October 30, 2019

Pumpkin Bells

One might be tempted to suggest that it doesn't pay to go out of town for a week, because you have to spend that much more time catching up when you return. And there's a lot to be said for that, although in my case, having returned from a week in which I put in 39 hours of overtime (at time-and-a-half!), it actually did pay. the other part of the equation hold's true, though; suddenly, I find myself with a lot to do, and not much time in which to do it. For example, I have a terrific interview with Ed Sullivan's grandson lined up, but it has to wait until next week; you'll be glad you waited, though.

And then there's Halloween, and while it's been a long time since I've gone out for trick or treating, it's still fun seeing the little kids come to the door in their costumes, some of them barely old enough to do anything other than stick their hand out for a piece of candy. Good times, though, because I'm one of those who still believes that Halloween belongs to kids, not adults.

Speaking of which, if you're my age, you probably remember the costumes you wore when you were a kid, with the plastic mask and the smock you pulled over your shirt. A lot of these costumes were TV-related, giving you a chance to look like your favorite cartoon or real-life TV character. These were invariably a disappointment, in part because having the eyes cut out ruined any chance the mask had of looking like the character it was supposed to resemble. Of course, the alternative was to go staggering around and running into trees because you couldn't see where you were going, so there was that.

This costume of Casper the Friendly Ghost is actually pretty good, since he had black eyes to begin with, and it's too dark to see what's behind the holes. Just wait until you put it on, though; your eyes will ruin the whole thing. I think I wore this costume for a couple of years back in the 1960s, which is strange because I don't remember being a big Casper fan.

I don't know if I ever had a Top Cat costume, though I watched him every Saturday morning. The makers apparently weren't very confident that you'd recognize who it was supposed to be, since they felt compelled to put "Top Cat" on the hat, something that never happened on the show. (You can see just enough of the doily underneath to see how disconcerting those eyes were. and now I'll stop talking about that.)

I suspect everyone would recognize Fred Flintstone; that show's never really gone out of style, has it? I watched it growing up, because when you're a kid you'll pretty much watch whatever happens to be one, but it wasn't high on my list. I think I would have been hard up to wear this.

You can see why cartoon characters make good costumes, since it's a lot easier to reproduce the look of a cartoon than a human. I don't think it was necessary to put Yogi's name on the hat; you don't have to be smarter than the average bear to know who it is. For some reason I want to say I had this costume, but I can't be sure anymore. The mind is the first thing to go, you know.

See what I mean about the difficulty reproducing human characters? The description claims that this is Lurch from The Addams Family, and I'm in no position to argue the point. It seems like it would be wasted on someone under seven feet tall, though.

Evidently this, plus a red long-sleeved shirt, is all you need to go as Gilligan, although having the right hair would probably help.

Wearing this is supposed to make you look like Batgirl, but personally, I think having a figure like Yvonne Craig will probably be a whole lot more effective. With or without the mask.

🎃 🎃 🎃

Finally, where would we be without a Pumpkin Carol? Last year I wrote about how Pumpkin Carols were all the thing after the success of It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, so it seems fitting to celebrate Halloween Eve with the classic "Pumpkin Bells."

Dashing through the streets
In our costumes bright and gay
To each house we go
Laughing all the way

Halloween is here,
Making spirits bright
What fun it is to trick-or-treat
And sing pumpkin carols tonight!

Oh, Pumpkin bells, Pumpkin bells
Ringing loud and clear
Oh what fun Great Pumpkin brings
When Halloween is here.

No tricks here, but I'll try to have more treats for you on Friday. Be careful out there tomorrow! TV  


  1. Had a Ben Cooper Fred Flintstone outfit for Halloween 1961.

  2. I too had costumes like those for Halloween. That style was banned in the '80's due to being a fire hazard and interfering with vision. The sadder thing is that in many areas there are much fewer Trick-or-treaters, for the past 20-odd years I've been getting my Halloween "treats" at the bank. A roll of quarters, two per kid - leftovers are useful, unlike a big pile of candy. Having a pound or two of candy leftover (and you seldom eat the stuff anymore) was what changed my mind.


Thanks for writing! Drive safely!