A very special Hallowe’en thanks to my irresponsible friend, Roy

Why can’t warlocks get witches pregnant?

Because they have ‘hollow-weenies.’

I’ll give you a moment to finish your hysterical laughter before I move on.

All Hallows Eve. I have very little to say about a festival revolving around juvenile greed, potential early-onset Type II Diabetes as well as (for some reason) sanctioned mischief and mayhem, all in the name of ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggety beasties and things that go bump in the night.

I could say many things about Halloween including the fact it seems to have been irksomely co-opted by too many adults who are embracing something adults of my childhood quite generously left to the kids while they went about more grown-up activities for their fun times. Activities that included an awful lot of cocktail parties. Hmm, cocktail parties? Maybe I’d opt for Halloween too considering how deadly were some of those cocktail parties I attended. A cocktail party is primarily an excuse to get blasted and make inappropriate overtures to somebody else’s wife. Oh, wait, maybe they weren’t all that bad. But, I jest, of course. You know me.

The other thing I’ve noticed about more recent Halloweens is that costuming, that used to mainly consist of pirates, cowboys, crooks, nurses and the like are now devoted to hideous zombies and aliens and creatures with spikes through their heads, and the like. It has become more bloodthirsty, it seems.

Anyway, I will offer here a nostalgic look at a certain Halloween of my recall. This is an excerpt from a book I wrote about my hometown, the Vancouver suburb of Burnaby and it is a particular reminiscence from what is a repulsive time of life, junior high school days. I hope you enjoy:

The chance we were waiting for (to ‘get’ that much reviled school bus driver) happened near to Halloween one year. As we rode along that Indian-summer October afternoon, the bus entered a right hand turn lane near the Lougheed Highway. Sitting beside us in the through lane was a police car. My friend Roy possessed one of those big red firecracker bombs that were still available to kids in those days. Then, on some impulse known best to him, he lit it and dropped it out of the window and it landed smack on the roof of the cop-car, whence it detonated with a significant crack. Then everything happened very quickly. In a trice the roof light was flashing and the siren activated, whereupon the cop car swerved in front of the bus and ground to a halt. Two uniformed and livid RCMP members entered the bus, and therein vainly tried to get somebody to own up. We were all utterly innocent of expression — especially Roy. Eventually the cops left, their outrage having been to no avail. However, they informed the driver that our principal would be notified of the incident. The driver was mortified and enraged as we all collapsed into gales of laughter.

The next morning we were all called into the gym to be reamed out by the principal, a balding and humorless martinet who shall be left nameless for all the obvious reasons. He threatened us with all manner of mayhem, including canceling the schoolbus forevermore. We knew parents would never allow that to happen, since we all lived over five miles from the school, so we weren’t worried. But eventually, as these things happen, somebody ratted out Roy and he alone was indeed banned from the bus for the remainder of the school year. He was also threatened with expulsion, but they let it go at the bus-ban. Consequently, his mother had to drive him to school in the morning, and after school, when she was at work, he was left to his own devices. That meant either taking the ridiculously circuitous route the BC Electric bus followed, or walking the five miles, or hitchhiking. He chose the route of the thumb.

I wonder whatever happened to Roy. Maybe he’ll read this and be in touch. It could happen.


5 responses to “A very special Hallowe’en thanks to my irresponsible friend, Roy

  1. Good one for All Hallow’s Eve, Ian. BC Electric? Wow. I’m actually too young to remember that earlier version of BC Hydro. (Though I DO remember BC Tel! 🙂 ) Anyway, your reference to BC Electric and a different era got me wondering if there were bowls of cigarettes at those cocktail parties.

  2. There were indeed bowls of cigarettes at those cocktail parties and we regularly used to pilfer them. As for BC Electric, the head honcho was a guy named Dal Grauer. Popularly known as Dal Growler, boss of Beastly Electric.

  3. I wonder if he is now a hard working man or a scoundrel. Bowls of cigarettes at parties??? Odd thing.
    As a teen we enjoyed playing Twister, truth or dare, and the such. A rather mild group we were.

  4. That tickled my funny bone. I really needed to laugh tonight, so thank you, mister.

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