My mother has a talent of giving this deadpan delivery of hilarious one-liners (or one-paragraphers) without realizing it 98% of the time. I speak to her almost every Saturday morning on Skype and yesterday, I asked her what she was doing for Halloween.
She proceeded to explain to me that true Halloween is not about (barely) wearing an inappropriate costume and drunkenly falling face first into your plate of onion rings at an after-hours diner. She might have not used these words specifically, but it fully captures the essence of her schpeel.
I asked her about what Halloween was like growing up. She grew up in Goa, India where Halloween was actually “celebrated” on November 2nd- All Soul’s Day, a day observed by Catholics to honor the dead. Here’s an actual serious conversation we had about All Soul’s Day and a little cultural lesson for us all (me included) about “Halloween” in Goa:
Mom: “No one dresses up on All Souls Day, unless you want to look like a jackass. All Soul’s Day is really supposed to be scary.”
Karen: “So what do you actually do?”
Mom: “People rob and steal your things.”
Karen: *insert this face*
Karen: “People steal stuff?”
Mom: “Yes. You know, because its scary. It’s like a ghost came to mess with you. Sometimes when you wake up in the morning, you may find all your vases in the garden missing. Or you may find your vase in a different location in the garden.”
Karen: *still has the face*
“This one time, all of Marie Lou’s expensive pond rocks went missing. Her son bought them for her from Dubai you know. Turns out they were all at the local cemetery.”
Karen: Her son went to Dubai and bought her rocks?
Mom: “Yes. They’re decorative.”
Karen: “Nevermind. How the heck did Marie Lou know where to find her pond rocks?”
Mom: “If you lose something on All Soul’s Day, its most likely at the cemetery.”
Karen: “Sounds like a hassle for everyone involved.”
Mom: “No kidding! You have to be so careful too, especially if you are a fightercock. Then everyone hates you and steals your pond rocks.”
(Quick glossary: The word “fightercock” is my mother’s umbrella term for bitches, douchebags and people who shouldn’t be talking.)
Karen: “So I guess if you’re a fightercock, most of your stuff will probably be dumped at the cemetery.”
Mom: “Oh yes. But you have to go there as soon as you can and claim your stuff. You don’t want robbers to take your things from the cemetery before you get to it.”
My mom’s village apparently ran on the adage- Rob me once, I’m a fightercock. Rob me twice- I’m a lazycock.
She continues, clearly enjoying my rapt attention to this newly discovered Halloween tradition.
Mom: “And not all your stuff ends up in the cemetery…some of it is in other people’s houses”
Karen: “Whaaaaaa?” *insert this face*
Mom: “Yes! Sometimes stuff from your garden will end up in someone else’s garden and vice versa.”
Karen: “Doesn’t anyone call the damn cops?”
Mom: “Cops don’t like getting involved with ghosts, Karen.”
Karen: “Right, of course not”
Mom: “One time, Sebby woke up on All Soul’s Day and found all the bananas off her banana trees in the backyard GONE! In all fairness though, everyone knew what a big fightercock she was. Now, she lost her bananas. Haha”
Karen: “Poor Sebby. Did she find her bananas at the cemetery?”
Mom: “No. But she visited her archenemy Antoinette later that day and saw that Antoinette had an unusual amount of bananas at home. When she asked her about them, Antoinette told her she bought them to make banana fritters.”
Karen: “Ugh! Banana fritters my ass!”
Mom: “Indeed! Watch your language.”
By the end of this conversation, I wanted to just drop my Kate Middleton costume altogether and replace my neighbour’s pots of geraniums with pumpkins. Or steal the lawn gnomes off my neighbours down the street and send them ransom notes for each one. Granted none of my poor neighbors are fightercocks, but its been so long since I’ve been able to blame anything on a mischievous ghost.
I made a firm resolve that next year for Halloween, I’m going as a fightercock.
Because in the end what it comes down to is this: Would you rather go the traditional route and wear a Halloween costume? Or would you rather piss the hell out of the fightercocks in your life?
Also, I know I’ve asked you guys this before but everything’s funner when there’s a poll: