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Column: About time...

Posted: October 1, 2018 3:39 p.m.
Updated: October 2, 2018 1:00 a.m.

It may be a false feeling, but it sure seems like that God-awful humidity and stifling heat may finally be gone.
Of course, it’s about time -- we are now into the month of October.

I do love this time of year. The warm, but not brutally hot days and deliciously cool nights make it actually worth living here.

It’s the best time to be at the beach because the sun is good, the water is still warm and all of the tourons have gone back home to Ohio and New Jersey, where they belong. Usually, the waves are at their best this time of year, at least in our waters. I haven’t been aboard a surfboard in a number of years -- that part of my life is but a happy memory -- but if I change my mind and decide to court drowning or permanent disability, this would be the time of year I would climb aboard and paddle into the lineup.

Of course, up in the hills, the leaves are getting ready to do that spectacular color explosion -- surely there is nothing more beautiful than peak leaf season in the Blue Ridge.

And then there is Halloween, my truly love it/hate it/when-all-is-said-and-done-just-deal-with-it holiday.

I mean, sure, the little hordes of sand blowers dressed as ghosts and goblins and witches and lord knows what else and squeaking out “twick or tweat” in their little rabbit/mouse cartoon voices are mighty cute.

Still, as I ease comfortably into curmudgeonhood, I’m not into granting legitimacy to an activity that is at best glorified begging and at worst veiled extortion. So whether you say “twick or tweat” or “gimme your candy, your cell phone and your wallet,” if you’re at my front door, I’m probably going to do what I always do: give out foil wrapped bouillon cubes and old salad crackers.

Hey, they’re tastier and  have almost as lengthy a shelf life as candy corn.

Of course, I could get ’70s retro and go all Beldar Conehead on our little visitors: “Greetings, earth children; we have insect pesticide strips, fiberglas insulation, fried chicken embryos ... and beer!”

Nah ... bouillon cubes and crackers should be a gracious plenty.

I do occasionally miss some of the pranks used to define Halloween. There’s nothing funnier than scaring the living bejeebers out of unsuspecting folks, whether you jump out of a closet and scream “boo!” or chase total strangers across your front yard wearing overalls  and swinging a running chainsaw.

And, while I realize no one likes a vandal, I still occasionally wonder, does anyone ever “roll” a yard or leave a flaming bag of doggie doots on a front porch anymore?

I doubt it; throwing rolls of toilet paper into trees would undoubtedly violate someone’s civil rights, not to mention somehow contribute to climate change.

But never fear! It’s October in Camden, and if the sorry state of national and world affairs brings you down, we do have a cure, at least this weekend. Happily, you don’t have to sing the blues, because starting Thursday night, a lot of really talented blues musicians will be all over town ready to do that for you. That’s right; it’s time for the Carolina Downhome Blues Festival, still turning Broad Street into Beale Street after more than two decades.

Of course, if that doesn’t help you, then B.B. may be right -- the thrill is gone.


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