This is my first Halloween in my new home of Oxford and I’m disappointed that the terrible weather is going to prevent many kids from trick-or-treating at my new duplex on Molly Barr.
I did hand out candy on Wednesday night in my son’s neighborhood as forecast-leery parents decided to move Halloween up a day.
But the holiday has already been a good one for me because my grandson and namesake, Andrew Harry Knef — with the help of his clever Mom — came up with the absolute best costume I have ever seen. I don’t want to say too much about it, but instead let the picture below do the talking. Part of it is the ingenuity of the costume, which my daughter-in-law found in a catalogue. Did I say she was clever?
But part of it is the photo itself, taken by a neighbor. My grandson’s head seems to be levitating in the air, only loosely secured from rising like a helium balloon by the palm of his hand. I know I said I wasn’t going to talk about it. Can’t help it! It’s really quite a remarkable effect — and kind of disturbing, actually. It would be disturbing with any child, but to see one’s first grandson — did I mention he’s my namesake — headless and smiling knowingly shakes me up every time I look at the image.
The eerie feeling is compounded when I see my button-cute granddaughter Ava beaming with happiness by her brother’s side. She is so adorable and delighted to be out trick-or-treating a day early. The fact that her only brother quite realistically appears to be holding his own severed noggin matters less to her than one Skittle, one green M&M.
Of course this should not bother me. This is the way with little children who have no sense of scale, no perspective on gross. They eat year-old candy they find under sofa cushions for gosh sakes! After picking their noses.
Still I find the juxtaposition of the macabre and the precious in this picture otherworldly. In the end it’s just about commerce I suppose. A junior super hero, whether she be the DC or Marvel variety, and a walking three-and-a-half-foot high promo for the latest popular television fantasy on Fox equally come down to money. Those catalogue costumes are expensive my daughter-in-law tells me.
When I was a trick-or-treater in the 1960s my mother wrapped me head to foot in gauze as the Mummy and sent me out tripping and blind on my own to brave candy-stealing bullies and potential forest fires.
It is a new world with more creative costumes and rightfully cautious adults willing to move Halloween up a day if they need to. I don’t have a problem with that — but I’ve got to tell you, levitating heads give me the willies.
Andy Knef is Managing Editor of Hottytoddy.com