Giving good Halloween face
It was fall 1986 and I had constructed what I thought was the greatest Halloween costume the world had ever seen. I was a garbage can. Made from a giant, leftover fridge box, it completely enveloped me in green, spray-painted cardboard, with only two holes out the side for my candy-grabbing arms and a bigger one up top for my filthy noggin, which was covered in garbage I Krazy Glued onto a headpiece.
It was disgusting and divine. Carefully placed chocolate-bar wrappers, plastic bags and banana peels hung around me like rotten Christmas decorations on a decaying tree. I strutted around so proud to be completely disguised and original and gross.
Later that night I met a few challenges. Walking was hard; running was impossible. In fact, any sudden movements were not happening. Keeping up with my trick-or-treating crew was tough, but I wobbled along gladly — it was worth it.
Then I tried taking a shortcut through the bush and up a hill to beat my friends to the next doorstep. I slipped and fell backward and was sent rolling back down the hill into the dark woods. Thanks to the confines of my garbage-can guise, I couldn’t get up. All I could do was lie in the soft underbrush of the forest and call for help. Quiet at first, then louder, until I was screaming. Eventually, my friends heard me and helped me up so I could return to the candy trail.
Despite the slight interruption, it was a terrific night — the town’s new priest was giving out full chocolate bars that year — and though it had a lot to do with simply being kids, it was also because we all just went with the flow. There was no schedule or map of houses to hit up. Only a ridiculous night with friends and sugar.
That’s what I miss most about Halloween. Childish simplicity. Today, as a Halloween-loving adult, my costumes are, sadly, a lot less intricate, and the big night — or weekend before it — has reached New Year’s Eve heights of party pressure.
That’s why we thought it would be a good idea to reach out to our city’s DJs, promoters and general party people to see what trouble they are getting into during this intense season of dress-up. Look into our Halloween story and you’ll find a guide to every kind of party in every neighbourhood.
As good as a lot of the parties will be, I plan to dress up in some sort of extreme animal-print getup that’s easy to move in and go with the flow. No map, just a giant bowl of Rockets, some friends and the night. Happy Halloween, everybody! — Phil Villeneuve