Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Why My Headless Grandson Gives Me the Willies

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?

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Does this picture make you smile or give you the creeps?

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

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