A Thin Line

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October 2010 - Posts

Halloween is the coolest holiday of all time

This weekend we celebrate Halloween. Halloween has been a favorite holiday since, well, forever. It goes way beyond the costumes, the candy and the severed limbs. 

People start weeks, sometimes months ahead of time, shopping for costumes, and props and decorations for their homes. Those who are crazy enough to set up haunted houses do their thing year 'round.

You may wonder what the appeal is. Why is it that people love Halloween so much? Here are the reasons we came up with that one should embrace the "spirit" of Halloween…

First of all…duh! Free candy! Who doesn't love candy? Even if you don't like the holiday, you gotta love the idea of people giving you free candy. People love free food.

Horror movies. Who doesn't love a good scare? This is the one time of the year that it's entirely acceptable for grown folks to sit around a television watching people get slaughtered. The same can be said of ghost stories. Hearing or telling a good spine-tingler just makes the holiday complete.

Creative costumes. It's such fun to get creative and come up with a costume no one else would come up with. Once a year, you get to dress up as someone you're not and, if you do it right, scare the dickens out of other people.

The coolest decorations ever. Christmas gets a lot of play when it comes to decorations. Everyone loves twinkly lights, cute little elves cavorting in the snow, snow globes and inflatable Santas. But nothing beats a house decked out for Halloween. Period. Go ahead. Compare them…we'll wait…

The bottom line is this: for one night a year, you get to dress up in a cool costume, eat a boat-load of candy and scare other people…and be scared yourself. It's awesome!

And if none of that floats your boat…there's the "trick" part of trick or treating… Toilet paper and eggs, anyone…?

Posted: Oct 29 2010, 02:29 PM by Red On The Head | with no comments
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Look out for the zombies – coming to a campus near you

There's a somewhat new craze that has infested college campuses all over the country, and has now made its way into mainstream America – Humans vs. Zombies. 

The game is pretty basic: it's an immersive game of tag based on the traditional zombies-are-after-the-humans kind of narrative. All players, except for the original zombie, begin the game as humans. The zombie feeds on humans, one by one, converting them to zombies, who in turn feed, and on it goes. A zombie must make a "kill" every 48 hours or starve to death. The kill is defined as tagging the victim.

What are the humans doing while the zombies are on the hunt? Mostly, they are holder up in dorm rooms or the library, or are aiming for zombies with their Nerf guns – which stuns the zombies for 15 minutes, or with balled-up sock grenades. 

The game is played all over campus for 24 hours a day, for days at a time, even going for weeks in some cases. It's over when all of the humans have perished or all of the zombies have starved.

The game first begin in 2005 at Groucher, with about 70 students. Since then, the number of players has climbed into the hundreds, and it's become one of the most popular campus activities, even though it's not an official student activity.

The game even has its own Web site www.humansvszombies.org, where the quote, "The antidote for the ailments of a generation" appears. Really? This is supposed to help?

We suppose it does explain some bad grades. But an antidote? Hardly.

The game has had its critics, particularly around the time of the shootings at West Virginia Tech. Many thought it was in poor taste. But it has continued on, and has grown. There are people eating people all over the world now.

We decided to check out the rules of the game and how to organize a game, and found one section particularly interesting…"what you can get away with at your school." The section is mainly just advice on making sure organizers work with the schools, and go through the proper channels to make sure no one gets hurt…or arrested.

All in all, we'd say that although the game is certainly questionable, it really is just a good, old-fashioned game of tag, played by kids who refuse to grow up. And we find no fault in that. It seems to relieve stress and give students a fun, drug-free, alcohol-free activity that brings the entire campus together. 

So…Nerf guns blazing, we're up for the next game. Look out zombies. We're gunning for you.

Posted: Oct 22 2010, 02:33 PM by Red On The Head | with no comments
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Low-cut and thigh-high...it just doesn't say 'Trick or Treat'

We spent some time recently looking through Halloween costumes. There was a little something for everyone, of every age and in every size.

But we noticed something that has us a little concerned. When did it become mandatory for women's Halloween costumes to be slutty? Oh, we've noticed the trend before. It's been building for years. But this year, it just seems to have reached a fevered pitch.

Now, don't get us wrong. We are not prudes. But we must ruminate on this puzzling turn that Halloween has taken. It is an accepted fact that today's woman is more in touch with her inner sex kitten, and most women feel free to express themselves however they choose. 

But when did it become acceptable to tart up so many characters that have no association with sexuality?

Take for example, the Tin Man. Yep. Dorothy's favorite metallic dude. We all can picture the iconic costume. But a tarty one? And this one wasn't even for men. This outfit was a tiny tin tube, allowing for maximum exposure of feminine flesh. Too weird for us.

We also saw bumblebee costumes, cowgirls, fairies, witches, nurses, maids…you name it. And they were all quite revealing. We even saw a Raggedy Ann costume that would make Raggedy Andy feel quite uncomfortable.

We suppose it's good that women are so in touch with their sexuality that they feel comfortable parading around in next to nothing on Halloween night. But are we seriously supposed to believe that this show of flesh is a sign that we are free? Nope. We believe it's proof that we remain trapped in limited definitions of what it means to be a woman. What if we weren't attracting attention from the male of the species? What if we expressed ourselves in non-sexual ways? What if?

