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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Betroths and Broomsticks

Tomorrow, the missus and I will be attending a wedding.

That’s not a complete shocker, but it is a bit unusual for us. We’ve aged past the point where summers are filled with wedding invitations and reception hall bands. We’re more in the baby shower and child birthday stage — which is not a huge change for me, personally. I still don’t know most of the people involved, get lost in any conversation, and still drink just about as much. Only now, I have to hide it in sippy cups. Otherwise, same.

(Soon enough, we’ll move on to the next stage of invitee life, which is either kids’ graduation announcements or funerals. I’m not sure which to hope for. The grad parties will probably have some killer keggers, but everybody boozes it up at a wake. Color me torn.)

“I’m not condoning the actual burning of someone who may be a witch, or may not be a witch, or who may merely have a thing for tall pointy black hats.”

Anyway, back to this wedding.

I don’t know the couple involved — one’s a lawyery friend of my wife’s — but I wonder already whether there’s something odd afoot. Because the wedding is in September — the Hallowe’en season, semi-officially — and they’re getting married in Salem, Mass. The witch hunt town.

I’m intrigued, if only to hear the best man’s speech and whether it involves broomsticks, or accusations of heresy. At the very least, he should call for a dunking. Or to weigh the bride against a duck. And if the reception has a bonfire, I want to see a stake in the middle.

Just for looks, mind you. I’m not condoning the actual burning of someone who may be a witch, or may not be a witch, or who may merely have a thing for tall pointy black hats. But I also didn’t get married in Salem during the witching season. I think the bride’s going to have to roll with this one a little bit.

Of greater concern to me personally is the reception dinner. I’ve been to Salem in the fall before, and the place is crawling — after dark, often literally — with Hallowe’en revelers and props and paraphernalia. It’s an eight-year-old emo’s dream, perhaps — but if they serve candy corn and caramel apples after the nuptials, I’m not going to be happy.

(Especially the apples. My mother always said those things have razor blades in them, because everyone in the world is out to hurt you.

I asked if that included her. She said if I didn’t hand over the fruit and stop asking stupid questions, it would. Eep.)

Also, I’m staying away from any marbled rye on the buffet line. Ergot poisoning is all fun and games, so long as it happens three hundred years ago.

Meanwhile, there’s the practical issue of attire. What does one wear to an autumn Salem wedding? A vampire cape? Puritan buckles and a pilgrim hat? Frankenstein face paint?

I’ve always been lazy with my Hallowe’en costumes, so in college I used to put on shorts — so far as you know — under a long trenchcoat and go as a flasher. I ran the idea past my wife, and she was less than amused. One might even say unsupportive.

But of course I know why. She probably had her heart set on a matching Bride of Frankenstein outfit. First thing tomorrow, I’ll start putting on the makeup, and superglue some bolts to my neck. Maybe I’ll even get into costume before she wakes up, and surprise her in bed. That’d go over well.

I’ll just have to make sure first that she doesn’t have any fire pits nearby with stakes in the middle. Witches aren’t the only monsters they hunt around here, you know. Not in this household.

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