September 8, 2019: Home Improooooovement

I’ve gotten semi-decent at not clearing the shelves of every Halloween store and department in New England. It’s hard. There’s just so much cool stuff out there, and even with the stuff that sucks, you just stick a Jack-o on it, and I want it. But I try not to for various reasons, including not killing my kids’ college funds, not wanting my living room to look like a Target aisle, and not turning Halloween decorating into Halloween collecting.

But this year I heard about a life-sized Headless Horseman decoration at Home Depot that might be everything I want in life, so we went to see it today. A little bit of context for that: I’m a homeowner, and I rarely go to Home Depot. I kind of just let the house decay gracefully around me. Because I care about the planet.

I don’t know when it happened, maybe just this year, but Home Depot’s Halloween selection is better than any other major Halloween selection that I’ve seen for a while, including the three biggies as far as chains go: Spirit, Michaels, and Target.

This year I haven’t yet bought a single Halloween decoration (not counting a few hand-me-downs), but in this orange palace of lumber and plumbing fixtures, I was tempted by…everything: The green skeletons, the rocking chair witch, the inflatable tree, the combo witch-skeleton thing, even the Canadian pumpkins sitting in bins outside. I don’t know. They just kind of hit close to my aesthetic, I guess.

But I was certainly the most tempted by the Headless Horseman. He’s about eight feet tall, is animatronic, and speaks in an impressively spooky voice that was obvious that the team behind it didn’t just record Mark in shipping after three shots of Tequila. The horse’s eyes light up green and the Jack-o’s eyes light up yellow. The horse gallops, moves his head, and—I learned when I reached under its nethers and pulled out a large black dangly hose—has a fog machine hook-up. Beautiful.

Also, expensive. It was over $250. I’d have to open a haunt attraction and write that off to excuse the purchase. I mean, it’s probably a worth-it price, honestly, but $250 can buy some really cool stuff that you don’t have to store in the basement ten months out of the year. Although you and I both know that this would be permanently placed beside the living room sofa.

Actually, the real plan is to let other people buy it, and then nab it off Facebook Marketplace in two years when they realize they have no place to store it and Home Depot has all new giant cool Halloween things to buy.

I feel like this entry is making me come off as cheap.