How I Ruined A Halloween Play

There are certain moments in our life that define us. Whether it is an act from another person or an event which forces us to rise or fall to an occasion, there is no doubt these moments shape the way we are, how we view the world and how the world views us. A particular defining moment happened to me way back on an October evening in the year 1985. I was in the first grade and even though most of that year is a clouded-jumbled mess, I remember this evening vividly clear. The annual Mt. Bethel Halloween Play.

From kindergarten to fifth grade, every class participated in this play which took place at 7:30pm, some weekday evening in October. The whole cafeteria/auditorium was decorated to the nines with hay bales, overstuffed scarecrows, pumpkins and what seemed like hundreds of the iconic Beistle Halloween decorations. It was absolute heaven and for the couple of weeks leading up to this performance, we got to eat square pizza at lunch in a literal Halloween wonderland proving yet again, the 1980’s was the decade to be six.

Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 11.20.40 PM

As the play drew closer, each classroom practiced their song or skit or whatever during music class. We had one music teacher who was responsible for the whole Halloween play and looking back, that would be like training twenty dogs to bark “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” while at the same time worrying about one of them shitting. I have a lot of respect for the patience and organization of that woman.

The younger kids had a simple song to learn while the third grade and above incorporated instruments like bells, a piano and the dreaded recorder. Goddamn, I hated the recorder. No kid in the history of anywhere was decent at the recorder. And when you have thirty-five kids blindly blowing in those things, it’s like listening to Celine Dion seven octaves higher and backwards  with her hand in a blender.

Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 11.16.14 PM

Lucky for me at that time, I was only in the first grade. Our class had just one song to perform for the night but this wasn’t just an ordinary Halloween tune about spooks or lame pumpkins. No sir, this had a hidden surprise at the end and to a first grader, little surprises where never taken lightly. In fact, it captivated the minds of me and my little group of buddies.

The song is “Stirring Our Brew” and to my surprise, it’s still a relevant children’s song. The melancholy tune has three parts which goes:

Stirring and stirring and stirring my brew

wooo wooo

Stirring and stirring and stirring my brew

Tip-Toe Tip-Toe….

This all builds to a climactic end when we slowly turn backwards then spring out screaming “BOO!”. That was the part we could not wait for. In fact, my cohorts and I wanted to secretly take it a step further with arm motions and an improvised “BOO”. It was the one chance we had to shine and mediocrity would just not do. In our little minds we absolutely thought this would put terror in the hearts of our peers and parents.

If you are curios how the song goes, click here. This kid does it justice.

The day finally arrived for the Halloween Play. We all wore the costumes to school that we would wear that night. I guess a dress rehearsal of some sort. It’s an unwritten rule that no teacher ever wants to put on a play and leave a kid to his or her creative accord without giving a nod of approval first. Once the lights go down, their butts are in the kids hands.

Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 11.23.17 PM

I was a hobo. See, if I didn’t have an idea of what I wanted to be or the folks wouldn’t buy me a $40 oversized latex mask, I went as a hobo. It was part laziness, part an opportunity for my Mom to put blush on my cheeks and nose. Later in life I learned she dressed me as an alcoholic, homeless man with blown out capillaries on his face but back then, I was closer to a clown than a guy who cleans windshields with newspapers. I think there were at least five hobos that year.

Another standout memory from those autumn plays was the fact we were at school during the nighttime. That was almost taboo to me. It was crazy to see my friends in a school setting past 2:15. The windows that were always so bright were now darkened by night and in some weird way I felt this was like seeing your teacher in her bathrobe. The school felt vulnerable and there was black and white difference with everything. As if there was an absolute difference between my desk during the day and at night. Is any of this making any sense? It’s okay to say no.

Back to the play. We all gathered in the hall outside the auditorium/cafeteria as the school principal, Dr. Butts (I know), thanked the parents for coming and praised the staff for putting together such a great play. My parents were in the packed crowd and I was excited to give them the scare of a lifetime. My buddies and I had agreed to take this climactic “BOO” to the next level. Some bragged how high they were going to jump, others mimicked their clawed fingers and snarled faces. I, myself, had a spin on the “BOO” adding extra parts. This was jump-in-place excitement.

