Greeting, my fellow port swillers and a blessed All Saints Day to you all!

I know I’m repeating myself so this doesn’t count as the onset of Alzheimer’s , but All Saints is probably my very favorite day of the year, both liturgically and seasonally speaking.  It’s something about the interwoven themes of triumph and communion, coupled with the usually bracing weather, that produces what might be called a vertical integration of good feeling in ol’ Robbo’s soul.  There is also a sense of closing the gate on all the season behind us, up to and including the distracting nuisance of Halloween, and focusing forward on more important things.

Having said that, I must relate one amusing Halloween story:  Seems the youngest gel had decided to go trick-or-treating this year dressed as a “Goth girl”.  (Apparently, nobody got around to informing ol’ Dad about this ahead of time, perhaps because of the perfectly justifiable fear that he would have kyboshed the idea.  In Robbo’s World View, ten year olds and Goth are not a healthy or improving mix.)  At any rate, this costume involved dying her hair a kind of metallic purple and dressing herself all in black, together with black lipstick and some kind of elaborate “tattoo” across her collarbone.

The plan was for her to go round the neighborhood with a young man from her class at St. Marie of the Blessed Educational Method.  When he was dropped off at Port Swiller Manor, it turned out that he had dressed as Frankenstein, including covering his face with green paint.  On seeing her friend thus decked out, the youngest gel suddenly decided that “Goth girl” wasn’t quite right and that “Bride of Frankenstein” would be far more suitable to the occasion.  So she smeared white paint all over her own face and neck, hollowed out her eyes in black and fadged up a couple of artistic suture scars on her neck.

I didn’t actually see the full effect until I got home and they’d already got back from their looting run.  On the one hand, they made quite the couple.  On the other…..words fail me.  She looked like nothing so much as Helena Bonham-Carter in one of her darker rolls.

I found the gel’s quick-witted improv to be quite entertaining.  Then again, the episode only confirms my ever growing suspicion and dread that she’s going to wind up on the stage one way or another.  Then God have mercy on us all.

UPDATE:  I should also note that the gel’s teacher gave out an assignment to inventory her loot once she got it home, finding the total number of items and then expressing the various subsets of Snickers, Jolly Ranchers, Butterfingers, KitKats, etc., as both fractions and percentages.  She jumped into this even before getting her makeup off.  I just wish she was always that willing to do homework.

UPDATE DEUX:  As is my wont, I toddled over to St. Patrick’s Church, home of the cliff-diving Jesus sanctuary crucifix, at lunchtime.   A straight-forward, dignified mass is always offered.  (Granted, it’s Novus Ordo, but what are ya gonna do?)  The homily was short, sweet and right to the celebratory point.  The place, as is usually the case when I visit on days of obligation, was packed to the rafters.  I always get a secret thrill at this happening here in, as it were, Caesar’s shadow.

Here’s the thing, though:  I’m willing to cut people some slack if they accidentally forget to power down their iWhatever and the thing cooks off in the middle of Mass.   But when they let the same thing happen again five minutes later?  I can’t help entertaining visions of reaching for a missal and starting to bash heads.