Spirit Saved by Spirit

October 10, 2011 — We had grand Fall plans for yesterday, the Day of Columbus. The kind of plans you build an entire season around. The kind you look back on as being representative of why you love this time of year. We were going to the pumpkin patch to pick pumpkins for carving. We were going to our local farmstead to buy apples in various states of existences (candied, cidered, pied, caramel-covered). We even had a gentle stroll through the autumn foliage of a nearby forest on the docket. You throw a haunted house and a horror movie at the end of a day like that and you don’t need to celebrate the season anymore. You’ve done it.

But then we didn’t do it. Any of it.

We stepped outside and all those plans were immediately skewered by the fact that it was 86 degrees out yesterday here in the middle of New England. Sweat and sunburn don’t have a part in any Autumn activity, and we immediately cancelled ours in a huff while en route to it all. Instead, our hastily contrived Plan B was to seek out the air-conditioned environs of stores with Halloween sections that we’d yet to check out.

It sounds like a tragic step down from our original plans, but anything shy of getting Boardwalk during McDonald’s Monopoly sweepstakes would be. Any other day, of course, I’d have a blast visiting retail Halloween sections, as disturbingly evidenced by last year’s two-part, well, paean, I guess is the only word, to the activity.

Nevertheless, that’s what we did…only to find that those stores were stocking mostly Christmas.

We were bummed. We were confused. It was too hot for Autumn outside. Too Christmas for Halloween inside. It was enough to ruin the entire season, or at least set the stage for some easily written hyperbole.

But then we randomly ventured into a Spirit store, and not to make too much of the pun, it restored our Halloween…mood.

Which sounds like a pretty obvious thing, I admit, to head into a seasonal Halloween store to reinvigorate one’s sense of Autumn ambiance. However, in my experience, every grim-reaper-mascotted Spirit that I’ve ever been to has just been rows and rows of slutty costumes in plastic bags. Maybe a bowl of rubber rats or eyeballs on the counter. But mostly slutty costumes in plastic bags. I’d been disappointed by that particular store franchise so many times that I eventually stopped checking them out entirely.

But yesterday put Spirit back on my list of Halloween traditions. Below is why. Sorry about the blur. I was a little excited. Oh, and to get the full effect of the below, you have to imagine most of the stuff screaming and howling and moaning and making startling movements at randomly programmed times.

That carousel of babies at the top of this monstrosity was
actually spinning, the only word that could
make this tableau more terrifying.

Scream 4 was definitely the predominant
property that this Spirit stocked.

I'm ready for the pumpkin patch again...