NO COSTUME REQUIRED by Brian Roper

Posted: October 19, 2007 in The Roper Files

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As Halloween approaches I find myself in a strange uncharacteristic reflective mood. Forty-nine years old and the kid in me loves the decorations I see in everyones yards as I drive down the street. A holiday is coming. And yet as an adult, it’s just another day for me. Get up. Go to work. Yes sir Mr. Schlupstein; no sir Mr. Schlupstein! I-35 and its shitty traffic. Get up; make coffee. Fix that sandwich. Toss a mini-bag of Fritos into my lunch sack with it. Hot damn; another day.For some of us everyday is Halloween. I feel out of place everywhere I go, all the time. Life seems so meaningless, so pointless. Go to work, come home. Bills in the mailbox totalling to twice as much as I made today; every cent of my next check is already spent. Trick Or Treat! My whole life is a constant trick; where’s my treats?

Driving down the street last evening right before sundown, I passed a house where one of the fattest, ugliest women I’ve ever seen in my life was standing out front. Her head turns slowly as I drive by. Looking in the mirror, I could see her continuing to stare at me as I passed. She turned her back to me and I could see a giant tattoo on her back, up above the back of the halter-top she was wearing.

What a beast I thought to myself and then I felt a momentary twinge of guilt. She might be a really nice person for all I know; who am I to pass judgement?

And yet this is something I go through daily. We all know how 20-20 hind-sight is; wouldn’t it be great if we were all that perceptive, all the time? We would all make reasonable decisions all the time. Never act on our impulses. Always stop and think first.  If you’re anything like me however, this is pure science-fiction.

But have you taken a really good look around lately? Our society looks like the old Jim Rose show circa 1993. I especially love the Anton LaVey look I see white and Hispanic guys both sporting these days; the shaved head and the little goatee beard. Tattoos and piercings aside, we’re also the most roly-poly nation on earth as well, despite our obsession with working out, bicycling, and aerobics.

No wonder every other nation of earth is afraid of us. Put yourselves in their shoes/sandals/whatever. Here’s all these big fat motherfuckers with metal studs in their eyebrows, lips, etc. who own every conceivable weapon of mass destruction you can think of and worse. Wouldn’t you be scared? I LIVE here and this place scares me.

Let’s face it, every day is Halloween as far as I’m concerned. Vampires and werewolves pale in comparison to real-life monsters. Hollywood can’t match the newspapers for pure unadulterated horror, something that hasn’t changed much since Peter Bogdanovich pointed this out in his 1968 film TARGETS

Turned on the tv news lately? Read the paper? It’s a fucking insane asylum out there. Can’t believe the stuff I read; and people here wonder why they call us infidels in the Middle East. We Americans wallow in deviant behavior. We buy tickets and cds and dvds to see people (who we make millionaires) I’m not sure I’d want in my house. But it seems like almost anything is forgivable if you can afford a dream team of attorneys to explain away almost any contemptable act as the result of bad potty training or whatever excuse they can come up with. Some low-life rapper gets caught with a pistol at an airport; he pays and drives off. The rest of us; hello stripey hole! Actors and actresses get caught driving DUI over and over, they do a day in jail; the rest of us…ten years!  OJ (who’s been saying for ten years he’s broke, but can always come up with the scratch for attorneys) walks into a casino with guns and does one weekend in jail; the rest of us wouldn’t see daylight for years. And this is shrugged off as normal. Business as usual.

This whole country has turned into a giant freakshow/sideshow. It’s a scary place; no doubt. Think you really need a mask this Halloween? You’re scary enough as you are, trust me.

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