HalloPhest: The Terror, The Toothache

You know, folks, Halloween is just around the corner, and before ya know it it'll be dead and gone. This holiday is so special to us here at the Tri-P Gutbuster that we couldn't let it slip away without bringing you a jam-packed triple-deluxe bonanza of a phest. We've got a lot to tell you this week, so let's jump right in with both feet.

HalloPhest part I: "On a steel horse I ride, I'm wanted (honey...) dead or alive."

There's lots of confusion in the world these days as to who's alive and who ain't. Why, what with the instant media, the global village, the electronic marketplace and all those other modern phenomena, it's durn near impossible to keep up with everyone's status of deadness/liveliness. That's why, in keeping with Halloween's theme of being dead and what not, we've compiled this quick and handy reference chart to keep you in the know.

Living Folks: Benny Hill (no, he didn't die of a heart attack); The Guy Who Discovered Pluto (it's true! look it up); Ronald Reagan; Mel Blanc (though he does sound like he's always got a really bad cold these days); John Naisbitt, author of Megatrends (but wouldn't it be cool if he was dead?), E.A. Presley; Star of TV's Barney Miller, and eventually his own show, Fish, Abe Vigoda; that chick from The Munsters, Herman's niece, who was the only one that was regular lookin' (and what a doll, too!); Denture-Wearer Martha Raye (take it from a big mouth, she's alive); Flip Wilson; Bob Barker (but he's lookin' deader every day); and Actor/Comedian/Voice of Mr. McGoo/Thurston Howell III, Jim Backus.

Dead Folks: L. Ron Hubbard (yet, he somehow manages to keep cranking out those damn "bestselling" Dianetics books quicker than we can write a Phun Phest); Paul Lynde (but we don't know if it was because of AIDS, which really shouldn't matter, but we know you thought that too); Alan Alda (OK, he's alive, but dangit... we can dream, can't we?); Lloyd Bentsen (he's really a zombie dug out of an ancient Egyptian tomb); Denture-Wearer Martha Raye (take it from a big mouth, she's dead); Bruce Lee (but not before passing on his secret knowledge to Kung-Fu masters Ed n' D.); and that lovable Cartwright/Adama/Alpo Peddler in the sky, Lorne Greene.

HalloPhest part II: So Say D. and Ed, Better Safe Than Dead.

Though many consider the joyous experience of Trick or Treatin' an activity for the young, it is by no means exclusive to the young at heart. But it can be dangerous, scary, confusin', disorienting, and downright tiring. That's why we've assembled a cornucopia of helpful} hints and gentle suggestions to make your treatin' (or trickin') a little easier (and safer, too):

1. If you get something in your goodie bag that is either on fire or smells like rotting flesh marinated in kerosene, you probably shouldn't eat it.

2. For a little extra fun on Halloween, screw that old rule about wearing bright clothes or reflective shoes or tape and patches. This year, try out our patented "Inviso-Guy' costume by wearing all black, including face paint and gloves. Just watch what happens when you dash in front of oncoming traffic, causing wrecks a-plenty and cool screech noises galore. Or, D.'s favorite, knocking on the front door then running round to the back to knock on it as they answer your first summons (and so on, etc.).

3. In the old days, folks weren't afraid to retaliate upon those unwilling to cough up scrumptious goodies. This year, let's try to put a little "trick" back into trick-or-treat. Arm yourself with chainsaws, grenades, eggs (cliche, but effective), high-powered rifles, toxic waste, weed killer (for those swank yards), great ol' big rocks, a axe handle, bovine guts... hell, use your imagination. Have some fun.

If it's tough to remember all these tips separately, just use our catchy and informative jingle to help refresh your memory:

Trick-or-Treat means stuff to eat,
Unless it burns or stinks;
Inviso-Guy's the thing to try,
At least that's what D. thinks;
Guns and Sticks make real cool tricks,
Kill your neighbor 'ere he blinks.

HalloPhest part III: The Scary Mystery of The Phoenix Office's Eternal Damnation.

And now, here's the TRUE story of what happened last Halloween at The Phoenix (which, by the way, is built upon the sacred ancient burial grounds of Boxcar Willie's ancestors):

It was a dark and stormy night when out of nowhere came an agonizing, soul-searing shriek of mortal terror. D. rushed from the layout area to find Ed rolling around on the ceiling like on Nightmare on Elm Street, with blood and Crisco and Jello Brand Instant Pudding gushing from his... aw, hell, who are we kidding? We ain't got time to finish this, and you all don't care and wouldn't believe it anyway. You, the Tri-P reader, have been fulfilled for another week. Leave us alone. Read something else in The Phoenix for a change. We're outta time and you're outta luck.

D. Trull enjoyed receiving B.B. Bats and them crunchy peanut-buttery things, whatever they're called. He would always bite off the little white tips on candy corn and throw the yellow/orange chunk away.

Ed Davis always hated gettin' apples in his goodie hag, but what really roasted his almonds was when Mrs. DuBois, his fat, senile, old, polyester-encapsulated neighbor would pinch his cheeks and pretend not to know who it really was in that Dizzy Gillespie costume.

(Originally published in The Phoenix Student Newsweekly, October 27, 1988.)

D. Trull