I have not had a trick-or-treater at my house in over 20 years. I think it’s because I live in a retail area that is somewhat dark at night, with most of the places closed, and I live in a second floor apartment. But I buy candy every single year, just in case this is the year that someone dressed as Dracula, a ballerina, or Calvin Coolidge (I’m not really up on what kids are wearing as costumes these days) knocks on my door and demands sugary rewards. If nobody comes, I guess I’ll just have to eat all of this candy myself.
The holy grail of candy for me when I was 10 years old — I was probably wearing one of those lame plastic masks with the elastic that went around your head — was Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Milky Way bars, Hershey’s bars, Snickers, and Mr. Goodbar (I was often looking for Mr. Goodbar). If a house didn’t have any of those, a $100,000 Bar or Twix or something non-chocolate like Life Savers or SweeTarts would have been fine too.
I never understood getting apples as treats. Apples are pretty terrific, but I always thought it was weird to get something that wasn’t wrapped in paper or in a plastic baggie. Would we accept that with other treats? If someone threw in your bag an unwrapped Three Musketeers bar or tossed in a handful of loose Milk Duds, that would be weird, right? So why do we accept apples?
Just as bad as getting apples? Boxes of raisins. I mean, seriously?
Do you love yoga, but think it doesn’t have enough cursing, booze, and middle finger-waving?
Then you might like Rage Yoga. This yoga isn’t as calming as regular yoga. You do it with loud music, and participants are “encouraged to yell, scream, cuss, and make obscene gestures.” Pretend someone just cut you off on the road.
Maybe someone can combine Rage Yoga with the other form of yoga that’s popular right now, Goat Yoga. You might feel ridiculous swearing at goats, but then again you’re already doing yoga with goats.
Goodbye Family Circle
This could be a regular feature, “Print Magazines That Are Ending.” This week’s entry is Family Circle. After 87 years — it launched in 1932 — the woman’s magazine will publish its last issue in December. It’s part of the restructuring (a word that sounds positive but often isn’t) of owner Meredith Corp.
It was one of the “Seven Sisters,” magazines aimed toward women who had families. The other magazines were McCall’s, Ladies’ Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Woman’s Day, and Better Homes and Gardens. McCall’s ceased publication in 2002, Ladies’ Home Journal is now a quarterly, and Redbook is now digital-only. The remaining magazines still publish a print edition every month.
I’m not saying I read Family Circle much at any point, but it gave me comfort that long-running magazines like it were still around. It’s really sad to see these iconic print publications going away. The internet is great, but there’s just something about print that can’t be duplicated online.
What to Watch on Halloween
Sure, there are plenty of movies where fornicating twentysomethings get impaled by various instruments, but if you’re looking for more traditional scary movie fare, turn on Turner Classic Movies on October 31. They’re showing classic horror movies all day and night, including Bride of Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Freaks, Pit and the Pendulum, House on Haunted Hill, The Bat, and House of Wax.
Of course, this assumes you can still get TCM. Comcast/Xfinity customers went crazy on social media this past week when they turned to the channel and found that they couldn’t access it. The company no longer includes the channel as part of its basic cable package. It’s now part of the Sports Entertainment package (for some reason), and you have to pay an extra $9.99 a month if you want it. Indiewire has all the details, and the TCM site has a list of cable systems and online services where you can still tune in.
The Ghost Whopper
Hey, that could be the title of a horror movie. Maybe an animated film from Pixar where a Whopper dies and comes back as a ghost (voiced by Brad Garrett) to help his still-living fast food friends escape from the Burger King kitchen. But it’s actually the name of a limited-edition burger from the chain. It went on sale yesterday and has a white cheddar cheese-flavored bun, along with all of the usual Whopper toppings. It’s endorsed by various spirits contacted by a medium that Burger King hired. It’s only available at 10 locations around the country, so I doubt you’ll even be able to get one.
Forget I mentioned it.
RIP Bill Macy, Nick Tosches, John Clarke, Al Burton, and James Schmerer
Bill Macy was best known for playing Bea Arthur’s husband on the ’70s sitcom Maude. He also appeared in movies like The Late Show, The Jerk, and My Favorite Year, as well as TV shows like Nothing in Common, Seinfeld, The Facts of Life, ER, and Murder, She Wrote. He died last week at the age of 97.
Nick Tosches was a music critic who wrote for Rolling Stone and Creem and also penned acclaimed biographies, including Dino, about Dean Martin, and Hellfire: The Jerry Lee Lewis Story. He also wrote three novels. He died Sunday at the age of 69.
John Clarke was one of the original cast members of Days of Our Lives, playing Mickey Horton from 1965 until 2004. He also appeared in other shows, including The New Breed, Hawaiian Eye, and The Fugitive. He died last week at the age of 88.
Al Burton was a producer and supervisor on many popular sitcoms, including Charles in Charge, The Facts of Life, Diff’rent Strokes (he also co-wrote the theme songs for those shows), The Jeffersons, One Day at a Time, and Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. He also co-created the game show Win Ben Stein’s Money. He died Tuesday at the age of 91.
James Schmerer was a producer and writer on such shows as MacGyver, High Chaparral, Daniel Boone, CHiPs, Mannix, and Chase. He died earlier this month at the age of 81.
This Week in History
Harry Houdini’s Last Performance (October 24, 1926)
The magician and escape artist was relaxing in his dressing room at Montreal’s Princess Theatre when he was visited by two college students. One of them asked if it was true that Houdini could take any blows to the stomach and not get hurt. Houdini said yes, but before he could tighten his abdomen, the student punched him several times, causing injury. Houdini went on to perform a few days later in Detroit in great pain. At one point he actually passed out and was revived to finish the show. He went to Grace Hospital, where, after surgery, he ended up dying of peritonitis and a ruptured appendix on Halloween night. It seems logical to assume that the stomach blows and his death were related, but there has always been skepticism about that.
Fans still hold a séance every Halloween night, hoping to hear from Houdini. The tradition was started by his widow Bess in 1927. So far, he hasn’t made contact.
Stock Market Crash (October 24, 1929)
President Herbert Hoover has always been defined by and blamed for the Great Depression, but he was a more interesting (and impressive) man than you may realize, as this CBS Sunday Morning profile shows.
This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: Trick or Treat (October 25, 1930)
This Ellen Pyle cover shows that clowns have always been scary, even when they’re kids in 1930.
All this talk of candy makes me want to make something non-sweet for the night. Something savory, something cheesy, something with crawling hands.
How about this Eyeball Pasta or this Chicken Pot Pie with Crawling Hands? Your guests will love these Mummy Meat Loaves, this Baked Pumpkin Fondue, or this 7-Layer Spider Web Dip. And this Skeleton Meat Platter is appropriately disgusting.
Whatever you make, don’t include any apples.
Next Week’s Holidays and Events
Free Tacos at Taco Bell (October 30)
Washington Nationals shortstop Trea Turner stole a base in the first inning of the first game of the World Series, and that means that everyone gets a free taco next Wednesday! They’ll be available from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Or all day, if you order from Taco Bell’s app.
National Knock Knock Joke Day (October 31)
Featured image: Leena Robinson / Shutterstock.com.
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