Driving and Biking in the Big City

When your young wife turns into an old man and other Halloween tales

with 4 comments

In my commute on both two and four wheels, I’ve watched the Halloween decorations spring up to keep me entertained on my sometimes monotonous routes. Some are more subtle and classy, if you will, while others are full-blown graveyards and harrowing sights. I’ve always loved Halloween, tricks and treats and this trend of effusively decorating for this holiday is fun for me.

In my girlhood, Halloween was quite an adventure. We wore homemade costumes, ran the roads and filled pillow cases with enough candy to keep all the dentists in town in business. I passed on the tradition to my kids, and the real celebrating began with elaborate and creative costumes, roaming the roads again and candy limits for a generation who never experienced cavities.

As Big Johnny, our Commuter Chronicles photographer, and I went looking for fun photos to share, we told old ghost stories and tales of Halloweens past and were reminded of one of my favorite pranks that he will tell you I didn’t quite pull off.

It was the golden era of the Fourth Estate in the years right after Watergate and when everyone was an investigative reporter. I was covering police or maybe still writing obituaries for the Beaumont Enterprise when one of our most ambitious reporters received a death threat. That’s right. Pretty dramatic, huh? I can’t even remember the story or the reporter, but I can remember the mask that had been stuck with a knife to the reporter’s apartment door.

It was paraded around the newsroom for its realistic and amazing appearance. Remember, this was back in the day when an authentic-looking mask was not so common. This one was quite fleshy and very scary. A bald old man with a tuft of white hair, sticking out of the top of his head.

I don’t know how I convinced the newsroom troublemakers to let me take it home because they were a crew right out of the movie, “The Front Page.” But, I won the prize that day and got to bring it home for my prank on Big Johnny.

I hid it away in my briefcase, put the briefcase beside our bed and kept mum as we turned in for the night. My plan was to wake up a bit early for our usual morning classes at Lamar University where we were maybe sophomores or juniors, and John was playing football. So, you’ve got to give me credit for still being pretty young and still a kid, even though a married lady with a big high powered career at a daily newspaper with the likes of all sorts of future famous folks.

And, in fact, the prank went off perfectly. I woke up a bit earlier than John, slipped the mask out its hiding place and put on this realistic old man face over my young Lois Lane reporter face. I pulled the covers up to my chin so that when John saw me, he would think he was in the sack with a scary old bald guy. Ha!!

Minutes passed, and I began to realize I would have a problem. I didn’t count on having breathing difficulties in the close-fitting mask. But, the next thing John knew, he had a heavy breathing bald guy in the bed next to him, making enough noise to wake the dead. And that’s how the story goes. John was not scared, of course. He thought I’d lost my mind, of course, and we got a good laugh. Then, he put the mask on himself and headed over to the football dorm to scare all his teammates.

An excellent Halloween idea if the execution was a bit of a misfire.

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Written by commuterchroniclesdbh

October 30, 2012 at 7:30 pm

4 Responses

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  1. Great pictures! I am enjoying your blog!!!!


    October 31, 2012 at 11:08 am

    • Hey, Barb! Glad you like the photos. I will tell my ace photographer. We drove around last night like a couple of kids on a date. I bought him a coke from Sonic and everything.


      October 31, 2012 at 2:19 pm

  2. What a great Halloween prank. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall.

    Pam Dunlap

    October 31, 2012 at 11:45 am

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