Hallowe'en here should be fun - dressing up, excessive excitement - but I find the obsession with "sexy" costumes utterly boring, and having been stuck on a train coming in from Long Island with youth pounding bud lights and vomiting in the toilets - at 7.30pm - it's just all a bit disappointing. Maybe it's a hangover from my youth in which I thought it was fun, but nowhere near as much fun as the fireworks, bonfires and sparklers that come with Guy Fawkes' Night a week later, pyromaniac that I am. Or maybe it's partly because I don't really like American "candy" that much - if I were likely to have a basket full of tasty chocolate, as opposed to Hershey's style chocolate, it might help.
Nonetheless, there are definitely Hallowe'en things I do enjoy, and pumpkins are one of them. Last night Dr. TOH and I partook of a traditional Rhode Island event that was remarkable in many ways. It's unseasonably cold - bloody well snowing in NYC today, for goodness' sake - and maybe that put off the crowds, but there were not the rumoured massive queues and problems reaching the Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular at Roger Williams Park Zoo. I'm not sure what I expected, but although I think I was a little disappointed at the painted pumpkins that were then carved, it was a remarkable experience. Not least for the choices of what represented a nation's identity, the theme being a Journey Round the World. The British bit started ok, what with James Bond and the Beatles' All You Need Is Love playing. We then hit Churchill and the Italian Job, but as the Beatles faded into the Benny Hill theme tune and I saw the Mr. Bean one, I began to despair, and that was confirmed with TOH's triumphant shrieks that there was, as he predicted, a Wills & Kate one. Ye gods.
But the best bit was at the end, where there was just pumpkin upon pumpkin, some absolutely bloody enormous (so big they had whole other pumpkins tucked inside). They looked spectacular, a strange dance track with cackling looped over and over, and it was beautiful. Hence the photos galore. So see below Frida Kahlo, the Dalai Lama, Gandhi, Jack Sparrow & Fidel Castro (I'm sure placing them next to each other was not a coincidence), and some amazing pumpkins.