stranger than fiction

grim_reaper_robe_2
Image via Twin Roses Designs, click image if you want to buy a Grim Reaper robe for yourself.

My medical-resident husband is always saying that “Scrubs” is the most accurate medical show. Sometimes reality seems determined to prove his point.

He’s working in an intensive care unit this rotation, and was on call Friday night. There was one patient whom everyone was sure wasn’t going to make it much longer. On Saturday moring, as my sleep-deprived hubby made rounds, he came out of one patient’s room to see a dark hooded, robed figure standing outside the room of that unlikely-to-make-it patient. Thinking for a brief moment that he saw Death Himself, my husband thought, “He’s come!”

But it turns out it was just a pharmacist, dressed like a vampire for Halloween.

Costume choice for intensive care unit: FAIL.

the horror

image via Flickr user darkpatator.

I know I’ve already written a post defending real trick-or-treat-ing with candy. I fully support trick-or-treat-ing and especially candy. I like to carve pumpkins. I enjoy eating toasted pumpkin seeds. I even like to see kids in costumes and have enjoyed wearing costumes as an adult. But I’ve realized, in looking back on my memories of Halloween, that I don’t really “do” scary.  And scary is a big part of Halloween.

I think my first bad, “scary” memory is getting trapped in a haunted house ride as a second grader. The ride was at a little rinkydink amusement park next to the Little Rock Zoo, famous for it’s Boo at the Zoo events, and I was in the haunted house with my friend.  Apparently a rider before us had lost his hat in the course of the ride. Our little car rolled over the hat, and we became stuck. What had been up until that point only sort of scary got scarier and scarier as we sat next to a glowing skeleton in the dark, screaming “HELP!” and trying to be heard by the ride operator over the creepy soundtrack.  The operator soon realized we were stuck and got the lights on and us out pretty quickly, but the trauma lasted in bad dreams for a while after. Continue reading “the horror”

it’s TRICK or TREAT folks

Image via Flickr user chanchan222, licensed under Creative Commons.

WordPress has a fun little feature whereby they showcase seemingly random posts on the main page, encouraging you to click and check out new blogs. I knew I was going to be irritated the minute I saw this one: “Halloween Candy Alternatives.”

I thought, well THAT’S a post from someone hoping their house gets egged.

Seriously though, the OP writes, “Providing some alternatives to reducing the sugar glut can be very helpful and even welcome – especially considering the ongoing health problems we’re generating in this country through our passion for sugar,” and then proceeds to list several food (granola bars, nuts) and non-food (wax lips) things to give out to trick-or-treat-ers.

Ah yes, nothing sucks the fun out of Halloween like some OMGOBESITY fearmonering– it’s scarier than zombies! Instead of being ware the undead, BEWARE THE UNTHIN!

People in this country aren’t obese because of Halloween.  Kids aren’t obese from one night of candy.  Being the Scrooge of your neighborhood isn’t going to solve the problem of childhood obesity.  In fact, I’m pretty sure most health experts would say it’s fine and dandy to indulge oneself in treats once in a while, everything in moderation and whatnot.  If you’re the PARENT of trick-or-treat-ers, you can even ration the candy out over several days, like my parents always did, after they checked each piece for razor blades, of course.

If you’re really concerned about the health of children, start advocating for a healthier school lunch program which includes breakfast.  Get involved in community gardens in areas without access to fresh produce.  Make sure your local farmers’ market accepts food stamps and WIC.  Make sure kids in your local schools get P.E. every single day.  But don’t piss all over Halloween.  Unless you want to be known as the weirdo who handed out pretzels instead of Reese’s cups by all the kids in your neighborhood.