Jack-o’-Lanterns Were Once Made Out of Turnips, Beets and Potatoes—Not Pumpkins.

The jack-o’-lantern comes from an old Irish tale about a man named Stingy Jack. According to folklore, Stingy Jack was out getting sloshed with the Devil when Jack convinced his drinking partner to turn himself into a coin to pay for the drinks without spending money. Jack then put the Devil, shaped like a coin, into his pocket, which also contained a silver cross that kept the Devil from transforming back. Jack promised to free the Devil as long as the Devil wouldn’t bother him for a year, and if he died, the Devil could never claim his soul. Jack tricked the Devil again later, getting him to pick a piece of fruit out of a tree and then carving a cross into the bark when the Devil was in the branches. This trick bought Jack another 10 years of devil-free living.

When Jack finally died, God decided he wasn’t fit for heaven, but the Devil had promised never to claim his soul for hell. So Jack was sent off to roam Earth with only a burning coal for light. He put the coal into a turnip as a lantern, and Stingy Jack became “Jack of the Lantern” or “Jack o’ Lantern.” Based on this myth, the Irish carved scary faces into turnips, beets and potatoes to scare away Stingy Jack or any other spirits of the night.

Source.

Adults Are Assholes

Kids are not stupid. They know that finding the kind of person who leaves out candy for you to take without monitoring what you take is a rare deal. Most kids will try not to mess up a sweet gig like that, unless of course they’ve been taught by their parents that it’s OK to ruin a perfect world for everyone if some sugar is at stake. That’s what YouTuber InternetLasers learned when a trip out of town on Halloween meant they wouldn’t be able to hand out candy. Not wanting to disappoint the local children, InternetLasers put out full-sized candy bars on a table outside their home with the note “Help yourself, but be considerate!” A hidden camera captured who actually followed this instruction:

First of all, there is a bright side to this video: the kids are alright. Literally dozens of kids pass the test before the violator shows up. Even the Edward Scissorhands kid who jokes about making off with an armful of candy bars puts them back. Then the worst fairy princess ever shows up, and it even looks like she argues with that same Scissorhands kid before teaching her own son an important lesson: when you’re faced with something as pure and innocent as a table of free candy, you better ruin it before someone else does.

Scenes from a Birthday

Yeah, it’s that time of year. It kind of snuck up on me again. For most of my life I’ve been used to it being over 100℉ when it’s time to light the candles on my cake, and living in Denver—or even in San Francisco for that matter—I never got the usual seasonal clues.

I’ve reached the age where birthdays aren’t as big a thing as they once were; they’re more a realization that I’ve simply managed to survive another trip around the sun and that I’m one year closer to retirement.

That being said, this year will be a memorable one. After I initially located it (may the FSM bless the internets with his noodly appendages!), Ben managed to acquire the one gift I’ve been wanting for many, many months: the German language soundtrack of The Nightmare Before ChristmasEver since I first stumbled across the This is Halloween on YouTube years ago (that I regularly repost here on the holiday) I was hooked and wanted more, more, MOAR!

I had three years of German in high school and an additional two in college. At that point I was relatively fluent, but over the years it’s faded. Back in 2007 or so I dived back in, getting out all my old textbooks and realized I hadn’t forgotten as much as I’d feared. At one point I even connected with a nurse at the hospital I where I was working at the time who was a native speaker, but just when my skills were getting decent—or at least passable—again, she left for parts unknown.

Even though my auditory vocabulary is once again failing me and at best I can only glean bits and pieces of spoken (reading is slow, but as long as I have a dictionary at hand I can manage) German now, that doesn’t mean I still don’t love the sound of the language, and discovering that there actually was an entire  German language soundtrack available to one of my favorite movies literally made me squeal.

And for the occasion of this birthday, we also chose to support a local restaurant, The Creek Seafood GrillDelicious is an understatement. I had the Cioppino, and Ben had the scallops. Both dishes were incredible. We’ll definitely be returning. Afterward we stopped by Milk&Cake, where I got as much of a birthday cake as I wanted or needed:

I Still Love This Version

Hier in Halloween

Kommt mit uns, wir laden euch ein
Kinder hören wir unheimlich gern schrei’n
Hier bei uns wird nur geschrien
Fliehen wir nach Halloween

Hier in Halloween
Hier in Halloween
Kürbis kreischt um die Mitternacht

Hier in Halloween
spielen jedem, ders verdient Schabernack
Und dann fallen sie tot um vor Schreck

Halloween! Hier wird nur geschrien
jeder hier liebt Halloween

Ich bin das Monster unter deinem Bett
Augen rot, die Zähne gefletscht

Unter der Treppe da mach ich mich rar
Finger wie Schlangen und Spinnen in den Haaren

Hier in Halloween
Hier in Halloween
Halloween, Halloween
Halloween, Halloween

Jetzt geht’s rund, wie man sieht
Jedermann singt unser Kürbislied

Jetzt geht’s rund! Heut’ ist Halloween
Jedermann erwartet neuen Schabernack

Um die Ecke, da steckt einer im Mülleimer
Jemand lauert, und er stürzt sich gleich auf…dich!
Wie schön Halloween
Rot und schwarz, schleimig grün!
Hast du Angst?
Au, das ist fein!

Sag’ es laut, sag’s noch mal
Roll die Würfel, triff die Wahl
Reizet den Mond um die Mitternacht

Hier wird nur geschrien
Hier wird nur geschrien
Nur bei uns in Halloween

Ich bin der Clown mit dem Abreiß-Gesicht
Schwupps ist es da, und auf einmal nicht

Ich bin der Wer, wenn du rufst “Wer da?”
Ich bin der Wind, weh durch dein Haar

Ich bin der Schatten, der den Mond bedeckt
Schlafe nicht ein, sonst wirst du erschreckt

Hier in Halloween
Hier in Halloween
Halloween, Halloween
Halloween, Halloween
Halloween, Halloween

Leichen pflastern unsern Weg
Schrecken ist hier Privileg

Ob in Wien oder in Berlin
Nichts ist schöner als Halloween

Jetzt geht’s rund! Heut’ ist Halloween
Jedermann erwartet neuen Schabernack

Skellington Jack, der König
bringt dich um vor Schreck!
Springt dir ins Genick
und dann hörst du ihn schrei’n

Hier in Halloween, hier wird nur geschrien
bitte macht jetzt Platz für ein wirklich feinen Kerl
Unser Jack ist König der Kürbisse
Jedermann grüßt unsern Kürbiskönig

Hier in Halloween
Hier in Halloween
Halloween, Halloween
Halloween, Halloween

Jetzt geht’s rund, wie man sieht
Jedermann singt unser Kürbislied!