This entry is part 9 of 10 in the series Cooking With Oats

Posted by Mike aka Mightily Oats

Howdy y’all and welcome to the “Mightily Oats All Hallow’s Eve Spooktacular”.

It’s that time of year again when the leaves have fallen from the trees, the harvest has been gathered, Black Cats and Vampire Bats take on a more sinister air and all of the children have put their little signatures on Satan’s Contract from Below in hopes that trading their immortal souls to the Lord of the Pit will garner them more Snickers bars and fewer of those God-awful peanut butter taffy things that come in orange and black wrappers. (I can’t really blame the kids for doing this, as those things are in the same class of weapons as nerve gas and clearly outlawed by the Geneva Convention.)

I love everything about Halloween. Currently, I’m in the middle of preparing my home for the onslaught of community sponsored beggars that will be tromping through my yard, banging on my door and extorting treats from me with the threat of egging, toilet papering and child-on-pumpkin violence. I’ve oiled all of my bear traps and laid them strategically along the path to my front door, covering them cunningly with bright orange and yellow leaves. I’ve imported several varieties of pit-viper to put in the bottom of my candy bowl in hopes that they will teach those greedy little bastards that go for a metric ton of candy in a single grab a sharp lesson about leaving some candy for the next ill-mannered groin dumpling. I’ve put fragile glass orbs filled with kerosene right next to the candles inside all of my jack-o-lanterns to dissuade those little monsters from smashing the crap out of them. I’ve also been starving my pit bull Helga for the last week and have filled a Super Soaker with bacon drippings. That should get those costumed crotch fruit moving along.

I’ve got two candy bowls this year, one filled with highly desirable candies like Milky Ways, Twix and Hershey bars for the kids that really get into the spirit of the holiday; kids that put some thought and effort into their costumes and are out for a good time. The other bowl is reserved for douche bag teenagers that put no effort into their costume, never say “Trick or Treat” and steal candy from younger trick-or-treaters. This bowl is filled to the brim with Bit O Honeys, Good n Plenty’s, Circus Peanuts, boxes of pennies, miniature bible verses wrapped around travel size tooth paste and, of course, those fucking orange and black death candies, because I’m a hypocritical asshole.

I truly don’t understand these types of kids. Admittedly, I was still Trick-or-Treating when I was in high school, but I put heart and care into my costumes. I embraced the spirit of Halloween and didn’t use it as an excuse to run around, being a prick on a weeknight. I think that the costume from my sophomore year was the pinnacle of my Halloween career.

Four of my friends and I had decided that we were going to do a group costume that year with the express intent of messing with Hutch, our high school art teacher. The foolish man had told us where he lived and we thought that his Halloween just wouldn’t be complete without a visit from an Angry Mob. This was a simple costume needing only pitchforks, torches and a lot of people. Growing up out in the Boonies, we had pitchforks a plenty and we figured that the people would take care of themselves. What we really needed were torches.

As far as we were concerned, the art of torch making had been lost forever in the mists of time, but if primitive Dark Ages serfs could whip them up then so could a group of modern, sophisticated and highly intelligent young men. Not bothering with something as tiresome as research, we set forth to make the best torches the world had ever seen.

We started by making a list of everything we were going to need for these super torches. The handles were taken care of handedly as there was a ton of dry, ancient sticks in my back yard. The wrappings for the fuel to soak into were supplied generously, and without his knowledge, by my father who had a prize winning collection of rustic burlap sacks from the local feedlot that had been out of business for the last fifty years.

Fuel was a bit trickier. Through extensive testing we had discovered that gasoline and kerosene evaporated far too quickly to give a long, sustained burn without consuming the wrappings, the handle and, eventually, the hand. Pitch was brought up as a traditional solution but was quickly dismissed by my father’s boot in my ass after cutting down a few of his favorite trees. Not knowing where the hell we could even get tar, we were at the end of our collective rope. With Halloween less than 24 hours away, we sat glumly, nursing our minor burns and singed eye brows, when my friend Thomson burst into the room.

“Hey guys, I know how to make homemade napalm!” he exclaimed.

“Good for you?” we replied guardedly, knowing that Thomson has a penchant for setting shit on fire.

