The Tangled Web

Say it with cobwebs: Happy Halloween!
Say it with cobwebs: Happy Halloween!

I have never been accused of being good housekeeper. My feeling is, our food grows in dirt,  therefore it stands to reason that a little dirt in the house won’t kill you.

Not everyone shares this view. I won’t name names. You know who you are.

It’s all about comfort levels. We all have our own personal thresholds for acceptable squalor. Also for anxiety, hunger, and fear. In the Halloween season fear freaks get their time to shine, or loom menacingly, if they prefer. But whether you enjoy a good scare or not, the gloves are off with modern Halloween decorations.

Nice kitty.
Nice kitty.

When I was a kid you could get by with one pumpkin, carved in the simplest Euclidean manner—all triangles. The really gung-ho neighbors might go so far as to tack a paper skeleton to the front door. Simpler times.

In the last few decades Halloween decorations have gone the way of Hulk, or the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man in Ghostbusters. You can run, but you can’t avoid getting some of that sticky stuff on you when the deal goes down.

This is all fine with me, but I have to say that if anyone had told me back in the ’80s that designer cobwebs would one day be a hot trend in Halloween chic I would have scoffed at the idea. I mean, cobwebs? I’m supposed to buy cobwebs now? Not gonna happen, even if they do come in fetching shades of Day-Glo orange, neon purple and slime green along with the classic bone white.

And naturally, the cobwebs lead inevitably to the spider motif, which has been embraced big-time. Ginormous hairy arachnids scramble over the azaleas and dangle from the dogwoods. If this had been going on when I was young my teeth probably wouldn’t have suffered so much from trick-or-treats sugar coating. I approve of spiders in principle, but prefer them at a distance. Generally speaking, creatures with more than four legs give me the creeps. Clearly, mine is a minority view on this subject.

Along came a spider and gave me nightmares.
If Spider Man looked like this he would lose the franchise..

However, spiders and spooks notwithstanding, Halloween weaves a tantalizing web of possibilities for many of us. The chance to pretend we’re something we’re not, if only for a few hours. The freedom to put on a wig and a cape and skulk about laughing ghoulishly speaks to something deep inside us all. Or is it just me?

Rooted in our collective fear of Death, Halloween is a one-night pass to walk on the edge of the crypt and act like we aren’t scared witless. We may not fool anyone, but sometimes, when things are really looking bad, the only thing you can do is laugh and hope you get a few good shots in before it’s time to take a bow.