Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Decline of the West - Holiday Edition

I shopped at Wal-Mart this morning and walked past the Halloween costumes and decorations. A large bin of devilish walking sticks was placed in the main aisle. Right before I snapped the photo above, a cute little girl of kindergarten age snatched one the red pitchforks and happily dashed back to her father.

I have a premonition about how tonight will unfold. Things have changed from my era when young girls dressed up as cowgirls or princesses or butterflies or ballerinas. Let's raise the curtain on a little scenario.


(Dusk. The cluttered interior of the Wagman townhouse. The doorbell rings. Kindly old Mr. Wagman rises stiffly from the couch, takes a bowl of miniature Snickers bars in hand, and goes to the front door. The door opens to reveal two little girls in costume. The first girl appears to be wearing a bathing suit over a pink warm-up outfit. The other, a timid girl who remains behind her friend, is dressed in a black plastic gown and is carrying a red pitchfork.

Wagman: "Happy Halloween. (drops a few Snickers in the first girl's bag) And what are you, my dear? An Arabian princess?"

First Girl: (giggles) Wrong. I'm a rock-and-roll skank."

Wagman: (raises eyebrows) "Oh my." (He motions for the shy girl to come forward and drops Snickers in her bag.) "And what are you, miss?" (The timid girl smiles and then retreats behind her little friend.)

First Girl: "She's the bride of Satan, sir."

Wagman: "I see. Well, have a good evening, ladies. Be careful of the ice."


On a related note, yesterday at work I received a flyer for my company's annual December party.

When I first joined the company, the party was called the Christmas Party. This name was later deemed too religious and, worse yet, blatantly Christian. The name was changed to Holiday Party. But in some quarters this new name was still considered too suggestive of religious sentiments; and after several years, corporate headquarters renamed the party the End of Year Employee Recognition Event. What name could be more empty of holiday cheer? I will tell you what name. Yesterday's flyer announced that this year's party will be called Casino Night. Some sort of gambling casino (suitably sanitized by using tokens in place of cash, I presume) will be set up next to the dining hall at the Marriott for the after-dinner amusement of employees and their significant others.

By simple trend extrapolation, I predict that next year the company will host Prostitution Night. All in good fun and suitably sanitized, of course.