My Brief but Glorious Career as a Monster

Mitch, age 11 (embellished by Mitch)Monster Me (photo enhanced by me, age 11)

My Real Memoir

I’ve admitted before my boyhood affection for monsters. No, more than just affection, from Dr. Frankenstein’s befuddled electro-charged jarhead to that ultimate pound puppy, the Wolfman, I empathized with them. So, once I got old enough to say no to Mom’s “you’d-look-adorable-in-this!” costume suggestions, I chose every time to be a monster.

But the rules changed when I started junior high school. Two months into seventh grade, Halloween arrived. I desperately wanted to be hideous, yet teenage culture decreed that trick-or-treating was “for kids,” and I wasn’t cool enough to be invited to any costume parties. So where and how could I be monstrous? It wasn’t the candy I wanted, it was the costume. I longed to recoil in horror at my own hideous countenance in the mirror!

Finally, Rory and I came up with a solution: We would distribute candy…as monsters! We set the scene by placing a folding table in the entrance to my family garage, leaving a shadowy grotto in the background full of instruments of terror—brooms, shovels, an old vacuum cleaner (hey, everything’s scary when the lights are low), and festooned the room with kite-string cobwebs. I hung an elbowed segment of air duct pipe from the rafters and backlit it with a red bulb. The pièce de resistance was a large pitchfork hung precariously over the entire scene. Et voilà, the creepiest candy distribution center ever!

Rory sat at the table, oozing Miracle Whip from eyebrow-pencil wounds. I loomed in the rafters, twisted and menacing. As assorted Tinkerbells and Daniel Boones arrived, Rory would greet them with a black-toothed grin, pound the table, and call, “Eeee-gorrrrrr!” From above I would groan, “Yessss, master!” and drop candy down the pipe. Then, as a quivering seven-year-old palmed the candy, I would leap down, cackling maniacally (as if there were such a thing as non-maniacal cackling), and the timorous tot would run off giggling uncertainly, clutching a fistful of squished chocolate.

It was the greatest Halloween ever! Until, along about kid number forty-six, something went monstrously amiss. I jumped down, admittedly a little over-zealous, to scare a particularly cocky kid, causing the rafters to rattle with gusto. This, in turn, inspired the pitchfork to vibrate with verve, leap free from its tiny picture-nail hook, and plunge with zest into my bare foot below. I still recall the sound of the tines pushing their way between my meaty midfoot metatarsals and striking the concrete beneath!

The E.R. waiting room was full of mutilated pre-teen monsters just like me! Thus did my brief but glorious career as a monster come to an end. The following year I attended my first official teenage costume party dressed as a beatnik with a beret, stick-on goatee and bongos…

And not a pitchfork in sight.

My Real Memoir is a series. To read the next one, click here.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Humor, Memoir and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to My Brief but Glorious Career as a Monster

  1. Nancy Richy says:

    OUCH!!! Absolutely cringe-worthy! As the mother of only sons I know all too well what that experience is like. We’ve got enough ER paperwork to wallpaper a medium size bathroom! Makes for some interesting reading lol! Thanks for sharing this fun read with us. 🧟‍♂️

    Liked by 8 people

  2. I have great memories from Halloween as a kid, and that tracks because I still love Halloween. I don’t recall any injuries to either myself or my traveling parties in those earlier years. I believe any and all pitchforks were appropriately holstered.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. pkadams says:

    Yeowwwwwch! You were quite the creative kid.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Debi Walter says:

    We did a similar set-up using Alfred Hitchcock’s album of theme songs from his horror flicks. My brother dressed as a vampire. I was his victim. And the whole neighborhood wanted to come see the show.
    To this day, Hitchcock music freaks me out. He was the master of suspense.
    Thanks for jogging my memory. It must have been in the late 60’s.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. And exquisite stories for us!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Yeah, best stick wih the beatnik.

    Liked by 6 people

  7. I love reading about childhood ingenuity. And accidents. That sounds weird… but… both shape us!

    Liked by 4 people

  8. C.A. Post says:

    Some friends (including a medical doctor with access to ‘supplies’ 😎) put together a “Trunk or Treat” candy give-away as part of a big church festival with about 100 cars or trucks with various themes in the parking lot.
    So we put one of our guys on a stretcher with his body dropping out of sight, and a bunch of spaghetti and other items for his “operation” in view on the table; complete with IV and monitors hooked up! Most of the younger kids kind of avoided our repository, and everyone seemed a little squeamish when the “patient” would open his eyes and look horrified at what the “doctor” was pulling out of his guts!
    He complained about inadequate anesthesia, what he would do without “that” inside, why the lady holding her kid back wouldn’t let him taste the “stuff”…
    We were not invited back the next year. 😏
    But it surely was one of my most fun Halloweens EVER!

    Liked by 6 people

  9. Mark Johnson says:

    Ouch! Delicious Halloween story, Mitch.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. revruss1220 says:

    I have to confess here in this hallowed space: whereas I used to love getting dressed up and begging for candy on October 31, ever since my kids outgrew the holiday, I have completely lost any enthusiasm for Halloween I might have once had. Our old neighborhood in Kansas City was perfect for a trick-or-treat curmudgeon like me as we MIGHT have six kids come by on a “busy” night. We have also tried leaving the porch light off and just hiding when the doorbell rings. That works pretty well, too!

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Two months into the eighth grade, I managed to scare everyone in my neighborhood on Halloween night. I did it with green food coloring mixed in a bottle of liquid makeup base. I slathered my face, ears, neck, arms, hands, fingers, legs — every part of my skin that showed — with the green makeup. I wore a bright orange, tie-dyed mini dress. My long hair was tied in a knot on top of my head. I fashioned two antler-like antenna out of aluminum foil and secured them on either side of my head. Voila, I was transformed into a teenage alien from outer space. My reflection in the bathroom mirror was terrifying!

    Judging by the looks on the neighbors’ faces when they answered my ‘Trick or Treat’ knock, my Martian disguise was a huge success!

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Ana Daksina says:

    Funny ~ I’ve never exactly longed to recoil from my own hideous countenance in the mirror… Of course, that could be because it happens every single day! 😆

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Ouch! The memory of the sound, let alone the feel of the fork entering your foot would be terrible Mitch. Sounds are sometimes worse.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Love the tales of your childhood. Your poor mother…

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Tim Harlow says:

    Ouch!! That hurts just reading about it. Ah, the glory of childhood back in the day when we were allowed to be crazy. Thanks for the laugh.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. byngnigel says:

    Ouch!! The agony of D feet. … Who doesn’t enjoy Halloween

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Julie Lab. says:

    Omg!! J’ai mal aux pieds pour toi!!!😲😂 La fourche n’a t-elle pas été trop abimée?😋

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Ann Coleman says:

    Wow! I was laughing through your post until I got to the part about the pitchfork. You poor thing!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mitchteemley says:

      Thanks, Ann. It hurt plenty, of course, but at least the pitchfork tines made nice clean holes and didn”t seem to have hit any nerves. So, with a few stitches, a tetanus shot, and a lot of aspirins I was good to go!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. #hood says:

    monster you at age 13

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Mitch, I would love to have had you take part in our Halloween outreach – costume design, makeup, acting …

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Pingback: Duck and Cover! | Mitch Teemley

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