Upping the ante for Halloween

Upping the ante for Halloween - this year, Dead Thing poker. Skeletons and skeleton animals abound!

Okay. The return to blogging week is over. Now that thematic writing is out of the way, it’s time for my trademark random goofiness. I can think of no better topic to start with than how I’m upping the ante for Halloween.

Halloween is my time of year

Oh yeah. You readers know it. My neighbors and family know it. My Halloween BBQ attendees know it. And those kids getting those super-stuffed and super-heavy gift bags know it.

And when it comes to figuring out the front of the house display, well, that’s an all-year thought process.

The past is prologue

The beginning of wowing the neighborhood.
Stage 1

First, there was the Dead Thing Pen. That was 2016. Just a bunch of skeleton animals enjoying the night air. And my driveway.

Affectionately called the “Driveway of Doom”, I introduced the new idea for my front display. Instead of lighted inflatable stuff and string lights, I would build a place for dead things and make it glow at night.

There were some missteps, but you can read a bit about it in the link above…

The Halloween driveway takeover

Stage 2

The following year, I did indeed manage to top it. Creating themed skeletons, I now had a Pied Piper skeleton enticing Dead Thing rats and an Animal Control skeleton trapping Dead Thing cats and dogs.

This turned out to be exponentially more work and exponentially more impressive. Another link, maestro, if you will…

So, two years at this, and I’m already losing my driveway. What’s next?

A dish best served cold

Stage 3

Now, sure, I’d gotten carried away with my displays. I guess I have to admit that I’m a Halloween junkie. I kept trying to up the ante each year.

Last year was no exception, as the obligatory link should show you. This time it was “Revenge of the Dead Things”, as they paid back those arrogant skeletons for their evil work the year before.

Dealing new cards this Halloween

So, how do I up the ante one more year? Can I? I’d like to think so.

My idea for 2019 will be a set of poker matches. Two skeletons facing off from one another at two tables, situated on either side of the driveway.

The Dead Things will play their part. One table I have already envisioned the tableau:

There will be one or more Dead Things distracting one skeleton player. And while his attention is diverted, another Dead Thing will be giving a high card to his opponent.

I have not decided on whether it will be a cat or a dog in each role (rats would be too obvious). But as for the other table…thoughts in progress.

Upping the ante for Halloween

These displays do cost me a lot. Money. Time. Most importantly, energy. The physical labor of moving all those edging stones, securing the night lighting, posing and securing the Dead Things. Brutal.

So, part of me wants to quit, or at least scale back. That’s my smart self. The stupid part of me just wants to keep upping the ante for Halloween again and again.

As ever with Halloween, it will be the joy that I get out of it that will motivate me. But if the burden begins to outstrip that, I’ll let it slide.

Until then, upping the ante for Halloween remains my seasonal programming.

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