Ask Dayton #106 on the G and T show: “Tricks and Treats, yo.”

Two weeks in a row? We might just be back up to normal speed, here.

Another Sunday means another episode of the G and T Show, with hosts Nick Minecci, Terry Lynn Shull, and Mike Medeiros doing what they do so well, discussing all the various happenings and other stuffs taking place across the “Star Trek Universe.”

As has become somewhat usual, the gang took a break from more meaningful bits of conversation to throw a bit of time to their “Ask Dayton,” in which they send questions to me each week and I concoct an answer. Like the questions, my responses can run the gamut from serious faire to various attempts at challenging my ability to be creative and (hopefully) entertaining on a deadline. This week’s query fell somewhere in the middle:

Dear Dayton,

October is here, the air is crisp and Christmas decorations are filling the stores. So what are some of the favorite costumes and Halloween tales from your childhood? Did you make any memorable costumes? Did you engage in hijinks? And what is the day like for you now as a proud papa?

Thanks, big guy.

Hey, here’s a question: Why, exactly, was there Christmas shit in stores, even before the onset of October? What the fuck, retailers? Is it really necessary to double and even triple down on our holidays? Never mind the fact that there are however many other, non-WASPy holidays deserving observation between now and the end of the year. Can’t we at least get through Halloween before you feel the need to inundate us with all the yuletide crap? It’s bad enough it’s not a “real” holiday of the sort that gives you time off from work or school. You know it doesn’t really count because the banks and post offices are still open, which is amazing when you think about it, considering the lengths those places will go to in order to slack off. Instead, Halloween’s tacked on to the end of a regular old day, like a parent-teacher conference, a yoga class, or getting your pubes waxed.

As for Thanksgiving, that usually ends up being a race to see who can drain the liquor cabinet the fastest in a futile attempt to avoid killing an in-law once the turkey and trimmings are ravaged. Maybe some fuck head one of you invited because he or she had no other family or plans decides it’s the perfect time to talk about religion, politics, or whichever sports team you loathe with every molecule of your being, and the vodka is the only think keeping you from burying them in a field behind your house.

Hey, it could happen…so I’m told.

Oh, and let’s just get this out of the way right now, before the annual cycle of idiocy begins: HAPPY FUCKING HOLIDAYS. If your holiday du jour happens to be Christmas, then I sincerely hope you have the merriest of all Christmases that you’re able to muster. If some other holiday or day(s) of observance is your particular kink, then I hope it’s a bang-up season for you, too. See how easy that is? No muss, no fuss. Crisis averted. Moving the hell on.

(I wish.)

Now, since Christmas is ALMOST THREE DAMNED MONTHS AWAY, let’s get back to Halloween, which actually happens to be one of my very favorite days of the year. I’m not really all that much into costumes or whatever, but I get a kick out of seeing what the kids are wearing when they come to the door in search of tricks or treats. I love going to the various haunted houses around town, and Kansas City boasts some really good ones, including a few within easy walking distance of each other. The area around the different locations becomes part of a big street party every year, with costumed performers wandering around and helping to enhance the whole experience.

Halloween when I was a kid was always fun. Though I can’t say I ever engaged in any shenanigans on All Hallows’ Eve (the statute of limitations isn’t up on some of that shit, you understand), there still was much tricking and treating to be done. In my day, a lot of costumes were those boxed jobs with the shitty little plastic outfit and mask, all of which conspired to make you a walking fire hazard if you happened to wander too close to Grandpa and his lit cigar. I mean, damn…would you look at these fucking getups:

Ben Cooper Spock 01Spock 1977

(Ass-beatings and other peer-sponsored humiliation sold separately.)

Over the course of my single-digit years, I wore several different costumes of this sort. Then there were other occasions where my mother or grandmother or aunt handmade a costume, such as a Superman ensemble. Quality and slavish accuracy wasn’t the big deal it is today, because we as younglings were too busy keeping our eyes on The Prize: All that sweet, sweet candy just waiting at our neighbors’ houses.

Priorities, people.

Now that I have kids of my own, the fun extends to helping them choose their costumes and taking them around the neighborhood or to parties and whatever else we can find. The costumes and accessories are way cooler than what was available back in my day, and of course there’s now a booming market for adult versions of these outfits, too. I mean, I guess that’s the target demo, as I just can’t see my eight-year old going with that that crazy “Miss Diagnosed” nurse’s number, or somebody’s son wandering the neighborhood wearing an inflatable penis.

And speaking of neighborhoods, we’ve moved into a new area of town since last Halloween, one that lends itself much more to the whole trick or treating experience. There are more young kids, and plenty of sidewalks connecting the different areas of the neighborhood, so I’m anticipating heavy foot traffic this year. Therefore, I’m laying in plenty of supplies…for me, of course, but also the kids.

Hey, you in the cheap seats: I’ve got my eyes on you. Hands off my Butterfingers, you sneaky little shits.

This question and its answer was read during G&T Show Episode #161 on October 5th, 2014. You can hear Nick read the answers each week by listening live, or check out the replay/download options when the episode is loaded to their website: The G and T Show. Listeners are also encouraged to send in their own questions, one of which will be sent to me each week for a future episode.

And as always, many thanks to Nick, Terry and Mike for continuing to include me in their reindeer games.


Lay it on me.

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