The Halloween from Hell

31860.jpgBack when my kids were toddlers, I used to enjoy Halloween. I remember how fun it was stepping inside the Disney store to purchase the most exquisite princess dress, complete with tiara, shoes and a fake wig. For my son, I remember the days I dressed him up as a little pirate, Superman, Spiderman and even a knight in shining armor.
But now they’re old enough to pick their own costumes and the fun as I remember it, is officially over. It actually started back in August when the Costume Express catalog arrived on my doorstep. At first, I didn’t think much about the costumes until my kids made their selections. My daughter went for the Heavenly Devil costume – a skimpy frock that was half angel/half devil and sported red and white wings. And my son, well he selected a classic. A zombie complete with a bony torso that can gush fake blood. Maybe I was busy on Facebook or Twitter the afternoon I placed that order, but I really didn’t think that I would suffer the consequences from my hasty online purchase.
Fast forward to Halloween. We had an incredibly hectic day – soccer game, softball game and a baseball playoff game. And while the weather was quite balmy, the raindrops start pelting us just as we were about to start the trick or treating festivities. After my son’s team had won the big game (so proud of him), we raced home so the kids could slip into their costumes. Once I helped my son on with his ghoulish get up, I then reached over for the container of fake blood and started pouring it into his plastic heart pump. While I carefully poured the contents inside, I then attempted to close the cap tight and then it happened. The blood started to spill all over my hands. And when I tried to wash it off in the sink, it wouldn’t come off!
I frantically tried to rub off the dye with anything I could find underneath the sink and yet no matter what I did, my hands were still blood red. I grabbed a paper towel and then wiped the blood off the plastic pump and then thought I tightened the cap so that the contents wouldn’t spill anywhere else. Next, I tried to stick the fake torso on my son’s body but the velcro that was holding it together pretty much lost it’s sticking power. As my son complained that his bones were falling off, we hurriedly raced to the car to meet our friends and start ringing doorbells for candy.
And then it happened. Moments before we entered the car, I warned my son not to spill the blood in the back seat and I bet you can guess what happened next. Just as we were pulling up to my friends’ house, my husband made a sharp turn, the fake heart went flying and the fake blood spilled on my upholstered seats in the back of the car. My daughter shrieked as the blood landed on her skimpy costume and then I screamed in horror when I realized the fake blood I couldn’t remove from my hands was now leaving an indelible imprint on my leased car seats.
As we raced inside our friend’s house, one of their guests suggested covering the stain in salt and so I grabbed a box of the kosher cooking version and spread it across the seats. Meanwhile, my son was nearly in tears because he forgot his trick or treat bag at our house and his bones kept falling off. Oh, and the blood continued to spill out all over the place and this time, it landed on my jeans.
Meanwhile, we finally hit the open road and the candy consumption began. Except this year, parents were going a bit overboard in their efforts to give away healthy treats. One house handed one of the kids a box of Dentyne gum squares (with a few pieces missing) and then gave my daughter a package of Pop Tarts. And at another house, the kids walked up to the front door and when no one answered, they discovered a bucket of rocks and empty snail shells. And so, they grabbed a few rocks, dropped it in their bags and hit the road. While there were classic goodies that my kids flagged for me (Dots and super Double Bubble gum), this year’s expedition was a bit of a bust because it started pouring 45 minutes into our journey. As we raced back to the house, I checked my car first to assess whether the kosher salt was doing the trick, and lo and behold, it wasn’t.
This morning, while still attempting to scrub the dye off my hands, I posted a query on Twitter and Facebook about my unfortunate fake blood incident and received several suggestions on how to remove it – from hairspray, to oxiclean, peroxide, rubbing alcohol, steel wool and lava soap.
Here’s hoping one of those items will work, but for here on out, I’m banning shoddy ghoulish costumes with blood red substances that stain everything in its wake from our home. And rather than forking over my credit card number to Costume Express, I may be sending them a bill next year for cleaning my car upholstery.