In the Fall of 1987 I was an absolute little shit. A unconsoling, blubbering, ashole-ish child that pleaded night and day to his hard-working father who was merely trying to keep the family fed and sheltered for an inevitable “beneath the bed” toy. From the beginning of September to the second week of October, Dad held out until the four millionth “gimme gimme gimme, I need I need” was too much and he caved. He caved over a twenty-dollar Freddy Kruger glove. An item that was worth not even two dollars but that was no matter. In my mind this glove needed to be worn by me during all hours of the day and not just Halloween night.
You see, I never planned an entire Fred Krueger costume for that Halloween. All I wanted was the glove. And where can one find that particular costume accessory? Why Eddie’s Trick And Costume Shop in Marietta Georgia of course, the mecca of Halloween. Recently I came back to see if this home of the macabre was still operating as I remembered it, some twenty-four years ago.
The center to the city of Marietta is an unclosed square made up of 5 parts antique shops, 2 parts restaurants, and a dash of nostalgic glory that is Eddie’s Trick Shop. Today, of course, it has lost a bit of its luster due to the fact that half the store is dedicated to ballerina and dance apparel but the magic of the trick shop is still a focal point.
I know, I know…the picture is blurry. And it kills me that the most important shot of the post is screwed up but it’s all I got. So let’s pretend and just take my word for it, there is amazing stuff all over. Okay? We cool?
There are a few glass cases around Eddie’s that hold all sorts of wonder from severed limbs to novelty dollars with Obama’s face on them to fake dog shit to fake puke. Hell, they even had…
Yup, liquid ASS. “The worst smell since the famous stink bomb” and only $5.95! The part, however, that was the real seller was the promise that there are thousands of uses. Thousands, eh? Why do I really want to see the Shamwow/Slap Chop guy pitch this?
Of course we had to take a look at the 2011 Halloween mask aisle that hasn’t really ever changed since the 1970’s and I love that oh so much. Sure, the masks look a bit more realistic but it is comforting to know that kids can still gaze at the display just as they did in ’78. Perhaps less risk of lead paint inhalation and sudden combustion. There were a lot more people who smoked back then, you know?
The glove/hands of a costume seem to be a bit more eccentric than I remember. They are 8 times the size of the mask so me being the bum I am, I have to ask, how does one hold a beer? This trivial dilemma is lost on a 12-year-old I know but seriously, that is something to take into account. Moving on.
Another big innovation to the Halloween craft of dress-up is the anatomical or medically accurate, I should say, scars and wounds that today’s kids can inflict on themselves. “Slashed Trachea” is one of those kits I can’t recall. Let’s see…I had fake blood, vampire teeth, witch warts and maybe pale zombie completion but a slashed trachea? I wonder if they have ocular contusion kit? I guess that would be just a black eye. I’ll stick with the masks.
Some people find beauty in a sunset. Some in the innocent wonder of a child’s eyes. Some people find it in a bond between people who are in love. Me? I find it in a plastic skeleton rock band. And that is why I want to be your president for the United States of America. If this was in my house it would be in the kitchen.
I will leave you with the ol’ cliché’ rabbit in the hat trick. Sure Eddie’s Trick Shop lost a few steps over the years and I really don’t know if that is the shop or me? Perhaps Eddie has not changed but seeing this as a man rather than a boy makes it a tad less wondrous. I would imagine that to be true but I also think Halloween was a bigger deal back in the eighties. It’s hard to tell the difference between our adult mind and the memories as a child. I think that is why I always come back to these places. I never want those to fade.
Wait a minute….I wonder. They couldn’t possibly still carry it could they?
Great Nell Carter’s Ghost they do!!!!
And it is still a piece of shit.
Please tell me you bought Liquid Ass.
Seriously. Don’t let me down on this.
Unfortunately I needed a thousand and one uses.
I can think of that many without even considering the potential around the workplace. You screwed this one up, man.
I know. I know. But you can order it at liquidass.com
Great story! Happy Halloween.
Thanks! Happy Halloween to you as well!
I love that you were able to isolate your blubbering-self time to just one season of one year– I’m pretty sure mine lasted for years…though mine manifested itself by begging for Barbie dolls rather than Freddy Krueger hands. I think you picked the right one to like.
Oh I had my many moments too. I one time went through a “had to have” phase that involved yo-yos. I’m not sure why.
One of the things that gives me hope and keeps me going in this life is that places like this still exist. I love that someone somewhere is devoting time, money, floorspace, and employee dental plans to keeping the spirit alive. This post reminds me of all those Halloweens as a kid when I’d get jazzed about the mask display at Spencer’s every year.
Yeah, that crappy plastic Freddy glove pops up every year, and would almost look tempting if it weren’t for the fact that the blades are all bendy. A few years ago, my cousin bought one off E-Bay that is almost an exact replica to one of the ones in the movie. Some private dealer built it himself and it’s the real deal, made out of metal, fabric and real blades. I try it on every now and then when I go over there. He shelled out $200 for it, and I’m tempted to take that plunge myself. I can’t afford it, really, but man am I tempted. Freddy definitely makes my short list things I’ve wanted to go as for Halloween. I wouldn’t want to do it though, unless I could go all the way with it — metal glove, prosthetic makeup, the whole bit.
Oh my gosh! Really? The real thing? Um…$200 might just be worth that.
“I would imagine that to be true but I also think Halloween was a bigger deal back in the eighties.”
I believe this to be true also. Again, it’s hard to say (with any certainty) and a lot of it may be nostalgia but Halloween seemed perfect as a kid, the weather, the shows on TV when we got back home from trick or treats, etc. It seemed like there were a lot more kids out and a lot more houses with people passing out candy. I’ve taken my niece and (last year for the first time) my son to my old childhood neighborhood and while it’s still one of my favorite couple hours of the year it’s definitely not exactly like I remembered it. It doesn’t seem like the area has that “spirit” or energy or whatever I remember.
“I think that is why I always come back to these places. I never want those to fade.”
Totally me. I routinely visit my most hollowed childhood spots although in recent years several of the heavy-hitters have been leveled or closed (i.e. Van Buren Elementary, Johnny’s Toys, etc.)
I hear you brother. Even though they lose their luster it is still important to go back to the roots. You do it well, my friend.
what a great looking shop
It really is and it’s a piece of my childhood. I am pretty lucky to be able to visit it, now and again.
Wow. I used to go there all the time as a kid. My buddy and I would skip school on Halloween day and go there and I even took my wife there on our 1st date while on the square. Glad they are still open and can’t wait to take my son there this Halloween season. I agree with ya on Halloween not being the same as in the 80’s. Even the T.V. programming is different. Another thing that bothers me these days is the early Trick or Treat days. Halloween is the 31st not the 28th,29th,or 30th or what ever day is on the weekend before and convient for people to take the kids out. Awesome post.