Be brave, and play your part

It’s raining in Rupert.

I know, not exactly a news flash but it may help answer the question of “to trick or treat or not to trick or treat” for some people. “Sorry, kiddo, the weather's too bad,” will get some parents out of it.

We have determined that we would still do it – keeping in line with Dr. Henry’s advice, of course, which was that we can do it with proper precautions. Still, we will miss some of the pageantry that went along with it.

There will be no Halloween Fest, the huge gathering at the community centre, of course. And no fireworks – unless you count the jerks who do them year-round at all hours of the night. There will be no parties, which means my older sister will not vie for the best costume in the contests at the bars, as she usually does with great enthusiasm.

Halloween was a big thing for me for many years. I was quite good at making costumes. Part of this was out of necessity as I cornered myself into doing a costume every week for a time as the movie reviewer for The Daily News.

My column (which actually won a provincial award) was called VideoView, and it featured a mugshot of me done up as a character in one of the movies I reviewed. I was Batman, Chaplin, James Bond, Scrooge, and Whoopi Goldberg in Sister Act! When I left the paper, the staff gave me a large framed collection of all of the faces; one of the best, most thoughtful presents ever.

Of course, I also dressed up for parties. One Halloween, at the bowling alley, I was Robocop, and me and the Hulk (Lyle McNish) tossed Super Dave Osborne (Barry Eso) down the lanes, helmet first. We didn’t get a strike and, um, Super Dave’s belt bucket may have put a bit of a scratch on the lane. Sorry, Joey!

Even with my enthusiasm diminished lately, I still find a way to get up for it due to having a little boy and a partner who absolutely loves Halloween and dressing up. She comes up with the most creative costumes! One year, we went as the unlikely pair of Barack Obama and Sarah Palin.

This year, my eight-year-old, Conall, went as the Black Panther, paying tribute to the late Chadwick Bosman. On Friday, his class did a walk-by parade at the senior citizens’ complex. I’m glad that it wasn’t cancelled and heard that it was very much appreciated by the residents.

Life goes on or, as Jeff Goldblum said in Jurassic Park, it “finds a way.”

If anything, that may be our greatest strength: our stubbornness. Can’t shake hands? Okay, we’ll tap elbows. Can’t meet in person? We’ll Zoom (sorry, Skype). My kid is in swim club and gymnastics. Minor basketball is happening. I’ve gone to two movies recently.

Oh, sure we’re going to have some “new normals” after this is all over but we’re used to that too; just like we started wearing seatbelts, washing our vegetables and sneezing into our sleeves. And, well, since it’s Halloween, you were going to wear a mask anyway, and maybe some gloves. Should also check the candy. It’s not really that much different.

Speaking of masks, one thing I really miss is live theatre; watching it and being in it. In bringing it back, we’re going to have to be creative – which is fine since that’s what theatre folks are. It is going to be challenging and we’re going to have to think outside the box but, hey, ever seen a Cirque de Soleil show?? We’ll figure it out.

Happy Halloween, everyone.

And, remember, it’s okay to be scared but, eventually, the lights will come on again. And the curtain will rise, and good people will take their bows and point to the unsung heroes, and there will be applause and smiles.

Life really is a stage, so play your part as best as you can and trust those around you.

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