Years ago I sniffed the air at Shaw and Queen and exclaimed, "Rockets!" I floated on the distinctive waft until I arrived at a big desk inside the Ce De Candy factory.
"I'd like to buy some Rockets, please."
"Oh, we don't sell them here."
"But you make them, don't you?"
This was before rave children were born and after penny candy stores were dead. "Where can I buy Rockets, then?"
"I don't know," replied the lady. "You might have to wait until Halloween."
Halloween is coming. The candy factory is now a condoplex pumping out toxic pretension. I searched for Rockets at the Parkdale Price Chopper. There, amongst the tiny Crispy Crunches and mini-packs of popular tooth-rotters, I came up with a bag of genuine Rockets.
Only one bag, and I got it! Sure, someone (or something) got to it before I did and chewed a gaping hole in the plastic, but I bought it. I love Rockets. Halloween is another matter.
I recall my childhood foray into the streets one October 31. This was back before paranoid parents insisted on escorting their little pets everywhere. Apples were eagerly accepted in hopes of finding a razor blade.
Halloween had the potential to be fun. I'm sure it was -- for some. All I remember getting is a few bags of chips and more than one greasy, unsuccessful attempt at a homemade popcorn ball. Then I knocked on a door where the homeowner yelled in a manner not at all prankish, "Look at the size of you! You should be ashamed of yourself -- Halloween is for children!" Then he slammed the door.
I was eight years old. And 6 feet tall. My life went downhill from there.
Decades of everyday style-bashing comments like "Nice pants! You die!" hurled from speeding cars full of yahoos have ruined the thrill of dressing up. Too many of the kiddies who go door-to-door on Halloween these days are demanding little brats who are too lazy and unimaginative to even bother with a costume.
Just for them I'm planning a trip to the slaughterhouse to pick up a consignment of week-old pigs' eyeballs.
Over on Church Street, Bitch Diva has been instructed to clean up the act for the homo-geneous family blandoids dulling down the street.
Day of the Dead follows All Hallows Eve and is, perhaps, more suited to this fun-killing town.
I would celebrate with my pal who rests in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, but the gates are locked at night. My mother's people, who I'm sure would appreciate a drink, are even more inaccessible, lying as they do in a grave between the runways at Pearson airport.
I'd be having a Day of the Dead party chez moi, but the landlord lives downstairs. I must say the last one was a success. Three fiddlers in the kitchen and a guest who enjoyed herself so much she went home and left her parents here for a week.
They were no trouble as long as I was careful not to tip their urn.