“Let’s make some and put it on the torches. I hear that shit burns forever.” he said.

With Halloween coming up fast and no other costume ideas, we set about making “napalm”. As it turns out, it is incredibly easy to make that stuff, requiring only a bucket and two ingredients. (For the safety of the younger/dumber readers out there I’m going to omit the recipe, but damn is it cool!)

Pressed for time and slightly high from all of the fumes, we set about constructing the torches. In the interest of speed, we elected to forego tearing the burlap into reasonably sized strips and just wrapped whole bags around the handles and used bailing wire to hold them in place, leaving us with torches that looked like basketballs on the end of twigs. We dipped each one into the thick propellant we had made and left them to dry.

Fast forwarding to Halloween night, we were standing a block away from Hutch’s house with torches and pitchforks in hand. Thomson had even embellished his costume with an authentic cavalry sabre that he had liberated from his father’s military effects. Putting a lighter to my torch, it ignited in a brilliant ball of flame that momentarily engulfed my entire head. Learning from my mistake, my friends gingerly held their torches at arm’s length before setting theirs alight. With our costume complete, the five of us marched toward Hutch’s house chanting “Hutch! Hutch! Hutch!”

There is an old adage that asks, “Why is loud stupidity so infectious?” I will leave that question to the philosophers, but I can tell you that it is indeed contagious. By the time we had walked one block we had a mob of kids 30 strong standing on his lawn, shaking their candy buckets in fury and screaming for Hutch’s blood. Thomson, having a sense of style about him, drew his sabre, marched up to the door and rapped thrice upon it.

A petite woman answered the door and Thomson bellowed, “We have come for Hutch!”

Without missing a beat, the woman turned and shouted, “Hutch! There are men with torches to see you!”

To Hutch’s credit, he was pretty good natured about the whole ordeal… until the cops showed up. Officer Mitchell, who had drawn the short straw that year and was forced to work that night, suggested that if we didn’t want to spend the evening snuggled up with Guthrie, the town drunk/sodomite, then we had best extinguish our torches immediately.

As it turns out, homemade napalm is just as impossible to extinguish as the genuine article. After trying everything in the book, including dunking them in a barrel of water, we were forced to sit in Hutch’s driveway for three hours, waiting for them to burn themselves out while Officer Mitchell glared at us, all the while fingering his gun. Good times.

In the spirit of the holiday, I decided to perform a Resurrection on one of my favorite decks. It’s an ultra-spooky zombie deck that is just plain fun to play.

I told you it was ultra-spooky! Granted, there’s nothing earth shattering here. It’s a straight forward, no frills zombie aggro deck. It’s designed to abuse the graveyard and eat brains!

This deck has got the standard tribal staples like Coat of Arms and Cryptic Gateway and it’s got tribal chieftains like Cemetery Reaper, Death Baron, Lord of the Undead and Undead Warchief. It’s got some fun “Zombies Matter” cards like Gempalm Polluter, Graveborn Muse, Noxious Ghoul, Shepherd of Rot, Soulless One, Unbreathing Horde and Vengeful Dead. Fun times can be had with either Noxious Ghoul or Vengeful Dead, Gravecrawler and a sacrifice outlet of your choice.

I can get all of these hulking bags of necrotic flesh into the Red Zone with the help from Cover of Darkness and Intimidation . For those problematic black creatures I’m running Eyeblight’s Ending, Go for the Throat and Rend Flesh

Graveyards are your playgrounds with not only Lim-Dul the Necromancer but also cards like Grimoire of the Dead, Balthor the Defiled, Coffin Queen, Geth, Lord of the Vault, Gravespawn Sovereign, Phyrexian Delver, Sheoldred, Whispering One, Grave Betrayal, Dread Return, Patriach’s Bidding and, of course, Zombify.

With my zombie deck ready for all challengers, my DVR filled with Dawn of the Dead and both seasons of Walking Dead, my plush Frankenstein’s Monster and Headless Horseman dolls guarding the candy and a full bottle of tequila, I think I’m set for a really happy Halloween.

Series Navigation<< Cooking with Oats 09 – Masochism: A RetrospectiveCooking with Oats 11 – A Fond Farewell -or- Thank God We Don’t Have to Suffer This Talentless Hack Any More. >>