Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Foil Freaks on the Doorstep

Okay, I have to be honest. Halloween is 90% of the reason I bough 401 Party and Holiday Ideas from Alcoa (Conny von Hagen, 1971) in the first place.

It's true that I can't resist dark steps illuminated by otherworldly-looking foil jack-o-lanterns:

Foil lollipop ghosts provide some good comic relief.

Who else would eye a mound of boring old apples with such excitement?

I find long-necked cats that look like stress balls with pop-out eyes to be hilarious, especially when they have giant popcorn-ball butts.

None of them was the reason I picked this up. Prepare yourself for the picture that will haunt your dreams... for the nightmare children who will stalk you from the corners of your subconscious mind...

Maybe I'll just give you the instructions on how to make their masks first, so you can back out while there's still time:

Doesn't sound too bad, right? Fifteen foil sheets around a big balloon, deflate, cut openings, and decorate. The kids can be shiny goblins or whatever.

Are you sure you want to see this? I mean, are you really sure?

The masks are something you can't un-see.

And that is what makes them perfect.

I don't know where to begin, so I'll start with the most puzzling/ least horrifying one in the back. The kid is just wearing an enormous ball with a circle cut out for the face. Is it a big old-timey diving helmet? Is it a baseball with some serious structural integrity issues? I think it's supposed to be an astronaut helmet, as it looks kind of like the Space Party helmet, and it has some kind of an antenna-like thing sticking out of the top. In any case, the kid is blissfully unaware of how creepy this picture is.

The witch looks goofy with her big lipsticked smile under a comically long nose.She seems self-conscious about being less menacing than the ostensibly-friendlier characters in the foreground, clasping a jack-o-lantern to verify her Halloween bona fides.

Next to the witch is the bear. I think it's supposed to be a panda, but it must have bleached its arms and ears, maybe as part of the beauty treatment that also glued a paper flower collage on top of its head. Maybe panda shouldn't creep me out as much as it does, but that big head with the hollow eyes... It looks like something that would suddenly be staring at teenagers making out in a horror movie, glimpsed only briefly before the camera refocuses on a butcher knife (or maybe butterfly sword, if they want to carry through with the Chinese theme)...

That clown in the front, though! This evil magic is the reason I picked the Alcoa book up. Just look at the kid wearing a boring winter jacket and striped gloves, daring anyone to observe that it's not even remotely a clown outfit. And clown is going to get away with it, too. I mean, look at that head:

Look at it! Haphazard green hair! Enormous hollow eyes! (Is there even a kid under there?) Ruff that's clearly made from dead grandma's housedress! Painted-on smile around a mouth that's big enough to swallow your soul!

The woman cheerfully offering up her tray of candy apples and cheap taffy must have taken a couple days' worth of Valium to prepare.

This picture is why you're reading about foil handicrafts all year. Now you know what to thank/ blame.


  1. I'm thinking that clown has a shiv in his bag. STAB! STAB! STAB!

    1. A nice pink shopping bag is a good place to hide it.

  2. Sadly, I was impressed with the ghosts and their even hems. The swing choir at my first high school never seemed to figure out how to do that.
    At first I thought the panda just looked pissed off and bored, but I can see the malice part, too. I know I would be ready to hurt someone who made me wear that. Then, there's the clown. Who ever thought clowns were a good idea? I wonder if the kid inside of that clown head was the one inside of the clown belly in last month's post. He's just moving one step closer to carrying out his evil plan.