Have you ever done anything really stupid that you couldn’t get out of because it was so incredibly stupid that your brain, upon realizing what you had done, ceased functioning? I think we all have, although some people tend to do it more often than others, TV evangelists being Exhibit A.

The reason I bring it up is that, believe it or not, I have done something ludicrously stupid that I can’t get out of. “What,” you are now asking yourselves, “could he have done that was so stupid?” Well, my friends, you are reading it.

I have had, up until this point, virtually no difficulty in writing this column, occasionally even writing it while I was legally asleep. The ideas have always just come to me, presumably from some Other Dimension where being obnoxious is considered funny. But then I made the mistake of tying myself down to a certain topic for a certain week, which I had never done before because I had never thought that anyone cared what I wrote about, including me. All of a sudden, though, I had people telling me that they couldn’t wait to see my Halloween column.

“Halloween?!?” I shrieked to myself. “Is Halloween coming up already? Didn’t we just start school last week? Or yesterday? Halloween can’t be coming up!”

But indeed, it was. Halloween was nearing at speeds upwards of 500 miles per hour, and I felt obligated to write a column about it. So I informed everyone that I would do just that. I even decided to interrupt a two-part story about volleyball.

When I sat down to write, though, I realized I had no idea what to say. I still don’t. That’s why I’m dragging this out. I mean, what can I say about a holiday that advocates begging and looking silly? And while we’re on the subject, shouldn’t we leave begging and looking silly to the professionals? Like congressmen?

Hey! That was funny! Maybe I’m on to something …

Personally, I never considered Halloween to be a real holiday. I simply cannot respect an event that condones the wearing of orange and black together on the same body. There are, however, certain make-up smothered girls at Elsinore High School known as Death Rockers who dress like that every day, and it’s nice to see that for one day of the year, they don’t look like mutants from the Planet Mary Kay.

Have you seen these girls? They’re hard to miss. They apply their Sears Weather-Beater Make-up with butter knives and then cover it with Thompson’s Water Seal to guarantee that at no point during the day will they actually resemble human beings. Passersby frequently have difficulty keeping themselves from taking a spatula and scraping the three-year’s accumulation of make-up off the girls’ faces and constructing a scale model of the Statue of Liberty with it.

But I’m getting away from the subject. I’ve forgotten what the subject is. Oh, yeah. Halloween.

Let’s see … Oh I know. I’ll look up the history of Halloween in an encyclopedia. Maybe that will be interesting…

Or maybe not. It says that Halloween began as a way of keeping evil spirits away. Now, of course, we just don’t vote for them again; but the Halloween tradition has still endured for several hundred years, nearly as long, according to some scientists, as Dick Clark.

One major change that has occurred in the field of Halloween since the Druid Dudes began it approximately a long time ago (maybe even longer) is that kids no longer dress in unique costumes. Mark my words — tonight, everyone will be dressed either as a ghost (a sheet with two eye holes that are useless because they are located in the upper forehead vicinity) or as a Teenaged Mutant Kung Fu Rabid Pit Bull Who Barks When Anyone Walks Past Ninja Turtle (highly-flammable yet very expensive, ridiculous-looking plastic designed to smother small children).

Oh, hey! My grandmother, who, just last Wednesday, celebrated the 30th year in a row that she has turned 29, just gave me something to write about for the Halloween column. “Why is it,” she said, “that we say ‘Boo!” to scare people?”

Of all the provocative and interesting questions I have ever been asked, that would probably have to be the least provocative and interesting. However, in the interest of not leaving an inch of blank space at the end of this column, I’ll answer it:

Saying “Boo!” is much easier than saying, “President Quayle!”

And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. The big Halloween Column.

You asked for it.

I think I stole more lines for this column than all my other columns combined. To wit:
"[so-and-so] being Exhibit A": Dave Barrya holiday approaching "at speeds upwards of 500 miles per hour": Dave Barrysomeone using butter knives to apply Sears Weather-Beater Make-up, then sealing it with Thompson's Water Seal: Johnny Carson (he was talking about Tammy Faye Bakker)not supporting a holiday that encourages wearing black and orange together: some sit-com, maybe "Facts of Life," or perhaps "227."the whole Death Rocker thing was stolen from me; I had used it in a column for the school paper several months earlier.
Add to that the three (count 'em, three) stupid and obvious political jokes, and the over-used "Dick Clark-is-really-old" joke, and you've got yourself a pretty cruddy column. Enjoy my mediocrity!