Monday, October 31, 2011

Boo (hoo)!

The time is once more upon us for Halloween in France, that pinnacle of the anticlimactic, sandwiched in between Saint Patrick’s Day and Groundhog’s Day on the roll call of holidays that no one gives a damn about. I mean sure, there are a few (Anglo or pseudo Anglo) bars in Paris that will be having Halloween parties tonight, and I have just read that costume sales are up, but between us, Halloween still has a long way to go before it officially catches on around here. Which is a shame, really, because how can you not love candy pumpkins? Seriously? 

Hurts (my teeth) so good!

A few years ago, sensing the onset of yet another bout of expatriate Halloween blues, I came up with a Parisian alternative: champagne, macarons and a bubble bath. But this year, no can do; my place has far too many people in it. So instead, last night we decided to go for a spin though Père Lachaise cemetery in eastern Paris. In preparation for All Saints’ Day, the 110-acre cemetery was bedecked with police officers and flowers—mainly chrysanthemums, which I now realize are official tomb flowers and thus explains why they’re so, um, inexpensive. During my less abundant years I was a big, big fan of chrysanthemums: for my apartment, for my friends, as hostess gifts, housewarming gifts, birthday gifts.... I’m beginning to understand some of the reactions I got. Huh.

So, Père Lachaise. It seemed appropriate to go, even more so at day’s end. Between the uneven (creepy) cobblestone paths, fluttering autumn leaves, cackling crows and crumbling tombstones, we got a nice dose of the hibbie jibbies. I mean sort of. I’m not sure that the Headless Horseman could exactly hang out in Père Lachaise; not with all those gendarmes everywhere. Not that I’m complaining.

Sorry, Sir. Do you have a permit for that head?

I must admit to busting a few Thriller moves at one point, hoping I wouldn’t be sentenced to eternal damnation for daring to make fun in a cemetery. But despite the decidedly macabre atmosphere, frankly, visiting Jim Morrison’s final resting place for the 5th time in my life wasn’t nearly as enjoyable as, say, munching on a couple of those miniature Butterfingers would have been. My kingdom for a Hershey bar! Maybe I’m becoming jaded.

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