Originally Appeared in Unit Circle #6

Halloween is coming quicker than Hugh Grant in a BMW. As Meg Tilly asks in the cinematic disaster Body Snatchers, "Where ya gonna go? Where ya gonna run? Where ya gonna hide?"She voices the dilemma of millions of adult Americans every October 31.

Hiding Out On Halloween

By Drew Feinberg

Okay, first, there's trick or treating. Being a greedy bastard and hitting every house within a 20 mile radius up for the goods, is socially acceptable as child. However, three years ago, when I dressed as Zsa Zsa Gabor and asked all of my neighbors to "Give me some candy, DAHLING, or I'll give you a slap," the results were less than optimal. I did receive assorted candy bars, candy corns, rocks, kitchenware, lollipops, and a jack o'lantern (still lit), but they were THROWN at me, with great velocity. I can't even spell the names people called me, and I was told to do things to myself that aren't physically possible. Lord knows I've tried. One grandmotherly looking woman was actually kind to me, and gave me some popcorn. My faith in mankind was restoredľuntil I heard her call to her husband, "Come see this poor slow boy. It's lovely to see the mentally challenged out and about." At the tender age of 23, I retired from trick or treating forever.

The next year I opted to stay home, watch some scary movies, and give wondrous candy to the legit trick or treaters. The candy aisle at the supermarket was pure pandemonium. I might as well have been looking for a green Power Ranger on Christmas Eve. I didn't want to be one of those houses that gives out the crappy treats: nickels, fruit, hard bubble gum, cream soda Dum-Dumms permanently stuck to the wrapper, black licorice, those awful dark chocolate Hershey's Miniatures, Smarties. Honestly, do people ever BUY Smarties for themselves?

I made a quick scan of what was available, and saw some variety packs of assorted good chocolate stuff. I made a mad dash to get two. I popped 'em in my cart and confidently strolled to the checkout counter. The line was huge, and I noticed the elderly woman behind me had nothing in her cart but a box of Metamucil, so I let her cut. I started to sing along with the muzak, "Precious and few are the moments we two can shaaaaaaare..."

CRASH! I looked to my side and saw this huge pyramid of canned beets topple over. "Hope that wasn't my singing," I thought to myself, and then turned back. Quicker than I could say "The cast of Blossom should be sterilized," my treasures were GONE! I was completely bewildered. I glanced in the cart ahead of me, and, to my shock, the woman I had sacrificed selflessly for had her Metamucil nestled in with two bags of assorted chocolates.

I tried to conceal my anger and said to the woman "Excuse me, I think those are my Halloween candies there." She mouthed, "Bite me." I reached into her cart and picked up what was rightfully mine. She began bawling hysterically. The entire supermarket glared in my direction. I simply froze -- like Jennifer Tilly with a flashlight aimed at her eyes. I was never so furious OR so humiliated; I just stood there with my hand in the proverbial cookie jar. I slowly backed out of the supermarket, and candyless, went to a convenience store, where I bought 50 Chunky bars. A mixture of chocolate, nuts, and raisins makes my stomach turn, but, hey, I didn't have to eat 'em. I had enough Chunky barsto feed a small South American country, or Marlon Brando.

Was I defeated? As Gloria Gaynor once said, "Oh no, not I. I will survive!" I sped home to see my cinematic delights, sat down and started to watch Halloween. Before the opening credits were finished, the doorbell rang. "Trick Or Treat," I was greeted by a child and his mother. "Here ya go, fella," I smiled as I handed him a Chunky. The child glowed; the mother glowered.

"Michael is ALLERGIC to nuts. Don't you have anything else?"


The mother ripped the treat from her son's hand and handed it back to me, sending Michael into a temper tantrum.

"I'm really sorry,"

"Thank you, thank you VERY much; it was his first Halloween, and you ruined it for him. Aren't you proud of yourself?" I sighed, shrugged, and went back to my movie.

Five minutes later, more doorbell. Two teenage girls dressed up--looked like the girls from Clueless, gum chewing and all. "Like, trick or treat." I handed them two chunky bars.

Clueless #1: "Like HELLO, do you KNOW how many grams of fat
are in a Chunky? Only like a MILLION!" and she handed it
back to me.

Clueless #2: "Geez Louise, don't you have any like Snackwells
or fat free potato chips?" and deposited El Chunky back
in my hand.

And so it went all night. Kids whining about chocolate, kids complaining about raisins, kids bitching about options. In 4 hours I managed to watch about 15 minutes of my movie. And got stuck with 45 Chunky bars.

Hey, you want a Chunky?

Last year I tried my final great Halloween option: the costume party. Ibopped on down to "Costumes R Us," --oh-so-wise to do on the day itself. Sparse selection? The place was emptier than Jennie McCarthy's skull. Let me tell you, all eyes were focused when I stumbled in the door as a huge orange box of Tide. I felt about as mobile as Gilbert Grape's mother.

I scanned the room and saw assorted Beavis's,Ticks, Shannen Dougherty's, Newt Gingritch's, and one big orange blob. I went straight to the punch bowl and then mingled about. Everyone bored me.

Then I saw her, the woman I would spend forever with; the woman who wouldn't bitch at me for drinking milk out of the carton. She was a twin of Mia Wallace (a.k.a. Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction). She looked me straight in the eye, walked up to me, and what followed was a few hours of engaging conversation. Between the converation and the punch, I was in seventh heaven. In the middle of debating which was more torture: watching the O.J. trial or a Mickey Rourke movie, she blurted out, "Do you always talk so much before you a kiss a girl?" That was all the invitation I needed. I wrapped my arms around her and kissed. It was just like the movies: the world started to spin in a little circle, like in a DePalma film... except it made me dizzy, and I realized it wasn't the kiss, but the punch. I lost my balance. The Tide box made me stumble, and I held my love tight, knowing she would be my rock. She would prevent my imminent fall, but my feet became entwined with hers. I fell forward, taking Mia Wallace with me. Mr. Tide was crushing the girl I so wanted to impress. She said, "Jesus, I can't feel my legs". Batman and Thor managed to pull me off her, but by then it was too late. Physically, Mrs. Wallace was fine, but she was none too pleased. In fact, everybody at the party just stared and pointed until I left.

No more Halloween parties for ME, thank you very much.

Don't walk down the same unpaved road as I did. Learn from my mistakes. This Halloween, hide out with some friends, turn off the lights, and rent some movies. Try a couple of these; you'll thank me later: Halloween, Nightmare On Elm Street, Frankenhooker, Carrie, The Shining, Evil Dead 2, Dead Alive, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Exorcist, Re-Animator.

When the doorbell rings, don't answer it. There's no shame. In fact, I've found that detaching the doorbell all together makes things much more pleasant. And if you turn the volume up really loud, you can't even hear those little fists knocking.

Drew Feinberg is twenty-something and resides in East Meadow, NY where he is currently a full-time philosopher. He enjoys watching movies and then bitching about them, joining crusades he knows he cannot win, and singing TV theme songs to anybody within earshot especially the "Facts Of Life." Drew and his partner-in-crime, Jen, are starting their 'zine "Marvin Nash's Ear" in the very-near future so they can rant as long as they like to make the world smile and/or think, preferably both. For a free subscription, just send a request and the name of your favorite childhood board game to afeinber@panix.com

Unit Circle Fiction