My grandfather used to tell me tales of halloween, growing up in Harlem, NYC, circa 1920’s. Times were tough, so they weren’t tossing protein around like kids in my day. Instead, they put flour into a black sock and used it to pound each other into dust. On occasion, he told me of times they’d store one or two eggs in a drawer for a month or two to make the eggs rotten. He said the stench it’d leave after exploding over someone’s head was enough to kill a mule, or bring back the dead.
When I was growing up, in the 80’s, no one trick or treated. Costumes were no more than a cheap plastic apron, with some bullshit sketched on it. I once walked around as a skeleton, with only the front painted, because that’s all C-town sold that year. For me, in my hood, Halloween was all about destroying the neighborhood and your friends with eggs and shaving cream. My friends and I would save our money and buy dozens and dozens of eggs, multiple cans of shaving cream, then head out to wreak havoc on our neighborhoods.
We’d affix aerosol caps to the shaving cream, so it would spray better. Or, if we couldn’t steal a cap from the local store or find one in our apartments, we’d take the cap, rip out the middle, and use that. It wasn’t aerosol, but it sprayed further than leaving it as is.
Everyone got bombed on Halloween. If you were walking outside and under the age of 18, you got nailed.
Because I lived in an apartment complex, there were rivalries between the buildings. I was lucky enough to live in the building that had the most athletic/most popular kids. Plus, it was like children of the corn around my way, with 30 kids running around without parental supervision, menacing the entire neighborhood. Cops never came by either, mainly because it was a low crime area in those days. Later on, when the neighborhood changed, people got shot, including several of my close friends.
One time we got caught off guard by some elder teens, who chased us into the building amidst eggs flying everywhere. We ran up the stairs, trying to shake them. Some of our slower friends got caught and egged to hell. The interior of the building was completely wrecked, strewn with cracked eggs and mountains of shaving cream. The porter would always get pissed off, cursing at us, telling us to “take this shit to the park.” The day was never complete without the psychotic, STEVE BROWN, dropping gallons of milk down the stairwell from the 7th floor, accompanied by his lunatic whistle to make it sound like it was a bomb dropping out from a bay.
Oh, and if you ever yelled at us throughout the year for playing hardball baseball in the parking lot, your door got destroyed on Halloween.
I’ll leave the more extreme Halloween stories for another year.
Happy Halloween. Don’t eat too much candy; it’ll make you sick (Yo Gabba Gabba)Comments »