[For the full story please refer to my previous posts prior to reading this]
Cars 1: Possums 0
Even though Halloween is still more than 3 weeks away, my neighborhood has gone ALL OUT in the decorations department and I'm just as guilty as any of them.
Yesterday I braved some serious gusts of wind and a nasty damp drizzle to finally get the rest of our Halloween crap out of the basement and into the light of day. So now skeletons are dangling from tree limbs, a petite graveyard (complete with a giant rubber rat) dominates the front yard and numerous ghosts hang from the shutters. Not too bad.
My wife took the kids to see some new cartoon movie so I was on my own for the evening. Just me and the dog.
I microwaved a pizza, tossed down a couple of Miller Lights and caught up on some recorded shows. The dog started whining at around 8pm for her nightly constitutional. Or the "shit walk" as I call it.
This time of year it's not so bad. All the Halloween decorations are out in full-force with each neighbor trying to out do each other. Plenty of good stuff to see.
Man, some folks have got way too much time (and $$$) on their hands!
One house was completely covered with that fake spider silk and no less than nine giant arachnids clung to the exterior. Another neighbor had an inflatable tombstone, at least eighteen feet tall, towering in the front yard.
Of course, Joe MacGregor had nothing going on in his yard. He was the kind of guy who turned off the lights every Halloween and refused to answer the door when the ghosts and goblins came by. A real pillar of the community. As I walked past his house I noticed the front door was wide open and a gust of wind had blown the screen door right off its hinges. Being the good neighbor I am, and perhaps, feeling a little guilty about the injury he got yesterday while disposing of the "possum pancake", I walked across the yard to shut the open door. My dog, Juno, refused to get anywhere close and pulled hard against the leash. A couple of seconds later I figured out why. The odor wafting out of the modest home was absolutely vomit-inducing! Stale cigarettes, rotting food, raw sewage and other less discernible aromas assaulted me. I held my breath and quickly slammed the door closed.
Maybe Joe should spend a little more time cleaning the inside of his house instead of the landscaping!
A few blocks away an army of life-sized skeletons was stationed around another home, guarding it like a phalanx of soldiers. Next door an animatronic Freddy Krueger leered from inside a bay window and scratched the window with plastic knife blades.
Each year it seems somebody has to go one step too far. And this year was no exception.
Juno and I were headed home when I heard the screams.
I took off running with the dog in tow. As I turned the corner, I stopped short and cursed under my breath.
The Nelson's house was decked out like nothing I'd ever seen before.
Orange and yellow spotlights illuminated the yard. At least a dozen tombstones dotted the front yard. A fog machine was going full blast, spilling a thick grey cloud across the entire plot. Giant bats and spiders dangled from every tree branch and full-size statues of ghosts and ghouls glowered at onlookers. Blood-chilling screams and moans, rattling chains and eerie howls pulsed out forth from expensive outdoor speakers. The whole setup had to have cost at least a couple of grand, probably more.
But the masterpiece of Halloween decorations writhed and struggled on the driveway. A still figure lay prone on the blacktop and crouched over it was a fully articulated, animatronic zombie, tearing its hapless victim to pieces. I watched as one hand dug greedily into the corpse and pulled away sticky pink tendrils of tissue and shoved the morsel into its mouth. A spreading pool of black liquid covered the spot and slowly crept towards the street like a dark tide. Tom Nelson was definitely winning the decoration contest this year. The zombie robot plunged its entire face into the abdominal cavity and started chewing.
I was starting to get a little pissed off. I'm just glad I didn't take the kids on the walk with me. This was just over the top. But then I started to laugh.
Tom Nelson had a helluva good sense of humor.
The headlights of a passing car illuminated the scene long enough to make out more details. The "victim" was wearing one of those realistic self-mold masks and I could clearly see Tom's own face on the decoration, mouth open in a frozen scream of agony and eyes glazed over. And the "zombie" was clad in the infamous red flannel pajama bottoms of my own neighbor, Joe MacGregor! The only thing missing were his equally notorious slippers. The zombie sniffed the air and turned its head towards me. The face was a ruined parody of my neighbor, Joe. An eyeball dangled by the optic nerve and was stuck to a grey-fleshed cheek. His tufts of white hair were streaked with blood and chunky bits of meat, probably hamburger or something. A low moan issued from animatronic decoration before it turned back to the simulacrum of Tom Nelson and dove in for sloppy seconds.
I don't know how anybody could possibly beat Nelson for best decorations this year!
Juno started straining at her leash and her entire back was covered in hackles of raised black fur. She whined piteously and wanted nothing more than to go home. Right. Now.
I chuckled once more and headed back. Trish and the kids were still gone so I figured I'd kill a half hour by writing this down before I forgot all about it.
Geez, like a dozen cop cars just screamed by with full sirens and lights!
I hope Mabel's kitchen didn't catch fire again. She's a great lady, but when you're over ninety-five years old, you sometimes forget about the stew you're making and take a nap instead.
God, I love the suburbs...
BE SURE TO CHECK OUT THE REST OF THE "ZOMBIE SQUAD'S" WORK!