ASK DR. ELDRITCH NEWSLETTER
Date: October 25, 2011
Vol. 8, No. 17
Dr. Eldritch's Tip of The Week:
Clever urban bears have learned that ringing doorbells on Halloween yields lots of candy (especially when the frightened homeowner drops the bowl), so use that peephole before you open the door!
The Dr. Eldritch HOROSCOPE OF MYSTERY!
Your astrological forecast for October 25 - 31, 2011 is as follows:
CAPRICORN (Dec 22 - Jan 19): Pets or Troops? Playful Mercury may cause you to be adopted by thousands of homeless robots! Were they built to take over the world? If so, what happened to their original commander? That's worth knowing, before you make your own bid for Global Domination. See Libra for further hints...
AQUARIUS (Jan 20 - Feb 18): Is that a CASTLE you see before you? You'd swear that large, stone stronghold wasn't there before, perhaps right in your own neighborhood! If you decide to explore it, take along appropriate equipment, like rope, flashlights, heavy boots and non-dairy creamer. See Scorpio for further hints...
PISCES (Feb 19 - Mar 20): What to do? You'll face a quandary, when a friend asks to shower at your place (who knows why?), and halfway through, turns to stone! (Again, who knows!?!) He or she will be frozen in a particularly elegant pose, so would it be wrong to display them in the living room as a work of art? What a dilemma! See Sagittarius for further hints...
ARIES (Mar 21 - Apr 19): Remember: A Tip is a way of saying "Thanks for the great service!" You probably already give gratuities to waiters and dentists, but do you know how much to tip when someone grants a wish? You could need to know soon! It needn't be 15%, but a fruit basket is good, or a BIG box of doughnuts! See Capricorn for further hints...
TAURUS (Apr 20 - May 20): History Lesson! What appears at first to be merely a set of strange dreams, may actually be you experiencing the life of one of your ancestors! You may wonder why you're being shown how this distant relative lived, and perhaps there is a reason. Or not; the No Longer Living have a LOT of free time. See Aquarius for further hints...
GEMINI (May 21 - June 20): Strange Neighbors? The pull of the Outer Planets reveals that the residents of one of the homes on your street are actually squishy amphibians from another dimension. Their human disguises are convincing, but once you know where to look, you can see the seams and zippers. If they're good neighbors, why not just live and let live? See Pisces for further hints...
CANCER (June 21 - July 22): "Begin What?" The stars indicate that while out on your Morning Constitutional, you may come across an unfamiliar sign that reads "Begin Here", causing you to ask the aforementioned question. Determining the answer may follow a convoluted path to a curious rendezvous with Actuaries! Take soap. See Aries for further hints...
LEO (July 23 - Aug 22): Got Fruitbats? If they don't live in your area, you will be EXTRA surprised in the near future! There's no record of humans being eaten or carried away by fruitbats, but you might be the first! Carry some apples to throw, and then run the other way. See Taurus for further hints...
VIRGO (Aug 23 - Sept 22): Romance Alert! Venus overwhelms your sign, and may impelling you to speak in lyrical sonnets! This may seem like the perfect opportunity to woo someone, but how do you think they'll feel once you STOP speaking in poetry? That's an argument for making it just a short-term fling, but be careful. See Gemini for further hints...
LIBRA (Sept 23 - Oct 22): What would you do if you woke up to discover you'd metamorphasized into another creature during the night? Give this some thought, due to the current proximity to Venus. Hopefully it's to something adorable, and not a giant insect. That never ends well. See Cancer for further hints...
SCORPIO (Oct 23 - Nov 21): "Aagghh! Quicksand!" You may exclaim, discovering a patch of the dangerous ground in a completely unexpected location. Perhaps while crossing the street, or in the library. Seek help from the Reference Librarian! See Leo for further hints...
SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22 - Dec 21): Worried about your plumbing? (In your house, not... you know.) If your drains are backing up, you may have a case of the Nurgles. These swamp-dwelling sprites sometimes set up residence in sewers and drains, and could be in yours! Make sure your plumber knows how to get rid of Nurgles properly, before he performs an expensive procedure that just annoys them. See Virgo for further hints...
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Dear Dr. Eldritch,
I wander about on Halloween, handing out dental hygiene products, but I have no memories of anything else! The first thing I can recall is showing up at a party in a church basement about sunset. I spent the evening giving children dental floss and little tubes of fruity toothpaste, and then the next thing I know, it's sundown at Halloween again. Is every day a holiday, or am I jumping a year through Time?
Don't get me wrong, I love Halloween! I'm so happy to give kids Good Teeth Treats! I wonder, though, shouldn't there be more to Life? I'll give you a sackful of bubble-gum-flavored floss if you can tell me what the heck is going on!
-- Fluffy, the Happy Halloween Puppy
It's not your fault, but the very fact that you exist annoys me. It's not YOU, so please don't take it personally, but I believe you're the creation of wishful thinking by well-intentioned adults.
What you describe sounds like you've been dreamed up as an Alternative Holiday Mascot with a Positive Message. You're still so new that you only exist for one day each year, when people are actually thinking about you. Only a few symbolic holiday entities have enough belief in them to persist between holidays, like Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and Victor the Arbor Day Vole. If you catch on, you'll become more and more real. If you don't... well, let's not worry about that right now.
The problem with having a Happy Puppy for a Halloween mascot is that it totally misses the point. Lately, parents have been trying to turn Halloween into a safe, non-threatening holiday, where children have a festive evening, without doing anything the slightest bit frightening or cavity-inducing. This is like celebrating Independence Day by watching two guys wave flashlights about, going "Eeeeeeeeeeeeee... BOOM!"
Halloween traditions started in much simpler times. Young cave-children dressed in primitive costumes ("Thing With Big Fangs and Claws" was always popular), and scurried from cave to cave. The cave-adults would pretend to be frightened, and hand out roots and raw meat to make the "monsters" go away. Children being what they are, they'd often hide behind rocks and jump out at other children, shrieking like a sabre-tooth marmot, in hopes that someone would drop their armload of treats and run off.
Sometimes it would be an actual predator doing the jumping-out, but that was just part of the deal. Did the parents hover over their offspring, watching for the slightest sign of danger? No. They were back at the cave, handing out bits of meat and keeping the giant cave-hamsters from stealing their home. Halloween taught children that there were scary, dangerous things in the dark. Learning to metabolize the fear was an important part of growing up, allowing them to become healthy cave-adults who could face down a giant cave-hamster without becoming a quivering mess.
While I can understand modern parents wanting to protect their children from knowing that the world is a dangerous place, they may not be doing them a service by padding all the edges, blunting each corner and turning every fierce creature into a friendly mascot. Most people will never fight a vampire, be chased by zombies or have the hot breath of a werewolf on the back of their necks, but if that's the first time they feel the chill of mortal fear, it may well be their last. Sure, hearing the scary stories will make the little ones cower under the blankets at night, but when they aren't eaten in their sleep, the Paleolithic part of their brain figures out that they can survive being afraid. Those childhood nightmares aren't fun, but are a small price to pay for some life-saving confidence when facing the Things in the Dark.
But all of this, Fluffy, is not your problem. If you find satisfaction in handing out dental hygiene products, go for it! You're actually fortunate; you know your Purpose in Life, and many people go their entire lives without figuring that out. So have a Happy, and Scary, Halloween!
Good luck, and let me know how it comes out!