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Friday, October 27, 2000
Houston, Texas
Volume 66, Issue 49 

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Reality check is void on Halloween

Margaret Mitchell

Fantasy. When you hear that word, you probably think of Mickey Mouse, Superman, winning the lottery or Playboy's Playmate of the Month lounging on your living room sofa. Fantasy, as we all know, is not real -- no matter how much we'd like it to be.

I think that some people out there don't quite understand that concept, and a reality check might be in order.

For example, at midnight on Thursday, the Sony PlayStation 2 went on sale. Retailers -- notably one in Georgia -- reported that they had to call the police to handle scuffles that broke out while people waited in line.

Okay, people, repeat after me: It's just a game. All right, it may be the most awesome game system to come out this year, but it's still a game and it's not worth fighting over. Get a grip.

Another time when I noticed that certain people could use a reality check was on my last trip to Disney World. I went with family members ranging in age from 4 to 67. In each of the four theme parks, we had many encounters, not with the Disney characters, but with park employees dressed in character costumes. There is a difference.

I cannot tell you how much time we spent waiting on certain relatives to push and shove their way through a mass of 20 people so that they could get an autograph. 

I can understand waiting outside Compaq Center for the chance to get Bruce Springsteen's or Hakeem's autograph, but a dude in a costume? You could have scrawled something onto a piece of paper yourself and your 3-year-old kid would never know. I just don't understand.

Fantasy is a great thing, but, as we can see, it can be abused. The same could be said about the ultimate fantasy holiday: Halloween.

Halloween gets a bad rap sometimes, but I have to admit that it's my favorite holiday. I know that some people out there diss Halloween because of the evil connotations, but since it's possible to find evil or sinister connotations in just about anything, so we'll call it a wash. Just look at what Jerry Falwell did to the Teletubbies -- 'nuff said.

What makes Halloween such a great holiday is that, first, you get to dress up in funny costumes and be as goofy as you want to be without anybody thinking anything about it. I get to wear my trick "arrow through the head" headband or bee antennae without being leered at. How cool is that? 

The decorations are something else I love about Halloween. Many people go in for the scary, ghoulish stuff, but personally, I prefer the campy, hokey, cartoonish motif -- smiling witches, goofy ghosts and dorky Frankensteins. To me, they just make it more fun.

And what about the candies? Not only are they everywhere, but they now come in handy snack-size portions. This means that I can sneak a couple of Kit-Kat bars and easily tell myself that it's only a couple of sticks that are much smaller than the normal size, -- which means they have fewer calories, and ...

You know, now that I think about it, maybe fantasy really does have a place in this world after all. And my reality check? Oh, yeah, it's in the mail.

Mitchell, a junior political science major, 
can be reached at smeggie37@compuserve.com.

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