I’m pushing Halloween Decals right now, so here’s a Halloween story – sort of.
My sisters and I were packed off to London to spend the Halloween weekend with my eldest brother who was at University in the big city.
I was maybe 9 at the time, the youngest of the 6 of us, my brother was 21-ish, and I think it was 1978.
My brother, sporting a questionable moustache, one of the largest shirt collars I’ve ever seen and a pair of flairs that I could pull over my head, took us on a tour of the sights and sounds of this fabulous old city (London is still one of my favs). He was genuinely excited to have been trusted with our care for a couple of days.
Anyway, as the afternoon starts to become evening (and in England, in late October, that’s around 4:30pm) our energy starts to wain and we find ourselves in need of food. Now, as I write this I realize this was not Halloween at all, it’s Guy Fawks, a week later, November 5th – on November 5th in England we build and burn bonfires and set off fireworks to remember Guy Fawkes who failed to blow up the Houses of Parliament back in 1605, it’s a long story for another time – but basically we burn things to celebrate he didn’t. Don’t ask me, I didn’t come up with it.
Back to my story. My brother suggests we go to this new fast food restaurant from America – “You don’t have it down in the country”, he declares, “There’s just a few here in town right now”.
So off we trot for food and as we near what I think has to be an amusement arcade, I realize that the golden blaze of light is coming from the American “fast food” restaurant. I am still confused by the term fast food, but I’m all, fast or not – I’m going to have coke, and a hamburger, that’s what they eat in America – that’s what I’ll have.
At the counter my brother announces to the cashier, “We’ll have 6 Big Macs and fries, and 6 Sodas” –I’m looking at my sister in complete confusion. What on earth is a ‘Soda’? And who knew OUR BROTHER SPOKE AMERICAN!
With food bagged and sodas strawed(?), we walk up Primrose Hill to get the best view of the city and watch numerous fireworks displays all over town. We sat on the damp grass, sipping our sodas (it’s a Coke, who knew), a soda is just a Coke in America.
And then it happens, I wasn’t ready, nothing could have prepared me. I bite into my Big Mac. The rush and sensation of the flavors flooding out are overwhelming. What. Is. That. Sauce. And the crunch, what is that crunch, it was like a cucumber but not. My taste buds are completely awash with flavors I have never tasted before.
I am floored by this American culinary bombshell in my little 9yr old English hands – I’d never tasted anything like it – OMG – I couldn’t believe it – IT WAS DELICIOUS. I couldn’t get enough, I licked the box to get all the sauce. I licked the salt from the paper the fries came in, I didn’t leave a thing – OMG – I love this thing they call the Big Mac.
I have no idea if we saw fireworks, I have no memory of the next day or going home on the train – I just remember those few moments, those first few moments of magic in my mouth when I tasted my first Big Mac.
Happy Halloween everyone.