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I haven’t even finished eating all of my Halloween candy

The Johnsons didn’t have any turkey. The children, like a knot of consumer addicts camped out in front of Best Buy three days before Black Friday for no reason other than to get their greasy, greedy mits on “whatever’s on sale” whine, “a fat lot we’ll have to be thankful for.”

But in three minutes, 25 seconds, dad manages to convince them otherwise.


Empty sockets stare out across the field as it smiles, madly gaping at anyone who’ll meet its gaze. Its jaws chew the air and make a scraping sound like a carnival barker.

“Sstep right up, ladiess and gentlemen! It’ss the ride of a lifetime!

Terror, fire, extinction!

Sso much fun, a feasst for you! Who? Who will ride? You? Yess? Yessss! The cosst is jusst one, thin sssssoul!”

I was exposed to my first “brigand” in 1982 while playing the best board game ever invented called Dark Tower. If your party is weak, count on a band of brigands to finish them off. Nasty creatures. Always trouble.

Crow is a brigand. We couldn’t really call him a scarecrow. In fact, all the new monsters that stomped around Snug Harbor this year are in the same group. I don’t really understand the urge to classify these oversized spit wads, and the distinction doesn’t really mean anything except in my mind, but it feels right.

Brigand, thief, highwayman. Get mixed up with one of them and it’ll burgle all your free time.

Crow’s Gallery (Build instructions are on their way)

Charlie In The Trees!

Some people who think they know me also think that I’m hardcore; that I bleed red-tinted corn syrup and my heart is a pumpkin. The pumpkin part is correct, but I can’t accept the title for most die-hard haunter living at Snug Harbor. That legendary status must go to my beautiful wife.

Were it up to Mrs. Spookyblue, the orange lights, pumpkins, and bats would live the entire year in our front yard and hanging from the rafters. Now, Halloween never really leaves our house, but there comes a time, even on my clock, when I’m ready to turn down the volume on the pumpkin carols. Eat enough lobster and it tastes like soap. That’s the saying, anyway. I wouldn’t eat sea spider for less than $900 cash, in hand, and I only have to take one bite. And if it’s looking up at me then all bets are off. But I still get to keep the cash.

So, once a year, after one of the two major outdoor decorating holidays, there is a stretch of time when a certain battle of wills quietly rages. On one side, a late night shadow moves clandestinely between the yard and the garage, softly crunching dried leaves, intent on thievery. Come sunrise, the other side may or may not notice the slightly reduced zombie population. Or that marginally fewer lights adorn the bushes.

But usually the other side does notice. In fact, the other side usually doesn’t miss a thing. Ever. And if it had actually witnessed the previous night’s pilfering, well … “Perimeter encroachment! Charlie in the trees! Suppression fire on my 12 now!”

Last night I was on such a covert ops mission. It was easily 20 degrees, and I had once again forgotten my gloves. Shivering in the deceivingly warm glow of the last of the Halloween decorations, I spied my objective from behind a huge, glittering, mostly frozen, pile of leaves. The target was the final giant Jack-o-lantern, three strings of lights, and a sad corpse floating in a cauldron of rainwater.

There was no way that I was going to gradually and quietly put these guys away without suffering through perdition, so I didn’t even try. Instead, I had spent the previous hour huddled in front of the electric heater in the garage assembling one of those lighted Christmas mooses. Moosen? Moose. He is splendid.

It was a simple plan. Replace the last of Halloween with the first of Christmas. A risky gambit, but with Thanksgiving just over a week away, my options were limited.

Whether one sees in the moose a bribe or simple gift of affection, this morning I got a big kiss instead of a can of beans to the head. I’ll take that as evidence that a new tradition is born.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. Some new gallery updates have arrived …
Halloween Hall
Spooky Hollow – Friendly, Happy

Alternate title for “Charlie in the trees!”:
Got a moose! Got a moose! Will you do the Fandango?

Plague of Brigands

Plague of BrigandsFinally!

In between episodes of King of The Hill, baritone practice, and interruptions by a persistent cat, the photo gallery got an update. It’s a start. More (much more … good grief, there’s a lot) pictures are in the chute.

Snug Harbor Halloween 2008