The other day my beautiful wife and I took a trip up to visit our inlaws. (Well, her "laws", my inlaws.) They are great people, but their greatness was overshined by the fact that, while driving through their little Connecticut town, my wife spotted a Spirit Halloween pop-up store.
I almost grabbed the wheel and yanked us through traffic and over a grassy hill to get there faster, but I somehow found the restraint to NOT kill us over a Halloween store.
For those that don't know, Spirit Halloween are the people who open HUGE Halloween stores in locations that once were, I dunno, Staples or something? Anywhere there is a large, rentable property, they'll swing in for two months, vomit Halloween goodies everywhere, then disappear by November 1 without a trace.
I've been into my share of these stores, in my time (I dunno ... three? Four times? Doesn't take a lot to "get your share" of these stores, they're kinda overpowering) but this one was the cleanest one I've ever seen. And the shelves were super-stocked. I'd never been in such a store that didn't look disheveled and ... used. This one was Mint In Box. (Mint-In-Big-Box-Store? Is that a good pun?) The orderly state of it was probably because we hit this store up on its opening weekend. How do I know this? Because all the employees still had that smiling, cheerful demeanor that means that they have not dealt with screaming, bratty children and demanding, exhausted parents, 8 hours a day, every day, for two months straight ... yet. Their future is a grim one. For those about to Halloween retail, we salute you!
I walked around like a goggle-eyed idiot, snapping pictures on my phone. These pictured TANKED my battery, so even if they're not that great, I hope you can respect the sacrifice I made in taking them. (That sacrifice was that I could not play DOTS on my train ride back to NYC. O! THE TRIBULATIONS OF MY LIFE!)
|From left-to-right: Skeletons (20 tiny ones per gag!), Vampire Teeth, Glowing Eyeball, Witch Fingers, and Eyeball Pongball|
Boy was I glad that bags of vampire teeth are still a thing; it's always good to see that kids still have access to the classics. Also, if I had to guess, these "Witch Fingers" are so-called because the guy who was in charge of writing the text was unsure of the possessive case. "Witch's? Witchs'? Witches's? Which is?! Screw it: Witch Fingers it is!"
|From left-to-right: Glow Bats, Grey Mouse, Squooshey Mouse|
|From left-to-right: Spiders, Black Spiders, Glow Spiders, Glow Ants|
|Stay Puft Marshmallow Man Inflatable Costume from Ghostbusters|
Then again, why am I questioning it when I love it so much? "If you love something, question it." That's a proverb, right?
|Slimer Inflatable Costume|
|T-Shirt Costumes: Batman, Wolverine, Super Girl|
|Adult Bee Keeper Costume|
|Bat With Light Up Eyes hanging thingy|
I'm no biologist, but I'm not sure bats have hands like that. Though, if they do, it would explain why their clothes are all shredded up like that. And I'd be screaming mad, too, if every shirt I tried to pull on ended up in tatters. I think we all understand bats a little more, now.
Ever see those giant Santa Claus heads, around X-Mas time? This is what they look like, after the rats get to them, in the warehouse.
And then came an entire section of lawn ornaments. Each was a Halloween take on something that people with lawns often choose to place in their front yards:
|Trick-or-Treat Head Buckets|
Another good example of how fascinating the decision-making process behind what this store carries must be. I mean, I get pumpkin pails (an evergreen that kids will demand year-after-year), but Darth Vader? Elmo?! Spiderman?!?! It's so delightful to imagine that there are meetings - whole meetings - about which characters to turn into candy buckets!
"What licenses do we have?!"
"Uh ... Spider-Man..."
"Uh ... and Elmo..."
"BUCKET IT!! Here, give me that list. *mutters* bucket bucket bucket ... Look, guys, most of these are buckets! What's next on the agenda?!"
|Super Skins Body Suits|
Skin-tight full-body suit? Sounds like a nightmare, but these are, apparently, a "thing". I once saw a kid wearing nothing but a red one of these and a Santa hat. He was on his way to the giant Santa Bar Crawl thing they do here in the city. I draw no conclusions from that story, nor should you. I just wanted to mention that I saw that and have not been able to wipe the image from my mind since. Spandex-clad junk is not something you forget. It's my Vietnam.
|Scary Flying Ghost|
The illustration belies the fact that this is probably nothing more than a bed sheet with some sharpie on it, yes, but it's still a zip-lining ghost! It's as if the ghost is on The Bachelorette and it's saying, "I NEEDED to do this, to get over my fear and show him that I CAN face my fears, so we can build a life together! Er... I mean, ooOOOOoOOooo!"
And then there was a HEAD SECTION:
|Assorted Decapitated Heads|
|Assorted Decapitated Heads (But a Different Assortment Than The Others, But Still Heads)|
Alas, poor Yuric, I knew him well... Alas, poor Yuric, I knew him well... Alas, poor Yuric, I knew him well... Alas, poor Yuric, I knew him well... Alas, poor Yuric, I knew him well... Alas, poor Yuric, I knew him well... Alas, poor Yuric, I knew him well... Alas, poor Yuric, I knew him well... Alas, poor Yuric, I knew him well... Alas, poor Yuric, I knew him well... Alas, poor Yuric, I knew him well... Alas, poor Yuric, I knew him well... Alas, poor Yuric, I knew him well... Alas, poor Yuric, I knew him well... Alas, poor Yuric, I knew him well... Alas, poor Yuric, I knew him well... Alas, poor Yuric, I knew him well... etc. (Look, I know it was a crap joke, but I'm hoping the sheer VOLUME made you laugh.)
|Hanging Spooky Things|
Doesn't it look like that one just to the right of center is saying, "C'mere, you look like you need a hug!" and the one on the left is like, "Look, Jerry, just because they hung us next to each other doesn't mean we're friends!"?! And I SWEAR I didn't set that shot up! Crazy, but true.
|Dead Baby Aisle|
Somehow, we left this Halloween adventure land with almost nothing. (My wife bought socks.) Though, because it would go towards buying kids with cancer Halloween costumes (that's way better than cancer research, right?), we donated $2 and got these:
|The Spirit of Children Glow-In-The-Dark Bracelets|
It's still August.
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