I made an error in judgment a couple of weeks ago when I sat through the season one marathon of the television show "The Walking Dead."
This show depicts what life would be like after an infection takes over and turns the majority of the world into "walkers"; let's call them what they are, zombies. I've had issues with zombies since watching a movie back it the 1980s called "The Serpent and the Rainbow" where people are living zombies. OK, these ones didn't feast on the living, but it was still very creepy. I do have a slight fascination with the Apocalypse and what it would mean to society, but my version doesn't include flesh-eating zombies. Mine involves no Internet or cell phones - scary stuff.
After watching "The Walking Dead" for six hours I came to the conclusion that there will be many children and adults dressed up as zombies this year. The costume is simple: torn bloody clothing, gray makeup, and the ability to drag your leg. What I'm not sure on is if this is in the true spirit of Halloween and its ghosts, goblins and vampires (but not the sparkly kind from "Twilight"). That marathon of zombies on TV gave me nightmares, so imagine your 5 or 6-year-old trick-or-treating and being bombarded with zombie costumes everywhere they look.
Can't we go back to the plastic masks of superheroes with the little rubber band (a band that ultimately broke sooner rather than later), or of costumes of cartoon characters? At the time of this typing of this column only one of my children has figured out what she wants to be for Halloween.
Earlier this summer, I bought 112 dresses, yep, dresses. So she is going to be Miss America. This costume scares me more than any other costume from vampires to werewolves because she's going to look beautiful in it and the other "wolves" may start taking notice. She's 13, and mature, and responsible, so I guess it's just another one of those "kids are growing up" moments that I'm going to have to live with. My wife is going out as the Cheshire Cat and made most of her costume; she's going for the more colorful option from the Johnny Depp film. Me, I'm going as a Jedi. I'm into the medieval re-enactment, so I own tall boots and a shirt that should do the trick. Add in pajama pants, and most of the costume is complete. I own a Jedi robe. Yep, no particular reason why, but I do. The crowning part of the costume I was able to buy in the toy department - my lightsaber.
I did feel the need to explain to the cashier that it was part of a Halloween costume and that I wasn't just "one of those Star Wars geeks," but truly, I am just one of those geeks. When we go out this weekend I'll be in my glory with a saber that lights up and a beautiful Cheshire Cat on my arm.
Halloween is about "trick-or-treat," not gore or terror, have some fun and dress up; the last time I checked there wasn't an age limit.
Brian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org