Scary Halloween Visitors

(posted Oct. 28, 2013)

Twelve years ago, as Halloween approached, I asked readers of what was then The Globe and Mail’s Challenge column to suggest scary Halloween costumes. Forget the monsters and ghouls, I said. Which Halloween visitors would really send a chill up the spine?
As Halloween 2013 approaches, it seems prudent to alert readers anew to these alarming possibilities. The authors’ names appear after their contributions.
Beware, then:

The hostess who, when you compliment her on the roast chicken, tells you she’s pleased you are enjoying it, since she was worried that leaving it out on the counter for two whole days might have spoiled it. (Brenda Weide)
Your daughter’s new boyfriend, who says that usually only his business associates call him “Mad Dog,” but you can too since he is dating your daughter. (Jerry Kitich)
The police officer who calls to say they found your wallet in the strip club and returned it to your wife. (Eric Mendelsohn)
Your Doberman, carrying a policeman’s cap in his mouth. (Colin Eyssen)
Your five-year-old, telling you she has sent her teacher a present of baby powder in an envelope. (ditto)
The young lad who brings you greetings from the lady you met at a convention 10 years ago, and who finishes by calling you “Dad.” (Charles Crockford)
The young man who appears at your door holding a chainsaw, says he is selling firewood, and, when asked where the wood is from, says, “Do you remember the 100-year-old maple you used to have in your back yard?” (ditto)
The young surgeon who, just as you feel the anesthetic taking over, lets slip that this is his first unassisted vasectomy. (R. Bryce)
The bagpipe player who comes to your house party, with his instrument. (Gordon Findlay)
The guest at your dinner party who insists you serve the wine he brought that he makes in his basement. (Alanna Little)
The host who invites you to dinner and then announces that he has a new recipe for squid and groundhog that he’s just dying to try out on someone. (Peter Marucci)
Your spouse’s parents, who, while maintaining that their stay will be a short one, are somewhat concerned that their new house will not be completed before winter arrives. (Robert Duffy)
And a happy boo to you, too.

Similar Challenge contests have formed the basis for Gulliver’s Day Trip (humour about books, book titles and reimagined plots) and If Famous Authors Wrote Nursery Rhymes, both from Nestlings Press (