Culture vulture

Seen downtown last Halloween.

Seen downtown last Halloween.

Mocktober: The end is near
They’re playing those ads again on TV and radio. The ones in which local authority figures—people genuinely worthy of respect, like the president of Butte College—do voiceovers congratulating the good citizens of Chico for toning down our formerly out-of-control antics on Halloween and advising us to continue in our righteous path by staying out of downtown Chico on that night and especially not inviting our out-of-town friends over to celebrate with us on what many consider the best party night of the year.

Having spent most of the last 10 years living in downtown Chico about a block away from the bars that line Main Street between 3rd and 4th streets, I can sympathize with the concerns of the police and the Downtown Chico Business Association. I’ve been rudely awakened many a time by yahoos and yahooettes either shouting their joy to the world or engaging in petty street brawls. I’ve had guys pee on the window of my basement apartment at 2 a.m. I once watched a fugitive from the cops run into the bushes behind my house and punch a female officer when he was apprehended.

In short, I have every reason to agree that rowdy, stupid, destructive, disrespectful and violent people should not be invited to infest our lovely downtown area on one of the holiest nights of the year. If the previous string of adjectives describes you or your friends, please, stay home. Better yet move away. And while you’re at it get some spiritual counseling and/or anger management training. The world will be a better place.

But, and this is a BIG but, I really think those of us who are responsible, fun-loving, respectful, law-abiding, tax-paying and voting adult citizens should be strongly encouraged to invite our like-minded friends over to enjoy the wondrously fun environment that is downtown Chico on Halloween night.

So, since I don’t have a TV spot, here’s my voiceover: “Downtown Chico can’t be beat for a good time on a festive occasion. If you’re not a violent drunk or destructive sociopath, put on a happy face under your Wolfman mask, and come to downtown Chico on Halloween night. You’ll meet lots of interesting people who enjoy having a good time in a social atmosphere. And don’t forget, a costume is probably more revealing of a person’s genuine personality than their everyday street wear. So keep your eyes and ears open, look out for your friends, tip your bartender and don’t do anything that will get you undesired attention from the volunteers and police officers who are doing their best to a) protect you from other idiots, b) restrain themselves from throwing you in the back seat of a police car and taking you on a one-way trip to somewhere you don’t want to go. Believe me, you don’t.

“Be excellent to each other, party on and have a happy and harmless Halloween.”

Halloween music favorites
1. Southern Culture on the Skids, “Zombified”

2. Danny Cohen, “Eternal NIght” and “Gargoyle”

3. Social Distortion, “Mommy’s Little Monster”