As you know, we never pass up the chance to open up a light beer and plunge into the depths of the FML archive to come up with some sort of theme. Most holidays, national or otherwise, are pretty well represented. Christmas, New Year's, Labor Day, Fozzie Bear's birthday… OK, Valentine's Day was a bit messy because we're cynical romantics, we take potshots at it, we had a laugh, but deep down we like the idea that somewhere out there, in a galaxy far far away, there's pure love waiting for all of us. But what should we make of Halloween? What's going on there? People dressing up as goblins and lawyers and all sorts of scary beings? Some countries have it, some countries don't. My old neighbour who hates everything, especially people having fun, would say, "Why can't people just leave me alone and stop ringing my doorbell?" But what about FML? Where do we stand on this issue?
Let's be honest: life is scary. So why should we go that extra mile and disguise ourselves as the shit one from One Direction and go running around the neighbourhood to bother people for sugar products? Isn't that the basic idea? The disguises are supposed to be frightening, the movies and pranks are supposed to scare the poopoo out of our buttpipes, but why do we inflict it on ourselves? A lot of people seem to use it as an excuse to reveal a little too much about what's going on deep down inside their psyche. The guy bumbling around the subway with blood all over a messed-up doctor's costume, well, either he's watched The Human Centipede too many times or he's got some pent-up issues against the world. The girl dressed as a pony is probably pleased to have one day in the year where the strange smell coming from her hair doesn't seem out of place. On FML, people are afraid all year round. Don't believe me? You just have to read the stories we publish.
Today, I woke up because of a weird noise. Scared, I turned on my bedside lamp. I saw my older, 17-year-old brother peeing in my bedroom doorway. He was hoping I'd step in it in the morning. FML
There's loads of stories like that. OK, it's fun to watch scary movies (except 'Scary Movie') because it allows a little escapism, and you can think to yourself that it'll never happen to you and feel safe. It's true. The Walking Dead isn't a documentary, despite what thousands of nutjobs around the world seem to think. The whole thing with the guy in the Scream mask calling you from right outside your house never happens. Except to my parents, every Christmas week. But I have to do it to them, it's become a tradition, it the only entertainment they get now since M*A*S*H* was cancelled.
Today, my son was crying because he's afraid he might get Ebola. We live in Maine, and he's 16. FML
Halloween, it's time for pranks as we've just seen. It's great to prank people, especially my old neighbour, the one who hates everything, but who loves to wake everyone up with Cyril, her stupid daschund that barks at thin air in the stairwell. Pranks can be done all year round though. April Fool's Day is supposed to be all about pranks. If you take pranks away from April Fool's, he'll start getting all sulky and stroppy and you know what that's like. And besides, some pranks aren't funny. Waking up next to someone who says, "Oh, by the way, I'm married," that's not funny.
Today, at the pool, I decided to face my fears and go off the high dive. I slipped off the edge and did a barrel roll into the pool while screaming like a little girl. FML
And by the way, I agree with my neighbour for once. Stop ringing my doorbell for candy. I don't have any. I'm on the Atkins diet. I have banned all carbohydrates from my apartment. And I don't like small children coming into my airspace when I'm trying to watch Gogglebox. So leave me alone. I don't care if you're dressed like R2D2 or a police officer coming to complain about the smell of the corpses under my floorboards, you're not having any of my food. Capiche?
Today, my daughter hugged me around the neck and whispered, "I'm going to cut your head off." I'm afraid to go to sleep now. FML
It must be quite stressful for the parents of small children who get to see yet another reason to spend money turn up on their social event planner. Christmas, birthdays, the birthday of the new friend from the new class whose parents are quite well off, so yet more money to fork out for disguises because Courtney's parents got her a princess costume and some candy shaped like dragons, so you have to keep up… It must be exhausting being a parent. And expensive, if you're competitive. That's why I've chosen to have cats rather than children. Cats have no concept of disguises. Or calendars. Cats rule. Kids suck. Yay!
Today, my psycho neighbor finished building a cannon. An honest-to-god, on-wheels, could-be-on-a-pirate-ship cannon. And now he's testing it in the forest by my house. I'm pretty scared for my life, to be honest. FML
It's a bit like Saint Patrick's day. It's an Irish thing, from Ireland, and all the booze-hounds from the world over have jumped at the chance to be a part of it (no, having a great-great-aunt who once went to Dublin doesn't make you Irish, stop it). Halloween is also a Celtic thing, even though children a bit less enthusiastic about Saint Patrick's Day, there's a lot less alcoholics to be found amongst the under-10s if you leave out the Cub Scouts. A lot of parents these days are scared stiff for their kids thanks to the scaremongering business the media deals in, so why inflict even more fear onto them with a festival dedicated to weirdness and the BOO! factor? Parents are scared, kids are scared, and the happiest people on Halloween are agoraphobic paedophiles.
Today, my daughter was scared to go to the bathroom because she thought there was a person behind the shower curtain. There actually was a person behind the shower curtain. FML
It can be fun to scare people, just be reasonable. Don't go overboard. Telling your boyfriend that you can't come to his slide show evening because you've been abducted by terrorists doesn't even qualify, unless you've got a really stupid boyfriend. Telling your boyfriend that you want to organise a slide show evening, with 2000 slides of your trip to a sausage factory, that's just cruel. Especially if he's really stupid.
Today, as a prank, a friend and I tied a 10 dollar bill to a fishing line, and yanked it away from people as they reached for it. It was going really well until one of our victims pulled a knife and chased us around the block. FML
In any case, I'm not saying that people shouldn't go out and have fun with disguises and fake blood and pranks and stuff. I'll get stuck in, no matter what the occasion. Maybe not the sausage factory slide show, well, maybe if there's a BBQ and some JD's… This Friday, I'll be dressing up as a someone who's happy with life in general, and I'll be watching some really scary movies, like anything with "Big" and "Momma" in the title, Gigli, or that one where Sylvester Stallone tries to do comedy. Gruesome. I hope you have fun, and please do drop in on my annoying neighbour, ring her bell, get her dog to bark. I don't care, I sleep with ear plugs. Happy Halloween!
The illustrations for this article were done by Bénédicte from Bloutouf