Sunday, October 23, 2011

Weekly Trick-or-Treaters

It's just over a week before Halloween.  Last week's top five list was scary reads for youngsters, and since I'm all about spending Halloween participating in spooky activities with your kids, this week it's the top five family Halloween movies:

5. Coraline - The fact that I actually enjoyed the 3D in the theater a few years back when watching this goes to show it's a decent film.  The level of creepiness is not over the top for young viewers and enough to keep the adults interested.

4. Monster House - Darker in some ways than Coraline (the story behind how the house became a monster is a bit morbid when you really think about it) and simultaneously funnier in an irreverent sort of way to help take the edge off.  A good amount of jump-out-of-your-seat moments as well.  Always a plus.

3. It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown - Sure, it's Halloween, but who needs to be scared all the time.  Sometimes some good old fashioned Peanuts jokes are just the thing for a dark, cool, Autumn night.

2. Ghostbusters - Good scares and humor and a great way to keep the whole family interested.  So, just cover your little one's ears when Dr. Venkman says, "Yes, it's true.  This man has no d---."

1. The Nightmare Before Christmas - Tim Burton's classic is probably the best spooky family film of all time.  It has scary monsters, singing, humor, romance and, best of all, it's all clay-mation.

This week's cool-ass thing you will never own is Frankenstein's monster.  Of course it would be called (Your last name here)'s monster, but you get the point.  Regardless of what's called, morgue and cemetery security is much better these days, so getting your hands on a usable stiff, not to mention fresh organs when they are in such high demand seems unlikely.

This week's sign you are a nerd is that your Halloween costume requires batteries.  It doesn't matter whether it's a lightsaber, a repulsor reactor attached to your chest, a phaser with distinct sound effects for stun and kill or the accents on your Tron suit.  The fact that you constructed something that requires you to conceal a battery pack somewhere about your body makes you a geek.  Congratulations.

This week's nemesis is fake spider webs.  The stretchable cottony decorations are a real pain in the ass to work with, especially outdoors.  Good luck keeping them in place in even a mild wind or keeping them from getting caught on every piece of shrubbery within a block radius.  But once they are finally up, they sure make the place look good and scary.  That's why I'll keep going back and that's exactly what makes them so diabolical.

This week's lesson learned is to account for wind direction prior to climbing a ladder to hang decorations on your house.  Once you're up there trying to spread that sheet, giant grim reaper or aforementioned fake spider webs and have them blowing back over your face, you'll see what I mean.

This week's equation is:

The number of trick-or-treater you can expect at your home this year (T) can be projected by taking the population density near your home (in persons per square mile, p) and dividing it by the distance in miles you are from the nearest major thoroughfare (d) then mulitoplying that product by the product of the percentage of your local population that consists of children under the age of thirteen (c) multiplied by the quality of candy being passed out on a 1-10 scale (c) divided by the scariness of your Halloween decorations on a 1-10 scale (s) with 10 being so scary that only the bravest of children will dare set foot on your porch, to the power of whether or not a family member will remain home to pass out candy, 1 if no, 2 if yes (f).

Finally, this week's Star Wars quote is: "A death mark's not an easy thing to live with."

Thanks for reading.  Have a spooky week.

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