Molasses kisses until his teeth ached, liquorice allsorts until his stomach ached, chocolate until he couldn’t sleep: my dad was the king of the sweet tooth. He kept it reined in for most of the year, with a Mackintosh’s toffee added here and there to test the strength of his fillings. But come holidays it was a sweet tooth marathon, beginning with Toblerone melting in his coffee on Christmas Day, Purdy’s dark chocolate hearts in February, Cadbury Creme eggs in April, and the full hailstorm of loot that is Halloween. Born on October 31st, I am pretty sure he arrived ready to trick-or-treat. And along with his penchant for liquorice and toffee came a passion for costumes. All of my childhood memories of Halloween involve birthday cake while dressing up, and knocking on doors alongside my Dad dressed to the nines. Some of his favourite costumes: mummy (head to toe strips of muslin, and he was 6′ 4″), giant rabbit, manservant Lurch from the Addams Family (and I in turn was Morticia), and a “chick” magnet.
I must admit I don’t carry on this tradition faithfully, but put me up to it and it always involves A for effort. Whether it is sewing sequin by sequin at warp speed before a party (hey Mariachi band, when is our next gig?) or painstakingly applying body glitter to best show off my ballroom dancing form, or sweating in a pair of PVC pants in support of Sven and Kasha, the domanatrix duo…I have had my fill of pizazz to make up for the years where baking and old movies take precedence. If my child puts a sheet over their head and runs through the streets with a pillowcase scamming candy I will be so disappointed. In the spirit of pumpkin guts, sugar buzzes and good old fashioned tomfoolery, Happy Halloween folks!