Is It The Spooky Season, Or Just Silly?

By: Tim Timmons

Scattershooting while wondering whatever happened to Abe Martin . . .

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DID YOU hear that we’re spending more and more and more and more . . . no, not talking about government. I’m talking about Halloween. According to the National Retail Federation, we the people are going to pony up $12.2 billion on candy corn and costumes.

As Tom Carnegie would say, that’s a new track record.

The record it broke was just a year old when we spent $10.6 billion.

There are more facts and figures from the retail organization.

· 73 percent of consumers are expected to participate in the holiday

· Per-person spending is projected to be $108.24

· Seven in 10 of us plan to hand out candy

· A little over half of us (53 percent) plan to decorate their home or yard

· Half of us are going to wear a costume

· A third of us are going to an in-person party

· A quarter of us are taking the little ones trick-or-treating

And when it comes to costumes, the kids are going for Spiderman, a princess or another superhero at a cost of $1.4 billion. Us grown-up types are more expensive. We’re going to spend $2 billion to dress up like witches, vampires or Barbie.

But wait, it gets sillier.

We’re going to spend $700 million on pet costumes.

The older I get the more I understand why my grandpa would just shake his head sometimes.

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OK, SO YOU can blame us at your favorite Montgomery County daily for adding to the insanity. But hey, ours is all free!

The Paper is sponsoring a Halloween-themed writing contest – and we’re still accepting last-minute entries.

In fact, you can see one of those stories in today’s edition.

The deal is simple. Write a Halloween story, make sure it’s connected to Crawfordsville or Montgomery County and e-mail it to [email protected]. Each Wednesday in October, we’ll publish one of the entries.

Again, there’s no charge. We’re just doing it for fun.

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AND ONE MORE Halloween note – we’ll also run photos of your decorated house if you like. Just snap the photo, include a few details (like who you are, where the house is, etc.) and e-mail it to [email protected]. We’ll share those with our readers and help you get a few more folks wandering by to look at your handiwork!

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I LIED, HERE’S one last spooky season note: Have you seen any of the “maker” podcasts and such on the Internet connected to Halloween? Folks are sharing all kinds of ways to very cheaply make some pretty cool Halloween decorations. There are bunches, but my favorite is a family friendly couple named Jaimie and Jay. You can find their DIY Halloween projects on YouTube.

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MOST HOOSIERS are well-acquainted with Abe Martin. The folksy cartoon was created by Frank McKinney “Kin” Hubbard and appeared in newspapers around the state and nation. Recently, a state historical marker dedicated to Kin and Abe was unveiled at the Abe Martin Lodge in the Brown County State Park. Abe used to share his wit and wisdom with things like, “We’re all mighty unselfish when it comes t’ handin’ out advice we could use ourselves.”

-Two cents, which is about how much Timmons said his columns are worth, appears periodically on Wednesdays in The Paper. Timmons is the publisher of The Paper and can be contacted at [email protected].