We didn't have cable television. The first movie I remember terrifying me was Gremlins, at age seven. At eight, Large Marge nearly made me shit my pants and by nine I'd seen Clue at a slumber party.
I had nightmares after all three, searingly vivid dreams that left me sweaty with terror. Thirty years later, I'm no longer a child or a complete pussy. I can revisit these beastly scenes of PG horror and still sleep at night.
A mom I know posted the following photograph on social media yesterday, depicting what are, apparently, someone's personal Halloween decorations. Two fake bodies, wrapped in bloody plastic and duct tape, hanging from a tree in a suburban family neighborhood.
Given my reaction to the waxy onscreen Gremlins, I imagine if I'd stumbled upon this as a child I'd have stroked out. Or I'd certainly still be in therapy.
I'm forced to give props in regards to the artistry - if one can call it such. This is incredibly realistic looking.
I understand, too, that Halloween is renowned for being fright night. Googling scary Halloween attractions generates nearly a million and a half results, proving that many people will pay good money to be jolted into an adrenaline rush. Sometimes it's fun to be scared.
And while I'm almost never one to argue against freedom of expression, this photo has been niggling me. You can choose to visit a haunted house or see a horror movie, but you can't choose whether someone near you finds this an appropriate lawn ornament.
Are we this desensitized to our communities around us?
People have kids. Victims of violence have families. Cops have better things to do than check out your yard decor.
I have the mouth of a trucker and I've been known to behave in manners completely unbecoming to a lady. I probably offend more people than I attract. Yet, even on my most oblivious days, I would recognize that this is taking things a bit too far.
I don't take joy in terrorizing people and my idea of holiday spirit isn't making children cry.
Trick or treat, Mystery Decorator. You're an asshole.