Brenda’s Unfortunate Record #50


So many funny, unfortunate things have happened of late only I can’t publicly write about them without inappropriately naming and shaming. Best stay schtum and, and?? Erm. I’ve been feeling shit. First it was the lurgy. I thought I had it bad, properly bed-ridden for three days but judging from the state of many of my pals, I got off lightly. One of them’s been out for for over a week. Count them lucky stars, right?

Out of lurgy came stress, out of stress came relief, then a bit of fun and then…. bam bam bam slid flat on my arse, them soggy autumn leaves, help! the days are shrinking and oh my god here comes that old standard, ‘D-d-d-d-d’. The brutal, inexplicable gloom which I try my damnedest to run from (literally 15kms every two days), has suddenly got me cornered. I’m doing my best to laugh it off ‘Ack you silly human condition!’ cause really that’s what it is. I mean we all have our moments, right? At least anyone with half a brain-cell (cue big grin). But yeah we’re a wee bit down in the dumps. Not overly concerned as I know it’ll pass and it probably has a lot to do hormones, diminished vitamin D intake etc etc but it’s kinda disabling, which is pretty annoying. Salt to the slug type shit, ye know?

Now what to do? Well ……. tonight we’ll prematurely don the garb, mask our sorrows with make-up & gore and go dance the night away in a dark & sweaty box. I haven’t decided what I’m gonna wear yet but I do like Halloween. And as much as I think it’s a shame it’s popularity seems to be growing at the expense of your way weirder, macabre celebration of Guy Fox Day, I enjoy seeing a wider selection of pumpkins in my local shops. Not that I've ever bought them before the 31st though, by which time pickings are slim.

We get more and more kids at the door round here. A couple years ago I arrived back from Paris on the afternoon of the 31st. It was unseasonably warm, like during the day had been 25 degrees warm (do you remember? Really odd.). No one else was in and I rushed out to buy gourd & sweets in preparation for nightfall. A lifetime of practice means I’m quick to carve – I don’t map it out, go freestyle with the knife, opting for curled lines and surreal features over your standard Jack-of-all-lanterns-look. A couple of masterpieces emerge, I get them lit and fill the bowl with e-numbers & sugar just as the first small fist hits the door. All evening I’m sat there on my own, watching telly in between knocks, and I start feeling a bit creepy. There is something strange about a grown woman luring children to her stoop with glowing pumpkin*, looking forward to dishing out junk-food. The more I think about it, the more I’m laughing, picturing myself as this weird, barren spinster.

By around 9 o clock the visits have petered out. I’m just about to extinguish the candles when one final pair turn up. They’re teenagers but I’m in no place to judge. I totally milked it for as long as I could when I was a kid (free candy – who could blame em). As I’m shutting the door I overhear, ’Oh my god did you see her t-shirt’ and then an eruption of laughter. I look down and realise I’ve been wearing my Vivian Westwood cowboys. Oops. Wonder what all the parents thought. Nothing like a couple of willies to rattle them bones.

*Random gourd fact : They’re probably one of of the earliest domesticated types of plants. We were already farming them around 13,000 BC. Dunno about you, but such nuggets of info always help me beat the blues. Puts shit in perspective and all.

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