We'll tell you what if. We'd be having an amazing time. How do we know this? Because that is exactly what  we have been doing for years. No revealing costumes. We have been working to please ourselves with our Halloween costume choices, and not catch the wandering eye of the nearest man. And the results are just simply marvelous.

You see,  it was quite freeing to not worry about that. The victory was internal. We didn't have to make anyone think we were hot in order to feel valuable or special or deserving. 

And before you think this is simply something adult women have to deal with, please take a gander at the costumes for the kiddie set. The sexualization of Halloween costumes has extended itself down into the girl category, with elementary-age girls feeling pressured to be sexy on Halloween. There are plenty of costumes for young girls featuring miniskirts, leather high heel boots, low cut corsets and belly-baring shirts.

When we look back on the Halloweens of our childhood, we remember dressing up in costumes for fun. Our imaginations were allowed to run wild for that one night. We could be anything we could dream up. And we were.

What we weren't was slutty. 

How nice it is to come full circle and get to approach this whole issue again with the freedom of a child, handing this sexist culture back its idea of costuming with a firm, "No way."

Now hand us the wart glue and stand back…

Posted: Oct 15 2010, 03:36 PM by Red On The Head | with no comments
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And you thought kids' costumes had to be 'cute'
In keeping with the "specialness" of last week's post, this week we decided to find the most unusual children's Halloween costumes. We succeeded. We could write about these costumes for days. However, as the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.

But tell that to the poor kid with the alien coming out of his chest. He'll need therapy at least until his mid-thirties. 

Posted: Oct 08 2010, 01:04 PM by Red On The Head | with 1 comment(s)
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When you're shopping for Halloween candy, think 'gross'

Today marks the countdown to every kid's favorite holiday…Halloween.

Why is it their favorite? Well..duh! Costumes, tomfoolery, games, free candy…a night to run around in a full-on sugar rush….what kid wouldn't love that?

Adults on cul de sacs everywhere are now beginning to roam the candy aisles in their favorite stores, in search of the candy that no one else on their street will have – that one treat that will make their home the coolest place to be on Oct. 31.

If you want to get to the heart of a child and give him a treat he'll never forget, we have only one word for you – gross. Yep. The grosser the candy the better. If you truly want your house to be the one that kids in your neighborhood just can't pass up, you'll need to have the grossest candy on the block. Here's some of the ones we wouldn't be able to pass up…

• Candy Blood Bags: Everyone has gone vampire crazy in the past year or two, and what kid wouldn't love a bag of cherry-flavored blood? The bag looks like a real blood bag you'd see in a hospital, and the syrup really looks like blood. You can also get Zombie Blood Bags, which feature green blood, of course.  Awesome!

• Ear Wax: How about a giant ear that comes with a giant cotton swab for scooping out what really looks like ear wax, but is really fruity-flavored gel? At least, that's what the packaging says it is.

• Zit Poppers: Squeeze these soft, sticky zits and a candy ooze comes squirting out. As an adult, you could use this as part of your teenager costume, so it serves a dual purpose.

• Gummy Boo Boos: Giant adhesive bandages with scabs attached. Kids can eat their scabs. Enough said.

• Lick Your Wounds Candy Scabs: Another take on the whole boo boo thing. This one is a really Band-Aid that you can stick somewhere. But on the pad is a scab-shaped candy you can peel away the Band-Aid and lick. We recommend you stick this one somewhere you can reach with your tongue.

• Hose Nose: This is our personal favorite. This thing is a giant nose that comes with straps that attach around your ears to hold it in place on your face. Out of the nostrils oozes some, well, snot. The nose is perfectly positioned so that you can have the candy gel drip directly into your mouth. 

• Sour Flush: This little dandy is a miniature plastic toilet, filled with powdered sugar candy, which you can dip your sucker, shaped like a plunger, into and enjoy. 

• Toe Jam: This is apply flavored cotton candy that literally looks like it could have been scraped from between some truly disgusting toes. Ick.

• Zombie Cupcakes: These technically aren't candy, but cupcakes with candy brains and blood on top. It's a nice effect, and a total do-it-yourself project.

• Sour Candy Urine Samples: Uncap the top and all you'll find is a lemonade-like substance, but it gives a the experience a whole new twist.

• White Chocolate Maggots: Maggots themselves are disgusting, but white chocolate maggots are "tastier than the average maggot"…according to the packaging.

• Box of Boogers: These supposedly are tangy little boogers that look and feel real, and are, pardon the pun, 'snot your regular gummy product.

• Bloody Eyeball Gumballs: These gumballs really look like our eyeballs look during allergy season, but contain a blood-red syrup that's both tasty and disgusting.

• Chocolate Doo Drops: A whole new side of those famous chocolate drops, realistically shaped. Enough said.

We have a feeling that with candies like this on the market, peeled grapes in a bowl – masquerading as eyeballs – just aren't going to scare the kiddos this year. 

Posted: Oct 01 2010, 12:36 PM by Red On The Head | with no comments
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