views/ 0 favorites

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