Manolo says, it is Tuesday and you are back at your desk, after what turned out to be the relatively sedated Halloween. Yes there were the usual parade of visitors, this year gravely disappointed that your man Gary, he of the elaborate annual Halloween displays, did not celebrate the occasion in his usual over-the-top style.
It was in May, when you first noticed that something was amiss, that Gary had not closed off the garage and converted it into his laboratory, the sort of Halloween DARPA, where he has traditionally begun to test the fanciful ideas for his annual extravaganza. (Who can forget the year when he built the full-sized pirate ship with cannons that fired candy?)
“Gary,” you asked one Saturday in early June, “why haven’t you begun the preparations for Halloween? Aren’t you doing it this year?”
“I thought I’d give it a break,” he answered somewhat morosely.
You did not say anything, you just dropped the matter. And why would you not? In the first place, Gary not doing Halloween would save you several thousand of the dollars in materials. And in the second place, you suspected that Gary was suffering from the mild case of PHSD, Post Halloween Stress Disorder, and needed time to recover from the traumatic events of last year.
In the effort to outdo himself, Gary had built the alien spaceship, from which were emerging the be-tentacled green invaders, the first of whom was busily stripping the flesh from the corpse, with one surprised skeleton already lying nearby (Bony Bob in the supporting role).
Everyone agreed it the greatest display yet, and the sound track, complete with theremin music (recorded by Gary in his makeshift home studio), was indeed most spooky. Unfortunately, Gary had failed to properly ground the lighting system which illuminated the interior of the flying saucer. You know this, because the fire marshal said it was probably the loose wire which had heated the styrofoam to the point of combustion.
By the time Gary was able to retrieve the extinguisher from the garage, the flames had leaped into the autumny leaves of that tall larch by the driveway, and from there, onto the fabric of the car cover Gary had placed over his most prized possession, the 1972 Camero Z28 in yellow and black. (The car had been parked beneath the larch tree because Gary needed room in the garage for his Halloween experiments.)
After the fire company went home around 1:30AM, Gary retreated into the Gary Cave and did not emerge until late afternoon the next day.
All he said was, “Let us never speak of this day again.”0