Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Halloween Story - Storytelling Sunday

It's October, and in America that means it's time for Halloween. I searched my brain for an appropriate tale to share this Storytelling Sunday. I considered a story from my childhood about running around our neighborhood collecting candy in a pillow case because a paper bag just could not hold all that candy (and the one family that gave out full size candy bars). Or a story from my adulthood about almost winning a costume contest at a Halloween Party when Paul and I dressed as Frankenstein and The Bride of Frankenstein (realizing too late that we would have been a shoe-in for first place if I had been the monster and he had been the Bride).  I considered a poignant story about watching the last elementary school costume parade of my children's lives or a funny story about trick-or-treating with out kids (which we do as kindof a rolling party, drinking wine and beer and visiting with friends along the way) and the year we stumbled upon an "eyeball" themed party. 
Finally, I have settled upon a story about a Haunted House and the year Henry got his rodents mixed-up. The after-school program at the elementary school puts together a Haunted House each year. The students paint their faces as ghosts or zombies and build scenes of cemeteries and witch houses before dimming the lights and leading children through a variety of eerie vignettes. When Henry was in fourth grade (about 9 years old), I asked him what role he was going to play in the Haunted House, and he replied matter-of-factly "a hamster."  I was confused and pressed him, asking for more details about what he would be doing, and he said "some zombies will be eating me." I was still confused, but he grew frustrated with my questions, and continued to insist that he was going to be a hamster. 
On Halloween, I went to the Haunted House, waited in line, made my 25 cent donation, and followed the teacher through the door into the interior of the classroom, illuminated now by green strobe lights and eerie fluorescent blacklights. Our tour guide was dressed as a witch. She spoke in hushed tones and carried a flashlight, which she used to illuminate her face from just below her chin for maximum spooky effect.  As we walked through the various scenes, with fog from dry ice blowing about us, I kept looking for my son, the hamster.  We finally arrived at the last scene and there was Henry, laying on a table, has face painted green and a bowl with spaghetti arranged on his torso to look as if his belly had been opened and his intestines had poured out of his body.  He was surrounded by "zombies" feasting on his internal organs and a fellow student dressed in a lab coat and fright wig.  I listened as the teacher said, "And here is our final scene.  It's the laboratory of the Mad Scientist.  I guess he is done experimenting with that unfortunate human guinea pig."

26 comments:

scrappyjacky said...

I love this,Rinda....children's slight misuse of a word can be so funny.....though I'm amazed that 9 year olds weren't terrified by the Haunted House play!
I think you were quite right about you and Paul winning if you'd changed roles!!

Ladkyis said...

hee hee hee, oh that made me chuckle out loud! and it also reminded me of another story about my son. Thank you so much for this one.

laurie said...

how cute! kid stories are always the best - learning about the (crazy and complicated) world is not an easy endeavor for young ones!

Sian said...

Rinda, I am laughing out loud! I hope Henry doesn't mind us having a laugh becasue really this is a cracking story! I love it. It's exactly the kind of tale we need to record for future generations (or new girlfriends or wedding speeches..)

Excellent Halloween tale, though I have to say any of the other options also sound excellent. Round here we receive our Christmas presents in pillowcases

Sian said...

Rinda, I am laughing out loud! I hope Henry doesn't mind us having a laugh becasue really this is a cracking story! I love it. It's exactly the kind of tale we need to record for future generations (or new girlfriends or wedding speeches..)

Excellent Halloween tale, though I have to say any of the other options also sound excellent. Round here we receive our Christmas presents in pillowcases

debs14 said...

Brilliant story! Definitely one to remind him of in years to come!

Karen said...

Fantastic story Rinda and it has reminded me of a school story from Gracia and so I may now be a late entry for Storytelling Sunday.

Jimjams said...

Brilliant story!

You Americans really take Halloween seriously - I'm amazed that 9 year olds know about zombies!!!

Deb @ Paper Turtle said...

LOL. Super cute, Rinda. I needed that this afternoon! :o)

Gloria said...

What a great story Rinda. I needed some laughter today. Thanks for that. Take care and have a wonderful day.

angelfish (fiona) said...

That is so funny! I'm laughing out loud too. I think my children, at 9 years old, would have been terrified at having to be eaten by zombies, even in play!

Miriam said...

What a wonderful story, and so funny, I am trying to imagine your faces when you came across your son! I am reading this just before I go to bed! will it be spaghetti I dream about tonight I wonder?

Lizzie said...

Ahhh... ow! My sides ache from laughing...
Still, hamster/ guinea pig - who's counting (except the rodents themselves of course... we always joked to our DS that when the guineas were fighting, it was because one had told the other "your mom was a hamster"!).
Great story Rinda. Mind you, some of the "nearly stories" made me laugh too - imagine, an "eyeball themed party" - too funny!

Ginger said...

Oh what a fun story Rinda! I don't know the last time I went through a haunted house, I know they usually have one set up here at Halloween it would be fun to walk through - probably no hamsters though.
Thanks for the great story :)

Gail said...

Great story Rinda and it brought back memories of one my Girl Guide troop those many many years ago.

Nellie Mae said...

Great story!!

Ifa said...

aah, guinea pig and hamster...they are very nearly the same thing, no ? LOL. Lovely story.

furrypig said...

great story kids really do say the funniest things! I hope my parcel arrives with you soon for good mail day. Loving the pumpkin photo!

Missus Wookie said...

Henry the hamster scans so much better than Henry Guinea Pig tho'....

Great story and I've hosted an eyeball Halloween party ;)

Alison said...

Too funny, Rinda...yet another holiday you Americans excel at!
Alison xx

Becky said...

Oh, what a great story Rinda!

humel said...

Oh, this is hilarious!! Thanks for sharing this story, Rinda :) I have to say though, I'm most intrigued by the eyeball party, too!!

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

LOL!

The Mann Fam said...

How funny! Great story.

Maria@BubblegumandDuctTape said...

that was a funny story, I guess he was a little confused or maybe trying to be upbeat about it, in a hamster kind of way. Great story.

alexa said...

Wonderfully told ... I don't think teachers would be allowed to do anything as scary as this over here!