Below are a series of letters which I’m thinking of sending to our President to declare a moratorium on Halloween because shit’s already too damn scary in America.
DEAR PRESIDENT BIDEN (Letter #1): I’m writing to ask if you’d issue an Executive Order to cancel Halloween this year. I realize that you have a lot on your plate and absolutely nothing seems to be going well for you at the moment, however, I think allowing Halloween to proceed as usual will just make matters worse for you and for me.
Apparently, you and the First Lady are leaving town for Halloween and skipping off to the G-20 Summit anyway. For the first time in years, Halloween at the White House has been cancelled. That’s a great idea. I think you had a hunch that this Halloween wasn’t worth honoring. I mean, think about it. Who needs Freddy Krueger showing up at your house when we’re in the midst of a pandemic, domestic terrorism, run-amuck racism, anti-vax morons, Republicans that would like to see you rot in Hell, and, as for me, a new coat and cute throw pillows marooned at sea on a cargo ship that probably won’t dock until after Christmas?
DEAR MR. PRESIDENT (Letter #2): It is my humble opinion that the entire country is already demon-possessed without the help of Halloween ghouls. Have you been on an airplane lately and encountered a passenger beating the crap out of a flight attendant just because she asked the monster to cover their nose with his or her mask? No? I suppose that doesn’t happen on Air Force One. Given many of the passengers’ over-the-top responses reported in the news, one would think the flight attendant had asked the traveler to cut out his/her/their mother’s liver and fry it up with fava beans and serve the dish with a glass of Chianti. Not only are the American people possessed—at least 75 million at my last count—but I’m beginning to think that so are inanimate objects (i.e., airplanes). America is just one sucked-out brain, zombie apocalypse away from a total nervous breakdown from flying to and fro in these tin tubes of torture.
DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: (Letter #3): My latest conspiracy theory is that airplanes are demon-possessed, which might account for some of the outbreaks of madness happening within them. Let me lay on you an anecdotal travel story that might shed some light on this theory. Recently, I flew across the country to visit my newly minted grandbaby. I was fully prepared against the Covid zombies because I got two vaccine shots plus a booster, secured scores of N95 masks for the trip, and packed dozens of Clorox wipes to disinfect everything on the plane from the pilot to my tray table. All went well on the flights to Seattle to see my granddaughter, but nothing prepared me for the heart attack the airline zombie tried to cause me on my return.
Mr. President, upon approaching Chicago from Seattle, the plane suddenly began to violently twist and dip as the pilot barked over the loudspeaker: “All flight attendants back to your seats; all passengers fasten your seat belts, and I don’t care if you’ve had to pee since we left Seattle—now’s the time to hold it!”
Twenty minutes later, the pilot spoke again, but this time I could have sworn I heard a diabolical chuckle rumbling out of the left engine: “We’re approaching our destination but due to unexpected weather we’ll have to blow past Chicago, swing over into Indiana and approach Chicago from the East. For those of you who flunked geography, let’s just say, making your next connection may be a little Herculean.”
“Surely, they will hold the connecting plane for us,” said naïve me to no one in particular.
Ten minutes later, the plane landed in Chicago, and the pilot spoke again: “Well folks, as you can see, we’ve landed, but because we were late and came in from the East instead of from the West, there are no gates available for us to unload. Stay seated. Stay buckled. Stay tuned until we solve this mess.”
Nine minutes later when the plane stopped at the sanctioned gate, the following message exploded on half of the cell phones of passengers scheduled to connect to Richmond, VA and beyond: “This is the last flight tonight back to Richmond. If you don’t make this flight, Chicago would love to have you stay for the night. Your connecting gate is a 17 minute walk from here. Your plane leaves in 5 minutes!” As a collective groan permeated the air, I am almost sure I heard our plane burp out a raucous “BRAH-HA-HA-HA!” as my husband screamed at me: “Run, Forrest, run!”
Mr. President, I am a 73-year-old Black woman, slightly chunky with massive boobs, which I discovered have the ability to take flight when one is moving at the speed of light, and they have the potential to knock ones’ eyes out. I also discovered that one can barely breathe when one has worn a N95 mask for 12 straight hours, but when forced to run like Elaine Thompson-Herah in a mask, one enters into a claustrophobic stinky-breath chamber of the beginnings of a heart attack. At one point, all I could remember were fellow passengers scattering in my wake and me screaming to my husband in my hysterical state:
“Keep going, Honey. Leave me. Save yourself!”
Of course, we’ve known each other for almost 50 years so he knew better than to leave me behind because I know where he lives.
We crossed the threshold onto the plane just as the door was being prepped to close. I faintly heard the flight attendant ask me if I was okay. (She must have noticed my throbbing temples, my audible gasping for air, my heaving chest, and my eyes rolling back into my head—all the while keeping on my mask, mind you.) A millennial from our other flight staggered on after us and was so surprised to see I had made the flight before he did, that he loudly applauded my triumphant feat to the rest of the passengers. I shot him a look of furious indignation and muttered into my mask: “I fucking hate Chicago, I fucking hate this airline, I fucking hate N95 masks, and I fucking hate smug millennials!”
Mr. President, the plane took off with only half its passenger list. (I could have sworn I heard the plane cut lose a diabolical laugh, but then again maybe it was only one of the engines backfiring or my heart exploding.)
