Show Us Your Pumpkins!
- Created: Friday, 24 October 2014 12:18
- Written by Tim Bairstow
Like Christmas, Halloween seems to start earlier every year! The shops have been full of unfeasibly large pumpkins for ages and ectoplasm seems the order of the day on the sweets counter. I'm not about to be a grumpy old man ... I love it! I think Halloween is fab; I always have! What an amazing thing to have survived from the medieval period: those pious peasants cowering in fear because the powers of darkness would be taking the opportunity to run amok prior to the holiest day of the year (All Saints Day) could scarcely have imagined just what it would become
Mind you, nor could I when I was a kid. It was all so much more sotto voce then. We had lanterns, for sure! But these were not made out of shiny orange beasts of pumpkins. They were carved from a large turnip ... yes, I know that makes me sound like Baldrick from Blackadder, but it's true! I can still smell the really rather unpleasant aroma of said, hollowed out root vegetable as it was singed and cooked by the flame of the candle inside! No-one makes them from turnips any more. I can just imagine the impoverished legions of turnip farmers, sitting with a huge pile of their unlovable crop and bemoaning the devastation wrought upon their autumn profits by the brash, Americanised upstart pumpkin.
Costumes were pretty rubbish too. Maybe a sheet thrown over your head with two eye holes cut in it sufficed for you to flit eerily around until you tripped over the damn sheet and concussed yourself by falling over the coffee table. If you were lucky, you might get a black bin liner for a vampire cape. Girls, of course, were witches with cardboard pointy hats and faces daubed in green food colouring that could still faintly be seen by Bonfire night. Best of all, you could be swathed from head to foot in loo roll and be a mummy!
Not now ... Halloween has become so much better and it has become so totally gay its amazing! I suppose that one could philosophise it along the lines of 'coming out of the shadows and in to the light' but that would just be daft. It would be as daft as those churches who hold a rival 'bright light' party and get kids to dress up as angels and saints ... where's the fun in that? Halloween is so gay precisely because it is such fun! It's an hilarious moment where 'naughtiness' is not merely indulged but is actually compulsory! Think of the opportunities for dressing up (depending on your own self-body image, the naughtier the better) being utterly outrageous and doing what the gay community always has and always will do better than anyone ... party!!!!
It is interesting to reflect, though, just what a hold the 'paranormal' seems to have on the psyche of the gay community. We all love a good ghost story and we all love cowering behind the sofa, screaming our proverbials off, over a horror film. Seriously, who hasn't actually at some point at least tried to hold a séance? And, of course, there's the growing trend in gay literature towards the paranormal fantasy. I was sceptical at first but, with Halloween approaching, I thought: 'why not?' and embarked on one. I haven't finished it yet, but its pretty good! What's to complain about? A shape shifting creature of the netherworld with the capacity to morph in to the sexiest guy in your imagination and, probably on account of being un-dead, endowed with the capacity not merely to go bump in the night but to bang all night long!!! Just what you'd like to manifest itself in your vicinity next week!!!
Yes - it's all good fun, great fun in fact! Whatever you are doing and wherever you are: