It’s that haunted time of the year | Mann Overboard

Bill Mann
Posted 10/20/22

Ah yes, mid-October. Some Halloween displays have been up for at least two weeks. Witches hang from our neighbor’s tree while, nearby, inflatable ghosts look like flattened corpses on lawns …

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It’s that haunted time of the year | Mann Overboard


Ah yes, mid-October. Some Halloween displays have been up for at least two weeks. Witches hang from our neighbor’s tree while, nearby, inflatable ghosts look like flattened corpses on lawns during the day.     

Meanwhile, in other yards, crummy, yard-sale-reject furniture (often recliners) sit curbside with the inevitable FREE signs. (Goodwill won’t take used furniture … and the dump costs money and is a schlep.)

“It’s October,” one woman recently posted on Facebook, “which means all of the cobwebs and dust in my house just became Halloween decorations.”

Some are buying, ugh, candy corn. But luckily, any that trick or treaters reject can still be recycled — into road-paving material.

Perhaps scariest of all, only two weeks remain until we’re again subjected to ubiquitous, nonstop radio airplay of Bobby “Boris” Pickett’s tiresome “Monster Mash.” Boo!

— Ya-Big-Ape dept.: What to do with all the fallen wood from that large tree that was trimmed at Fort Worden recently? Peninsula College, upon whose land the remaining tree sits, donated it to the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle … for the gorilla cage.

— That recent accordion fest in Chimacum, with the clever name of “Squeezin’ For a Reason,” reminds me of a clever name my Dad had for his accordion, which he played quite well: He called it the “Stomach Steinway.” Which calls to mind an old gag: Q. The definition of an optimist? A. An accordionist with a pager.

— I’ll miss the departed La Isla Mexican restaurant this fall, but its spiffy, fully remodeled replacement near the Mercantile seems to be doing quite well. I always liked watching the Copa Mundiale at La Isla on Spanish TV. Here’s hoping the new ownership follows suit in mid-November when the world’s most-watched sporting event kicks off in air-conditioned Qatar.

— When we got our Toyota a few years ago and became, in Stephen Colbert’s memorable phrase, “Prius huggers,” stories had begun appearing in the press that PT had the highest rate of Prius ownership in Washington. But Priuses here, while still common, are no longer the leader in PT car ownership. That title undoubtedly belongs to this city’s ubiquitous Subarus.

— Have trouble sleeping? Nothing makes one more tired than hearing someone else describe their dreams.

— Outspoken, super-bright U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse: “Donald Trump has sued CNN for causing him ‘embarrassment, pain, humiliation, and mental anguish.’ Which is funny, because that’s exactly what he’s caused America”

— Another good reason to live here: I was creeping down the aisles at Safeway in an electric scooter. Twice, when I was stopped to contemplate the merchandise, kindly shoppers stopped to ask if I needed any help reaching something. Solicitousness from strangers is a distinct departure from other places I’ve lived.

— My current local hero: Rowen DeLuna, who’s had to overcome numerous formidable obstacles to keep the Mountain View pool open — just barely. The intrepid DeLuna has had to deal with transphobes who’ve deluged the pool with hate calls and Twitter insults; acute lifeguard shortages, including staffers who needed time off for surgeries, and one key staffer who broke his foot playing pickleball; a right-wing camera crew hovering around; wrestling with chemical imbalances; and finally, DeLuna, driving up from Quilcene to work, having her car totaled. She’s also postponed many hours of vacation time just to keep this crucial health and recreational facility open. This dedicated woman’s heroic efforts are greatly appreciated by swimmers and should be rewarded.

— Isn’t it time someone fixed that crumbled brick entry gate at Worden? A drunk or careless driver knocked it over weeks ago.

— Under a photo of a giant boulder resting on a highway, one tweet said, “I bet there’s a coyote under that.” Meep meep.

— Comic Larry Brown: “While eating tuna in Hawaii, I had an ahi moment.” 

— Finally, comic Mike Dugan: “Half the comedians who made “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up’” a punchline in the ‘80s, have Life Alerts now.” And let’s not forget what Soul Brother Number One, James Brown, supposedly yelled when he fell off an Atlanta stage: “Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get DOWN!”

(PT humorist Bill Mann’s peripatetic newspaper career includes writing columns for dailies in Montreal, San Francisco, Oakland, and Honolulu. Reach him at .)