It was the survival of the fittest who made that connection. If you were pregnant, if you had babies, if you were old, if you needed a wheel chair, if the Chicago zombies got you before you could make it off the first plane, if you fainted from your heart imploding getting from C-Gate through the colorful light tunnel and down the convoluted corridors to E-Gate, then you never made it back home that night.
Why couldn’t they have held the plane? That would have been the humane thing to do. Instead, the attendant offered me a drink—copious drinks to be exact. I did not want a drink—all I wanted to do was smack somebody! I’m not saying my reaction was correct, polite, godly, or wise. I’m just saying that the demonic plane and the zombie airlines conspired to suck out all the kindness and grace from my being on that trip, and I can understand how the American traveler is fed up and on the edge of implosion at any given moment—especially in the midst of a zombie pandemic.
BTW, Mr. President, they barely fed me but constantly pushed alcohol on me. You see where I’m going with this? Copious alcohol + no food + lack of airline travel grace = one gigantic zombie apocalypse.
Once again, who needs to celebrate Halloween when scary shit happens on your way home from visiting your grandbaby.
DEAR MR. PRESIDENT (Letter #4): No sooner had I returned from my plane travel through Hell, a friend told me that while I was gone, some MAGA dude who lives in my planned community was seen strolling up and down his street with an AR-15 strapped to his chest trying to enlist his neighbors to join him in arming our community with guns to protect the “rich White people” from the Black Lives Matter groups that he was convinced were coming to burn down their homes. White people do make up the majority in this golf community, but we also have Black folks (me being one of them), Asian folks, Hispanic folks, Indian folks, and Gay and Lesbian folks who live here.
It didn’t take much digging to ascertain what street this fool lived on, and lo-and-behold, it is a street I walk past every day on the wooded pathway. My heart stopped. I immediately had a flashback to 35 years ago when I was taking a walk, and a White woman who looked to be in her sixties swerved her car across my path and verbally assaulted me for walking past her house. She demanded to know what was in my pockets (a Walkman with my favorite music on a loop and some gum), and ordered that I not be there when she returned, or else…
Mr. President, I was 40+ years old at the time, married with two children, a college degree, and went to the church right down the road. If the state where this happened had been an open-carry or even concealed weapon state at the time, I could have been Ahmaud Arbery (25-year-old unarmed Black man out jogging in a Georgia community who was gunned down by neighbors because they assumed he was up to no good). I can’t remember now if the old White woman who attacked me clearly heard me say the paragraph that damned her before her god, but I sure hope she did: “But I’m your neighbor; I live around the corner in that pretty cedar house with the immaculate landscaping, and I’ve walked past your home everyday for six months—it’s just that I am usually with two of my White neighbors or my White husband. Didn’t you see me then—can you not see me now? Is this a trick?”
Who needs Halloween to scare us when we have treats like my community’s MAGA dude with AR-15s hunting Black folks who are just trying to live their lives?
DEAR MR. PRESIDENT (Letter #5): This is the last letter of my petition requesting you shut down Halloween this year because life in America is already too scary. Regarding my previous letter, I just wanted to add that most of the people in my community are lovely. I do believe the AR-15 guy is an outlier. But all it takes is one Freddy Krueger to terrorize a community.
I want you to know that I did stroll past the MAGA dude’s street (on the opposite side) the other day, and as I was admiring the Halloween decorations on the corner house, sure enough—like lightening—a guy in a white luxury sedan came barreling down the street and pulled up short of the stop sign. He made no attempt to move on. He just sat there and stared at me for what seemed like an eternity.
I stared right back at him—waiting for him to challenge my existence in my own community.
I was dressed to the nines in my usual sassy garden hat with matching Lululemon Athletica apparel—in full makeup—false eyelashes and all. My head phones were plugged into my iPod playing Gospel music. I had on my ankle brace because apparently, I twisted my left ankle in the Great Chicago Airport sprint a week before, and my chic athletic outfit was topped off with a carved walking stick—perfectly suitable for a 73-year-old fashionista Black Lives Matter activist out to burn down a couple White people’s houses as she took her morning constitutional in the community where she lives. Good grief!
As I stared at the driver in the idling car, and he stared back at me, I wondered if this scenario might indeed turn into an Ahmaud Arbery situation. Fortunately for me, a couple of my White neighbors came along on the path, greeted me effusively and warmly, and I tagged along with them down the trail while the man in the white car slowly, and what seemed to be reluctantly, turned in the opposite direction once it was clear I wasn’t a Black Life he could terrorize.
Happy Halloween, Mr. President. Whether you cancel Halloween this year or not, blessing be to you and your family. I pray for you daily. Hang in there. I will too. The monsters can’t live forever—I hope (gulp!).
Eleanor Tomczyk is an author and a satirist who is an award-winning voice-over performer. In 2011, she created the blog, “How the Hell Did I End Up Here” which features mostly satirical posts that have thousands of readers around the world—although she was recently banned in Pakistan (for real!). Tomczyk’s three books were featured in a recent book festival: “Monsters’ Throwdown,” “Fleeing Oz,” and “The Fetus Chronicles—Podcasts to my Miseducated Self.” Currently in her 70s and living life like it is freakin’ golden, she is a consummate storyteller and much sought-after motivational speaker. If you don’t believe me, just ask her!
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