How will I "celebrate" Halloween tonight? I'll go first to Wetherspoons and then after a pint I'll go and see Al Murray in a Live Show at The Civic Hall. He might mention it, because he's a Heavy Metal fan who does a radio show on Planet Rock, Sunday mornings. Otherwise, it will, I'm delighted to say, pass me by. I'll have a Good Laugh with The Pub Landlord, whilst those out there dressed like twats are trying to frighten each other.
Listen, I've got no problem with having a Special Day as Winter approaches , when we remember All The Departed, and think a few quiet thoughts about our own mortality. That would be All Saints Day, or All Soul's Eve. Which existed long before McCaulay Culkin and E.T. dragged Halloween across the Atlantic. I hate it and everything it now stands for. In my Top Ten of Pet Hates, it is right out there at Number One. Above Ofsted, ( now there's incarnate Evil!), Mrs Brown's Boys, on-street Charity Muggers, people who say "Train Station" and Badger Culling.
Is it because I is religious, though? Well I'm not, in the traditional sense. Sure, I went to All Saints C. E. Primary School and I have an O Level in R.E. But despite living next door to a lovely old Church, I spend my Sunday mornings gardening, and a Good Book for me is something written by Bernard Cornwell or Terry Pratchett. My favourite all time Radio programme ever remains " Old Harry's Game" which featured 36 hilarious episodes set in Hell and starring Andy Hamilton as The Devil.
Is it because I am a big Scaredy Cat, then? No. Despite living next door to a Churchyard, tombstones, graves, etc don't bother me at all. I suspect I probably know a few witches and warlocks of the wholesome kind, and in my music collection are the complete works of Black Sabbath, plus a few tasteful tunes form Morbid Angel, Slayer and Metallica. The most Evil place I have ever visited was Buchenwald, and I'm afraid the wickedness which positively dripped off the walls there was about Man's inhumanity to Man rather than Possession by anything Supernatural.
" But it's for the children!" protest the Trolls, trudging round Asda with trollies full of Chinese-made plastic crap. What, those sobbing little moppets dressed up in dripping blood bandages and induced to eat fake eyeballs and gore jelly by adoring parent? No it isn't. It's for Big Business. When I was kid, we didn't bother with it. Nor did my kids. But the Supermarket Barons and Tooth Decay Manufacturers decided decades ago that we would import it and here it is, now Bigger than Easter. Soon to outsell Christmas in the Barbarian, godless, soulless Mammon we now inhabit. A useful and lucrative Retail raft between Summer and Christmas. Legislation has (rightly) made it more difficult to blow oneself apart celebrating a spot of Catholic-bashing which occurred hundreds of years ago. So here's another way we can legalise Public Disorder and reintroduce ghoulish, morbid obsession with all things cruel, vile and horrible. And make a few Trillion too. Yayy!
The media embrace it lovingly, endowing it with an almost holy reverence. " We all love Halloween don't we!" they gush endlessly on television channels one after another. On their themed breakfast shows, their themed cooking shows, their themed lunchtime shows. Erm. no. Some of us don't, actually. I loathe it. I'll be glad when it's dead and buried. ( see what I did there?) "Trick or Treat! " they mewl moronically. Treat? How about roasting Keith Lemon, or door to door callers on a spit? He's at number eight, by the way. Just above Nuisance Phone Calls.