I am amazed at how much of a big thing celebrating Halloween can be, living in the center of Mormondom. With all the activity, let me clarify here, Church Activity, abounding in this area, we can't resist having a good time, just about for any reason. Let me elaborate, we celebrate all the major holidays observed by our nation plus an extra one, that being Pioneer Day. Of course, paying respect to the pioneers for coming to this valley in 1847. We celebrate patriotic holidays and religious ones to, that including Thanksgiving and Christmas. We profess to observe the "WOW" or word of wisdom, abstaining from tobacco, alcholol, and harmful drugs, while supposedly eating in moderating or if the price is right, eat out at places like Golden Corale and Chuck A Rama, plus a host of other places that really put out the spread.
Now back to halloween, most channels on the TV feature those haunted, gore, multiple psycho killing dramas, and people can never get enough of it. So, to make a positive statement, our local churches, or Wards and Stakes, usually have activities such as "Chilli Cookoff, or Ward Chilli Dinner plus dress up, keeping in mind to stay away from cross dressing, masked dress, and indecent attire that would be considered shameful. So, staying within the lines, we subject ourselves to such activities and sample some chilli that can be from one extreme to the other, or championship caliber chilli to rottgut chilli, in other words, you better bless it before consuming it chilli. At the dinner, since people dressed up, there must be a contest or judging of the best, most original, etc. All this culminates with the safe and proven easy way to go "trick o treating", in other words, "Trunk o Treat" in the parking lot of the meetinghouse.
Tonight was no exception and me personally, this is the second one of these within a week. I don't know if my stomach can take any more chilli, let alone the gradual buildup of gas. Let me regress a bit. On Friday, we went to my Married Student Ward for our Chilli Cookoff with dress-up and games. Seems like everyone brought chilli and we had more that enough. Jo and I were the judges, so dutifully, we tasted each chilli. Not good, I mean some of the chilli, but we bravely selected what we taught to be the best. Then we also judged the best costume and that was fun. Those young families, some are so creative. We had fun that evening.
Today at work, the building custodians took myself and some of my workers on a tour of the "Haunted House" located in "The Belly of the Beast" as they described it of the JFSB. Now this is a relatively new building and I hadn't heard of it being haunted or anything strange in it. Anyway, walking down the hallway of the basement where classrooms are located, there was one door that they opened that was not a classroom. Walking in it, we descended several steps to a dark hallway and into another room that my senses felt to be large and spacious. It was a very very large dark room with the sounds of mechanical equipment operating. We walked following out guide to the far reaches of this room and with the sudden blast of air pressure, the mist and spray of what felt like water, and the clanking of chains, this truely felt like a haunted room. Then we exprienced more creepy effects to our senses and of course the howling of so called creatures, and so it was, a very fun haunted house experience, down in the belly of the beast of the JFSB.
This evening, we went to our home ward for the annual Ward Chilli Dinner and were again subjected to Chilli. This time, most of the chilli was of a higher caliber. All I can say is that our home Ward Members have had more practice making chilli over the years and they proved it again tonight. There was the costume parade followed by the trunk o treat. All fun and now the tummy aches for the little kids from eating all the candy. Oh well.
I've sermized that living here amongst the Saints and observing their ways is a lesson in making the best of an otherwise no fun celebration. The people like to eat, so chilli is an inexpensive way to feed alot of people, especially if you have a large family. Candy is always a favorite and more fun to eat when they come in fun sizes, like for kids, even though the parents are the major eaters of the candy. So, keying off the halloween celebration, more candy is available during this time of the year for consumption. Since we observe the WOW, then coming to a ward chilli dinner function is our way of being in with the times, and reason for dressup. Of course, we get to carve pumpkins, decorate the house, and make your front yard look like a cemetary.
So, if you can convert them, join them.