One of the many reasons why I so thoroughly enjoy being a vendor at Texas Frightmare Weekend, and I have a LOT of reasons, is because everyone is so mellow and so blasted happy. You’re among 4000 to 10,000 stone horror fans, half of them in costumes that would leave my paternal grandmother in pattern nightmares for years, and they’re all smiling. Not “I’m smiling so I don’t start shooting at school buses” smiles, either. These are folks who wait the entire year for Frightmare, and even when things don’t go precisely as planned (such as when The Walking Dead star Norman Reedus had to cancel his appearance due to filming deadlines on the show), they don’t just deal with it. They aren’t grabbing water and sugar to make lemonade: they’re grabbing the ice, the salt, and the tequila and making margaritas that will peel the enamel off your teeth in big floppy strips. In other words, my kind of people.
And to explain the situation with my grandmother, I just like to point out that my two late grandmothers had completely different attitudes. My paternal grandmother admitted she still had nightmares after seeing James Whale’s Frankenstein back in 1932, and she disowned me when I celebrated my 19th birthday by seeing the local premiere of George Romero’s Day of the Dead. My maternal grandmother’s birthday was Halloween, and she was a walking recreation of the “Hell’s Grannies” skit on Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Guess which one I took after?