Up here near Lake Wobegon, the last two weeks of August have felt more like fall than summer. In the past three days I have seen two sure signs of autumn: the first changing leaves and the first Hallowe’en displays.
I snapped the picture at right in Michael’s three days ago. Those skeletons may be a little early to the party, but what the heck: let ‘em in, and let the Macabre Danse Party begin!
Sure, All Hallow’s Eve is still two months off, and talk of trick-or-treating might strike some as being premature as an Edgar-Allan-Poe-imagined burial. I know it drives some folks batty that retailers start hawking holiday products months ahead of the calendar, and it makes them want to howl at the moon when they walk into their favorite box store in August and see Spook Alleys and Creepy Corners and Haunted Aisles already being rolled out. And even before the last cry of “trick or treat!” has echoed down the block, one can bet that the Christmas displays will debut.
(I took a wonderful pic in Shopko last year that was borderline surreal — Christmas angels vying for shelf space with zombies and ghouls, a strange Nightmare-Before-Christmas juxtaposition. It perfectly captured the retailer crossover moment when the last of the fright-night nick-nacks are on clearance and have not yet been cleared out for the glittery gewgaws celebrating peace on Earth and goodwill to mankind.)
If it bothers you, I understand. I sympathize. I do. But I must confess that I have a weakness for all the holiday trappings, even the cheap plastic kinds that move and light up and make sounds for (if you’re lucky) one season and then break. When I spot the first plastic jack-o-lantern on an end-cap display or the first bag of Brach’s Halloween Mellowcremes on the checkout aisle, I do get a bit giddy.