Friday, October 31, 2003


Happy Halloween everybody. I can't wait to celebrate death and gore tonight - if you know me, you know that this is all I ever talk about.
This sudden cold snap and the witchy-poo feeling in the air reminds me of some significant Halloweens' past from my mis-spent youth.
I remember a particularly gruesome Halloween from the year 1984. I was fourteen and experiencing a rather awkward transition from nerdy-kid to nerdy-kid-in-high-school-with-pimples-and-tacky-clothes. It was the last hurrah for dressing up - well, at least for awhile. My friends Bar (Bear) and Chris and I all wore commando-style clothes and gruesome, ghoul-ish face paint. Up in the tree, next to their house on Gainard street, I smoked my first clove cigarette with Chris before we went out to terrorize the smaller kids in our neighborhood. Eggs, toilet paper and general scare tactics were our weapons.
After pelting several kids/cars/houses, we disbanded while running from the local fuzz - without getting caught, of course. This never happened.
I ended up with the worst of my bad-seed friends - the lamentable Justin DePew. This kid was evil; I swear, he was like Jim Morrison trapped in a kid's body with a mean streak a mile wide. I only hung out with Justin as a last resort, when I was feeling most masochistic.
So, we get the bright idea of climbing up onto the abandoned, five story building in our town - the Surf Hotel - and dropping stolen pumpkins off of the roof onto the street below. We can't believe the pure genius of our plan - surely no one has done this before in our town.
On the way, we run into our friend, My Do (Mee Doh). He decides to join us on our treck of devastation.
As we walk, Justin drinks a 40 of Colt 45 that he procured from an adult friend. *smash!* It goes through a nearby storefront window. We run.
We finally get some pumpkins - only two - and make our way down to the glorious abandoned building. Now, the only way to get into the Surf Hotel is through a broken-out second story window that features shards of glass still sticking out of it. We scuffle up the side as far as we can, toss in the pumpkins we stole, and then hastily scramble up into the broken-down carcass of a building from our little town's heyday. I go in last and while pulling myself through, I cut my hand on the broken glass. Blood is dripping everywhere. Justin and My cruelly laugh at me. I just wrap my sleeve around it and keep going.
The inside of the Surf Hotel is awesome - this will not be the last time we walk the crumbling, abandoned halls and stairways of this hallowed, creepy structure. Five stories high, this was once the most beautiful building in town, until the tidal wave of 1964 came and wiped out half of downtown Crescent City, leaving a high-water mark above the second story of the Surf. After that, it kind of went to shit and closed a few years later.
Anyway, we start making our way to the upper levels, determined to make our Halloween drop onto the clean, nearly abandoned streets below.
Suddenly - *crash!* - we hear some scrambling noises from the floor above us. "Holy shit!", Justin whispers loudly, " there's a fucking bum in here!"
We can hear him muttering as he ambles along above us, getting closer to the staircase a few feet in front of us. My Do drops his flashlight. I drop the pumpkin I was carrying. We all scurry into the nearest doorway we can find - unfortunately, it's on the third floor and a streetlight is literally right outside the window, streaming bright light on us. We picked the brightest room in the whole building to hide in.
Justin and My pick the closet, leaving me to scramble into the bathroom. Just my luck, the old bathroom is full of broken tile and rubbish, so with every step I take, I make a loud, crunching sound.
The bum is growing closer now-we can hear him making his way down the hallway, just outside of where we are.
"damn kids...what do you think this is-some kinda party...*grunt*", the bum is drunkenly muttering obscenities and coughing as he ambles on down the hallway.
I'm clutching a cheap pocket knife, blood dripping off of my hand, trying not to make any noise as he passes. Finally, we hear him back up on the floor above our heads.
Quick as three little klepto kids stealing a Playboy from a 7-eleven, we scramble back out of the well-lit room, back down to the second floor and literally bail out the second story window and run our juvenile asses back home, not to return to the Surf for at least a couple of months.

Happy Halloween!

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