Fun stuff from Dracula’s crypt
From everybody’s favorite Hallowe’en monster, your perky Granddad with the effervescent personality and the Pepsodent smile . How are you? Are you flashing your toothy smiles with the. . . Granddad. Just fork over the treats. You don’t want my color commentary? Is that what you call it? BAHAHAHAAAAAAAA!
On second thought, Granddad, it’s OK to distract us. We just saw your treats. Oh good! You like them? I was going to get you . . . You were going to get us something nice but you changed your mind, right? Uh, well. . . You decided to raid Dracula’s pantry.
He does have a pantry. It’s actually pretty well stocked. Severed fingers, bloodshot eyeballs, pheasant skeletons under glass, spiders and snakes. All covered with cobwebs, of course. Of course. But I couldn’t find what I knew you’d like so I went exploring. And what did you find? I found your treats down below the basement in his crypt. That’s where your treats came from.
How would you like a nice trick? No! Not that! Why couldn’t you get us some yummy chocolates like everyone else? What is this stuff? It’s fun candy! When I took you to the Sweet Factory and Dave and Busters you never picked out chocolate goodies like normal kids do. You went for weird stuff. So I got you weird stuff. The animals at the zoo we’re going to feed it to thank you!
Isn’t it amazing? The store that sold me your treats also sells stomach pumps. I wonder why. Granddad? What, dear. We’re just kidding, We love you. Thank you for thinking of us. Your playful treats won’t go to the zoo. They’re going into our stomachs and we won’t need stomach pumps. You’re welcome.
Ouch! I just pricked my finger. Look! There’s a drop of blood! [With a grand sweep of his arm Dracula covers the lower half of his face with his cape, rivets his ravenous gaze to the blood, and moves in for the kill. BAHAHAHAAAAAAAAA!]
What are you wearing now? Clothes. Are you wearing a Hallowe’en mask guaranteed to scare everyone out of their wits? Yes. My face. Aren’t you wearing Dracula’s cape? Yes. The whole outfit he was in when he greeted Jonathan Harker at his castle in Transylvania. “I bid you welcome.” BAHAHAHAAAA! That’s what he wore when the sun came up and he retired to his coffin and what Bela Lugosi wore to his coffin – Dracula’s costume. On Hallowe’en night, your neighborhood will erupt in screams with people fleeing in all directions and you’ll know why. Dracula will be on the loose! Boo!
Harker had to reach Dracula’s castle at night in a creepy coach pulled by a creepy horse. The coachman was creepy, too, since it was Dracula but you didn’t know it. The castle was so creepy that “I bid you welcome” actually sounded warm and comforting. But I decided that I didn’t want to live there. Of course you didn’t! Only a sick mind would be drawn to a vampire’s lair. I wanted to live in Dr. Frankenstein’s laboratory. Oh, that’s different. . . What??
Now, don’t laugh, but I thought the atmospherics were really cool. High ceiling and massive walls of brooding gray stone, heavy with the mystique of mausoleums and the crypts of ancient cathedrals. Reeking of death. The flashing and buzzing of electrical equipment masterminded by madness driven by obsession. That promised a gluttony of delicious horrors.
Dark intrigue that would connect the lifeless, leaden body on its gurney to the mystery of life itself. And when it was pulleyed ominously up the tower into the storm, into the blackness flashing its fury with the force of nature, warning of its supremacy to all who dared penetrate it, it carried me with it. An image of apprehension and anticipation so perfect that I was taken captive. I wanted to freeze-frame it so no other image could ever intrude.
Hmmmmm. Very interesting! And that’s where you wanted to live? It had the familiarity of home because, in some sense, I had already lived there. It was where humanity’s psyche had once belonged. The same source that inspired the imagination of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly to tell Dr. Frankenstein’s story inhabits everyone’s imagination. The recounting of how bodies with defective brains were animated – brought to life with energy – is stored in various versions in every human psyche. The right circumstances happened to come together for Mary to tell it, but it's there to be told by anyone. You or I could tell it. Should we be afraid? Actually, Hallowe’en is for laughs. It’s for kids and yummy treats! And like almost everything that happens, for wondering Why.
That’s how much!
Witches cackling around their toxic brews, warning of dreadful calamities about to befall us, are my favorite Hallowe’en yard displays. They make me laugh, and sometimes I talk back at them. What are yours?
I will be with you on Hallowe’en night in spirit. Bidding you welcome in my Bela Lugosi costume and enjoying my treat: being the grandfather of the most intelligent, talented, thoughtful, beautiful, and lovable granddaughters in the world. Missing you and loving you. . . More than all the stars in the sky? More than all the sour jelly beans, jelly bird eggs, and sour bats in the Galaxy!
Enjoy! Happy Hallowe’en!