Tater Cartoon for 10-27-21 Halloween

I know Christmas is on the way, and Santa Claus is popping up all over the place, even before the spooky Halloween stuff is out of the way.

That in itself is a bit scary, don’t you think? One season at a time, please!

Looking past all the Halloween ghosts, zombies, witches, and things that go bump in the night this time of year, wasn’t there plenty of other stuff to terrify us when we were young?

Number One on my list was always the “Bogeyman.” And now that I think of it, what probably made him so scary was there was no physical description ever given. All we knew was that he was gonna get us.

The Bogeyman apparently was omnipresent, hiding in closets, trees, attics, basements, and worst of all, under beds. I was pretty fast as a kid. In fact, when bedtime came, I could turn off the light switch in my room and be in the bed before it got dark.

In retrospect, I wonder why I didn’t question his existence more. Why was there never a photograph of him, like we’d seen of Big Foot and the Loch Ness Monster? Why didn’t he have a regular diet, so he didn’t have to eat little kids? And just where did he spend his daylight hours?

The “Dark” played a role in childhood terror, especially outside, where there were no light switches to turn on.

You could be walking down a dark road and suddenly imagine there was something watching you. Then your imagination would tell you that it was walking behind you. And finally, when to took off running, you could swear you felt the breath of whatever it was on the back of you neck.

My daddy would dismiss that by saying, “There ain’t nothing out there at night that’s not out there in the daytime.”

Apparently he never got chased by whatever it was that was always trying to get me.

I grew up watching a lot of old black-and-white movies. Well, I say they were in black-and-white, but I can’t be sure because it took us a long time to ever get a color television. There were horror movies galore from the 1930s through the 1950s on TV that fueled my wild imagination with images during the 1960s.

Something very large was always threatening humanity, whether it was “The Blob” or any one of an array of magnified terrors that for one reason or another had reached giant proportions: “Attack of the Giant (fill in the blank).” They included as spiders, ants, grasshoppers, leeches, chickens, and even rabbits. (See “Night of the Lepus” if you don’t believe that last one).

It wasn’t always monsters in the movies that scared us. I loved the old TV series “Jungle Jim,” but vowed to never live where there was a jungle, lest I fall in quicksand, get trampled by a rogue elephant, or be chomped on by a tsetse fly.

My imagination was so wild that I’d swear there was a soundtrack of scary music playing whenever I thought something was going to get me.

Anyhow, I’ve said all that to say this — even today, aren’t there some things we are frightened by these days?

Most currently, it’s probably dropping your phone into the toilet. Another one is drivers whose first set of wheels was a Model T who refuse to surrender their licenses today. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the fear of running out candy for trick-or-treaters on Halloween.

Worse than that? Running out of toilet paper any time of the year. Actually, the biggest fear right now is somebody coughing on you who isn’t wearing a mask. And that’s nothing to sneeze at!

Technology terrifies me and I refuse to embrace any part of it until it is absolutely forced on me. I also fear getting real forgetful and finding my truck keys in the fridge.

Same goes for a shortage of bacon or coffee. You’d think that at my age (a senior citizen now), nothing could scare me.

I realized that’s not true when I thought I finally saw the Bogeyman when stepping out of the shower just the other night.

That full-length bathroom mirror has got to go!


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