Sunday, November 10, 2013 at 05:25PM
Benny Lawrence

The problem with violence on TV is not, as they tell us, that children are growing from ravening little monsters into ravening big monsters who lack the ability to function in society.  The problem is that it is getting so damn hard to scare children.

Case in point.  Halloween.  I am standing on Julia's porch next to a giant black widow spider we built together, artfully posed in attack position with its fangs raised and chittering.  Projected over the window we have supercloseup video footage of spiders hunting, so detailed that you can see the venom drip.  The porch is swathed in webs.  I am clad in an alligator suit- yes, I know that a certain amount of thematic unity is lost there, alligator hanging out next to a giant spider, but I had already built my costume when Julia came up with the spider theme and I didn't have the time to start over, what with my weekends being annexed by Her Majesty the Queen.  Whatever.  Nuts to thematic unity.  I had many sharp and pointy teeth and I was stalking around roaring for everything I was worth.  

Reaction on the part of the children?  Zip.  And I do not mean the moustachioed youngsters who would probably go straight from trick-or-treating to studying for their MBA.  I mean the tiny downy tykes.  They looked me square in the eye and shoved their treat bags under my nose as though they were terribly embarrassed by the whole situation.  Not one of them fled wailing, abandoning their bag of delicious candy for me to devour.  NOT ONE.

So obviously I will have to go for broke next year.  What concept is fresh enough to get past the defences of today's jaded youth?  Maybe pterodactyls dive-bombing down from overhead.  I will have to get started on some blueprints. 

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