Z. Madison

For when you're relaxing at home or killing company time - Z. Madison's here for you.


My Favorite Halloween Gaud

Ever since the Manfriend and I began our long distance relationship (he lives across the Hudson in Jersey), I've been able to observe Suburban Life. One thing that particularly tickles my funny bone is the ornate and increasingly idiotic ways people decorate their lawns. Don't get me wrong, I've seen all kinds of crap crammed into the the 10x12 lots my fellow Brooklynites call front yards, but the lawns of this particular part of Jersey continue to amaze me.

Granted, some homeowners have clearly taken pride in doing up their yards with beautiful mums, scarecrows and plump pumpkins resting on stacks of hay. And then there's just plain tackiness. I'm talking about those people who smother every form of landscaping with that horrid green or black faux spiderweb stuff. Also, when did the dangly icicle Christmas lights mutate for other seasons?

But I save my utter disdain for the worst of the suburban decorating set, and I use that term loosely. I'm speaking of course about those lazy homeowners who deem it appropriate to throw some 6x4 blowup character on their lawn and call it a day. When I first saw these appear circa the Christmas of '00, I knew in my gut the damn things would be taking over otherwise respectable looking communities for which a driver's licence is mandatory for survival.

Upon spotting one of these hideous incarnations, I point with glee from the passenger seat of Manfriend's hybrid. The spiders are just stupid. The witch, mummy and vampire squished into a pumpkin doesn't get my fur up like the giant gaudy Shreks, but I save outright laughter for the mentally deranged product at the top of this post: Elmo hugging a pumpkin stack.

It's genius lies in it's simplicity and resourcefulness. I mean come on, could it be any more obvious how the damn thing was invented? Some factory spit out a deformed batch of Elmo/Snowman figures and the brains of the operation had himself an aha! moment: Lets just dye 'em orange and smack some silly jacko-smiles on each ball creating a whole new product for Halloween. The executives at Wal-Mart will love 'em!

While I've only spotted two to date, I practically make the Manfriend stalk the streets they're on and have made a mental note of the addresses. Why? Christmas is right around the corner! I am dying to know if they have the matching originals. Care to bet?

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