Halloween is almost upon us. Unlike last year, we might actually get to enjoy it this time. Even if you’re not a big fan of dressing up or hearing The Monster Mash every five minutes, I encourage everyone to get out there and enjoy this holiday.
Whether it involved dressing up, trick-or-treating, passing out candy, or watching horror movies, I say go the extra mile this year. Be a little more elaborate with your costume. Drink a little extra pumpkin ale. Give out more candy than usual. Seriously, after last year, we all need it.
I certainly have plans this year. I really do want to make the most of Halloween this year. In the spirit of inspiring others, I’d like to share one of my fondest Halloween memories from when I was a kid. This is a memory my parents and siblings probably know, too. I hope they are just as fond of it as me.
For this particular Halloween, I was still in grade school. I was also finally at an age where I could go trick-or-treating without my parents having to be chaperones. The only stipulation they gave was that, if I went out trick-or-treating, I had to go with a friend. Thankfully, I had that covered, courtesy of a friend who lived three houses down.
We both made it a point to be ambitious this year. We were going to try and get to as many houses as possible and maximize our haul of candy. I distinctly remember us plotting out how we would cover every block in our neighborhood. It was probably the most excited I’d ever been for Halloween.
In terms of costumes, my friend and I kept things simple. He dressed up as Han Solo, complete with a vest, boots, and a fake blaster. Him being a Star Wars fan, that was hardly surprising. For me, I dressed up as Johnny Bravo. If you had been watching Cartoon Network at all during this time, as I had, chances are you were familiar with him.
His style was simple, but his personality was what stood out. He basically carried himself like Elvis Presley, Bruce Lee, and the Fonz. Since I wasn’t the most extroverted kid in the world, it was a stark contrast from my usual persona. I still embraced it in the spirit of Halloween.
Like my friend, my costume was simple. I just put on a pair of blue jeans, a tight black shirt, and a pair of sunglasses. To fully complete the look, I doused my hair with hair gel and slicked it back so that I had that distinctly Bravo look.
It wasn’t perfect or in the mold of a professional cosplayer, but it was still serviceable for a kid my age. It also gave me an excuse to talk like Elvis for an entire night. I’m not gonna lie. I had a lot of fun with that. Remember, I was a pretty shy kid growing up. Me being that outgoing was a major shift. It was jarring, but in a good way.
With our costumes ready, my friend and I ventured out as soon as the sun set. It certainly helped that the weather that night was perfect Halloween weather. It was cool and crisp. There weren’t any clouds in the sky and we had a full moon. It was as perfect a Halloween setting as you could get without a psycho in a hockey mask.
My friend and I took full advantage of that weather. We started hitting houses as soon as we could, starting on our own block and working our way out. We were thorough, but efficient. We didn’t linger too much. We just showed off our costumes, got our candy, and moved on.
It was as perfect demonstration of just how effective trick-or-treating could be for a couple kids our age. I’m genuinely proud of how much ground we covered and how much candy we got.
We still found time to have a bit of fun. Most of the houses we visited recognized my friend as being Han Solo. They weren’t as sure about me. I had to explain to them who Johnny Bravo was, which often involved me dropping some lines from the show.
At times, I was a bit more animated than necessary, but I make no apologies for that. I also like to think those people still know who Johnny Bravo is to this day. They may have never seen the cartoon, but they remember the trick-or-treater who visited them that night.
Overall, my friend and I were out for nearly two hours that night. We ended up almost entirely filling our pillowcases with candy. I don’t remember how much of it we ate that night, but I remember it being extra delicious. The fact that we worked so hard to get so much out of Halloween that year just made it so much sweeter.
After that, there were other Halloween festivities. There were other costumes and other elaborate trick-or-treating efforts. However, none were quite as successful as that fateful night. On a night when Han Solo teamed up with Johnny Bravo, we created the ultimate Halloween experience and for that, I am proud and thankful for my friend.
He knows who he is. I don’t know if he’ll read this, but I hope he remembers that night as fondly as I do. I also hope that inspires others to make the same effort for this Halloween that my friend and I did all those years ago. Also, I can safely say all that candy went to good use.