The retarded kindergarteners were finally finished and Mrs. Hudson rose us from the Indian-style seating position and we were shuffled onto the three leveled stage. I remember vividly the enormous crowd with flashing cameras. It was a sight to be taken aback by but before I knew it we on the stage, me dead-center. The piano started up and with over exaggerating mouth movements, Mrs. Hudson began the chorus.

Stirring and stirring and stirring our brewwwww


The excitement was almost more than this kid could bear. Did they know what was coming? How scared will the audience be? Do you think someone will have an accident and have to throw out their underwear like Ms. Taffle made someone do the first day? The possibilities were endless and the cross of anticipation was getting to be too much to bear.

The distraction of my excitement would be my undoing, however. You see, while my mind was busy imagining shrieks of horror from the audience, I lost where we were in the song. I was a whole stanza ahead.

While the second part was halfway through and the kids were still stirring their brew, I slowly began to turn backwards, completely missing the fact the entire first grade was still looking ahead. I curled my fingers and raised my lip over my teeth, making the most intimidating six-year-old face a person could ever lay eyes on and waited to the last “Tip Toe Tip Toe..

What I thought to be that said last “Tip Toe” was the cue to spring around in the most violent fashion imaginable and yell at the top of my voice “BOOO!”. But I didn’t just yell “boo”, as you remember I improvised the startling “boo” sounding more like “BOOOYOOODLELOOPIELOOPIE WOOOBOOP!”.

The piano kept playing but the class stopped and every six-year-old pair of eyes were on me. Also, every audience member’s.

Mrs. Hudson made a face like this:

Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 10.55.37 PM

And in that single moment I was frozen in time, making monster fingers at an audience who were both confused and humored. I collapsed into my peers, completely mortified. They didn’t even finish the song!  We were walked off the stage to a lukewarm applause and laughing adults.

I remember that being the first time I experienced what it is like to truly blow it. Almost everything after that is a blur except when we were allowed to find our parents. I was greeted by my Dad who was over the top with how praise totting how great I was. It was the final straw and I busted out in tears. A six-year-old with running hobo makeup. Leave it to Dad to solve and cause all problems in a young kids life.

Life moved on, of course. The next week Jeremy Pricket pissed his pants when the fire department came to visit doing disorientation practice by spinning us around and having us crawl to the fire escape. That will always take the heat off of any faux pas. Beyond those two district memories, I don’t remember much of the first grade. I know I passed.

So, while this may have read a little depressing, it really wasn’t. Even today, Dad will still tease that timing is everything. We live through these funny moments that do shape us, even if they seem silly or trivial to others. It’s been thirty years since that funny night and I still remember it so vividly and worst yet, that annoying song, “Stirring Our Brew”.


FLTO: Brach’s Weird Flavored Candy Corn


Brach’s, you magnificent bastard, I READ YOUR BOOOOK! Sorry, that was from the movie Patton. But in all fairness, Brach’s Candy Corn is the Rommel to the autumn mixes. When you think mellowcreme® pumpkins, you think Brach’s. Shit, they’ve only been doing this for over a century. I think they deserve the crown.

Today (last night) I reviewed their breakaway from the mold. In every business there is a ceiling to a product’s life until it is copied and duplicated hundreds of times. That’s when companies alike diversify. Brach’s did just that this year with three new flavors that may woo a few of you candy corn haters over. And if your thinking the Starburst debacle from last year, you can rest easy. These are nothing like that.

S’mores, Caramel Macchiato and Apple Pie are the three newest members of the Candy Corn flavors to hit the shelves this season. I found these at the local Wallgreens for a little under $1.30. Now, I am not a huge candy corn lover outside of what it represents nostalgically, (the literal definition of “eye candy”) but these surprised me!

Check out my review and see what my jury of taste buds thought.


FLTO: Caramel Apple Filled Twizzlers

“…the Angel of the Lord came down from Heaven, and they were so afraid! The angel said, “fear not for I bring you tidings of great joy. For this Fall season, Caramel Apple filled twists from Twizzlers are here to stick to your molars.”

Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 4.37.43 PMI spotted these a few weeks ago in a Kmart. Yes, there was barely a squeak of Halloween in the one of three remaining Kmarts in the North Carolina state but my weird sixth sense indicated there was something to be found. Like when Vader smells old man Obi Wan’s Force-stink on the Death Star. I sensed something I had not sensed since…

There they were! It has been a few weeks so today I will bust these out and try them just for you. I don’t have high hopes for these because I have never been a huge caramel apple lover. When you say the words “caramel apple” I always imagine funny ways the elderly lose their dentures. Other than that, it is nothing more than fair food you want to throw out thirty seconds after you buy one. Maybe in Twizzler form they would be more appealing?

Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 4.36.36 PM


I will be honest, the first presentation of these are pretty eye appealing. It looks like a Peruvian pan flute if the Peruvian band covered Agent Orange tunes. The green of the licorice is a Gremlin-blood green while the caramel looks almost too perfect. The contrast is strikingly nice. But what about the taste?

Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 4.36.53 PM

Wow, that is exactly a caramel apple blend! I don’t know what else I was expecting but the caramel really over powers everything after a second or two. It’s not that the Twizzler’s apple flavoring sucks or anything, it’s really just me. I grew up on the precursor to adding “sour” before anything “apple” when it comes to candy. When an apple flavored anything comes along that doesn’t have a zing, I am left with an overall blasé feeling. Like I said, it’s not the fault of Twizzler, I just keep chasing that dragon.

This season Caramel Apple is a contender for what Pumpkin has become. It is showing up almost every where from seasonal ice cream, candy corn, and coffee, to now Twizzlers. I don’t hate it and to be honest, if it wants to make a run for it, I wish it well. Just stay out of my beer. Unless…cider beer? Hrm. I am going to have to think on that one.

So, on a scale of one to ten severed Sleep Hollow residents heads, I give Caramel Apple Filled Twizzlers a seven. The lackluster green apple kept it from achieving a grade that would be hung on a fridge.

Go get some. They come in Halloween fun sizes too!

The Halloween Spook Show 2014 Begins!!!

And so it begins.

Welcome and thank you for joining in on this insane journey as we celebrate together the best season of the year. I have planned this one out since, I don’t know, last November? There are certain people in this world who have a connection to the strange and unusual. I, myself, am strange and unusual so the duty of writing, filming and photographing everything this Halloween season is a job which I revel in. But what does that mean, you ask?

Well, here is a tease of the season ahead:

Spooky NC!

Holy cats, ya’ll. I have been around the block since the beginning of Spring to film a lot of scary locations and real haunts from North Carolina all the way down to Mobile, Alabama. I know the title is geographically misleading but after I started the page, I couldn’t change the name. To find the past Spooky NC trips just click HERE!

Horror Business!

You’ve seen my Beers with Movie Sauce show, haven’t you? This Halloween it will return but with shorter episodes because, lets face it, no one is going to sit through a fifteen minute video about a movie they have seen. Brevity is the key to comedy. Expect this to shine closer to October in a countdown to the best horror movies you may or may not have experienced.

Celebrity Guests!

I won’t spoil the surprise but this season there will be awesome joint bloggers and guests who many of you are familiar with. I am that kid who shouts what the gift is before the other person has a chance to open it so I will stop here.


Tales Of The Macabre!

Remember back in the day when I used to write long stories of life experiences? Yeah, I saved a few just for this season. Like the time I ruined my first grade Halloween recital in front of the whole school and my parents. I think I am brave enough to talk about that now. This is my version of therapy.


Ho-Boy I have spent some cheddar this year. I have lots and lots to talk about when it comes to silly Halloween retail that you must buy. From food to beer to a headless horseman costume, it’s all on the table this year. There’s a reason I bought two mega hard drives and a production studio. Shit, I am in the middle of building a bar to film my “Halloween Cocktail” show. Trust me, it’s fucking stupid but oh so fun.


And it wouldn’t be Halloween if I didn’t talk about DinosaurDracula, Review the World, Sexy Armpit and the like. They kill it when it comes to this season and please, please, please, support Dino Drac and the awesomeness that he brings to this Halloween season by subscribing to the Fun Packs. They are so worth it and each box is like having 1991 spring in your living room, knocking over furniture, flipping out the cat and then crash through the window only to distantly sound car alarms and sirens. It’s crazy. Click here to spend your money on something amazing.

Screen Shot 2014-09-03 at 10.31.54 AM

I can’t thank you enough for coming along with me down this dark and scary road. I promise it will be fun. I PROMISE! The postings will be pretty regular throughout the week. I am not going to tie myself to a midnight deadline for everyday because of that whole career thing but it will be busy here. Lots of videos and tons of articles to pass the time in your cubicle. I know what you do at work.

Let the show begin.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: