Jon Gibbs (jongibbs) wrote,
Jon Gibbs

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A Letter from America: Halloween

Dear Mummsy,


Greetings from the ex-colonies across the pond! 


Since this electronic email thing seems to be all the rage these days, I thought I’d have another bash at it. Personally, I don’t see what all the fuss is about. The last one I wrote took just as long to reach you as a regular letter would have – longer really, since I had to type the bally thing into my personal computer and print it out before I could post it to you. Still, I suppose we must move with the times.


How are you keeping? I got the letter and photos you put in with that last food parcel you sent over. The new drawbridge looks rather spiffy. I was sorry to hear Uncle Aubrey got sent down again. Mind you, I’m not surprised. No jury was going to believe he mistook the Roger the donkey’ sign outside the stable for an instruction, even if he was drunk at the time.


Things are going well here, though the antics of some of the locals continue to baffle me. For example, you know how back home we teach our children never to talk to (or take sweets from) strangers? Well every year, Americans do just the opposite. On the last day of October, they put their kids in fancy-dress then send them out knocking on strangers’ doors to ask for a donation – usually in the form of confectionary – in return for not having some kind of prank played upon them.


‘Trick or Treat’ they call it, though if you ask me, it sounds more like ‘Demanding candy with menaces.’


Just this morning one young scamp turned up at the door wearing a postal worker’s outfit. Needless to say, I sent him away with a flea in his ear. I told him he was much too old for such nonsense (he must have been at least twenty), and that the fake parcels he carried fooled no one.


Later this evening, all across the country, pavements will teem with costumed kiddies, their parents ambling through the neighborhood like modern day Fagins, pushing the younglings on strollers while the older children scurry back and forth collecting their swag. 


Even some of the adults dress up. Last year I was amazed to see one parent tottering up and down our street wearing six-inch heels and a rather saucy French maid’s oufit. I’m sure I’m not alone in hoping that if there’s a return visit this year, he wears something a little more suitable, or at least shaves off his beard. 


I blame Hollywood and all those motion pictures. 


Speaking of Hollywood, do you remember young Timmy Roth, cousin Bertram’s eldest? Well, I saw him on the telly the other week. He’s in some show called Lie to Me. I almost didn’t recognize him – he’s puts on a rather amusing Cockney voice, like that Van Dyke fellow in the Mary Poppins film. Still at least it’s not a phony American accent , like the ones used by Hugh Laurie, Stephen Hawking or that Regis Philbin chap.


In other news: Last week I came across a delightful beverage. The locals call it “Hard char-glet” – a delicious combination of warm milk and cocoa, topped with whipped cream. I’ll send you the recipe.


Well, I’d best be going. We’re off to lunch. This time we’re going to McDonalds – yes, they have them over here too. 


Hugs and kissy-poos from all the family,


Your obedient son,





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