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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

October brings surprise

Mike Morin

It’s been an October for the ages. While the Detroit Tigers were in baseball’s post-season play, our Fancona-less Red Sox were not.

For the first time ever, it looked as though the New Hampshire Primary would take place before the leaves are off the trees. I have shrubs that typically flower in July, blooming again this month, for the second time this season. Do I dare put my snow blower for sale on Craigslist? Any takers? I’ll even include a full tank of gas. And a Josh Beckett autographed poster.

At 84-degrees, the Oct. 9 record-high temperature was the same as the July 9 reading. Will it be too warm to give trick-or-treaters chocolate candy this year? Can’t you just see the little Hulks and Lady Gagas dumping out piles of sweet oozing goo onto kitchen tables following their 78-degree night of fun? Actually, the Nashua record high for Halloween was 73-degrees in 1950, before trick-or-treating became popular.

While we’re on the topic, the National Retail Foundation reports spending on Halloween has increased substantially over the past six years. In 2006, we shelled out a little over $1 billion for the holiday. This year, that figure will more than double from five years ago. Only Christmas exceeds Halloween for money spent on decorations.

More than $300 million will be doled out on dressing our pets in Halloween costumes. Barbara’s son’s pit bull was dressed in fairy wings last year. Jaxyn seemed to enjoy the attention and took it all in stride, while a cute poodle dressed like a bumble bee flirted with him.

Last year, Lady Baba and I attended a costume party. She dressed as Linda Blair’s character, Regan, from The Exorcist. I accompanied her as the priest. Other party-goers seemed to avoid us. It was as if they were afraid there might be some kind of pea soup malfunction. There wasn’t. I’m always fearful of being pulled over by police while driving to Halloween parties.

“Sorry Father,” the cop might say. “Gotta give you a ticket for swerving in and out of traffic.”

“I apologize, officer. I was trying to cast out devils. Won’t happen again.” Distracted driving comes in many forms these days.

Then, there’s the big business of haunted attractions. For $30 or more, you can enter a spooky house, filled with ghoulishly-dressed actors, and have the pea soup scared out of you. Even the Red Sox are getting into the act with Spooky World Presents The Fear at Fenway opening next week. Like September wasn’t scary enough for Red Sox Nation this year.

It’s been an October for the record books. Maybe we need to rename this month HOT-ober, to go along with other permutations of the 10th month. There’s Rocktober for metal heads. Jocktober for athletes. Crocktober for politicians. Socktober for foot fetish freaks. Guess I’ll stop there.

With our luck, Hotober will quickly become SNOW-vember, just like that. Guess I’ll stop there. I put my snow blower on Craigslist, remember?

Hear Mike Morin weekdays from 5-10 a.m. on “New Hampshire in the Morning” on 95.7 WZID. Contact him at His column runs the first, third and fifth Tuesdays of the month.