I don’t know if it was Ebola or a Halloween beastie, but my computer had a meltdown, getting back on board just in time to list the sights and sounds of the haunted holiday. What follows on this page are local happenings, many with a Halloween theme, and for the lowdown on the many parties in town, see the Picks of the Week page.
– Halloween decorating season has been in full swing all month, and a prime example are the fake blood stained signs on the doors at Dick’s Bar and Grill, to places like the back patio and bathrooms. They have wording like “keep out” or “help,” written in the dripping red stuff that runs as long as a detached femur. There also is a sign hanging from the ceiling with similar wording, simply “asylum,” that the other night was being blown around spookily by a nearby air conditioner. In back were many spider webs clinging so closely to areas where there were tables, people couldn’t possibly escape.
– One place they might try to take refuge is the Green Mill, where patrons on the night before the holiday were being queried about what’s their favorite black and orange drink concoction. But back at Dick’s, bartender Matt had a handle on how he’d meet the establishment’s rule that servers be in costume. Hey, he figured, for me being dressed up is throwing on a suit, so that’s what I’ll do. I wondered aloud if he was going to loosen the tie a little, but was told it was going to be a clip-on. Meanwhile, bartender Terry was contemplating how he could possibly top last year’s Prince costume.
– Ghosts and ghouls were out in force last Saturday night as a trial run for the costume parties that will be held virtually everywhere starting six days from then. At Dick’s, there was a quartet of movie characters in the main room as early as 10 p.m.
– Bartender Whitney at Pudge’s has Halloween off, but that isn’t keeping her from dressing up in a manner appropriate to her job, as an old time saloon girl. Another decision with such reasoning is someone’s plan to meet the requirements of a scary facial hair theme by getting in a get-up like Van Gogh.
– With Halloween near, two groups of young people could be seen after hours running across the hood and roof of cars. Seems to me like that’s an indication of more zombie activity.
– I’ve toyed with the idea of providing a “deer death wish rating” for the trek from Hudson to Houlton to get to Guv’s Place, somewhat like the government’s color-based alert for terrorist activity. A recent weekend would have to have registered an orange, as there were four deer seen in ditches in three different places along a four-mile stretch. Plus that, at the intersection with Hwy. V, there was a streak of road kill blood as long as several zombies placed back to back to back. Yes, Virginia, Halloween must be near.
– With that said, there is an even more spooky site as you trek by St. Croix Street to go toward the Willow River Saloon. A homeowner who is remodeling the entire facade of his residence has turned it into a literal house of horrors with creepy decorations.
– And even more potentially scary is the alleged $100 million referendum for things such as a new high school. Two groups of three business cards were propped into the side of a freestanding bathroom ad poster, directly across from an ad for a part-time firefighter (interesting choice of posting place). And, at eye level at the urinal nextdoor, there was an Irish Whiskey ad for 2 Gingers that had one of the women’s face covered with drawn-in freckles. Alas, just in time for the Nov. 4 vote, her face has been fixed to be no longer defaced, rather fresh-faced again.
– Bartender Shalice is used to being in front of the camera as a model, but never before during an NFL football broadcast. She was in the front row at a Houston Texans home game, and was so prominently shown on an ESPN clip that some of her patrons at Guv’s Place in Houlton couldn’t help but noticing and pointed it out to her.
– It takes a lot to mistake pop music for hard rock, but apparently a radio deejay on KQ92 playing tunes for partiers on a recent weekend wasn’t up to the task. He thought he had started to begin playing the Beatles and announced it as such, then caught his mistake and noted it was actually AC/DC: Oh well, not that much different, he corrected. I wonder if they’ve ever had the same problem at the Smilin’ Moose, where an old AC/DC video recorded across the water is the only thing that ever differs much from Rihanna, etc.
During a recently broadcasted interview with Paul McCartney, KQ noted it has the largest song library “on the planet.” Sir Paul might add, what about on “Venus and Mars.” They might not be all right tonight with being excluded.
– Vikings gifts don’t always go over, as came to light early in the NFL season. Even though she’s a native Minnesotan and diehard fan of the North Stars back in the day, who would go to virtually every game — as well as following the Twins but not the Vikings — bartender Sue at the Village Inn used to get plenty of purple each Christmas. Her tree ended up being full of that, rather than red and green. The trend ended, she said, when she got a pair of Packer boxer shorts.
– Seen sitting at the Green Mill counter was a (much) younger and hotter version of the late Joan Rivers, even when you take into account all of the comedian’s plastic surgeries. I felt like using the pickup line, “Can we talk?” And while on the subject of celebrities whose number is being retired, for various reasons, does anybody else think that bartender and bouncer Terry at Dick’s looks like Jerek Jeter (again younger)?
– People from all over like the sports bars here, and not just for one of the major sports at a time. A woman who was raised in Annapolis was in Buffalo Wild Wings wearing a Baltimore Ravens jersey and cheering on her post-season Orioles. She said her husband had been a hockey coach at a major Twin Cities university, but then stepped down and started a hockey-themed business in the metro. So why did she end up in Hudson? Her husband was over at the nearby ice arena doing business and she was killing time, adding that back in Maryland, hockey is big to the north and south, but right there the sport of choice is field hockey or lacrosse, which she played in high school.
– After years of quality service, bartender Kylee has stepped down from the Green Mill, where she has been a fixture. So I have to take this last opportunity to tell a slightly embellished tale about her. One night, a male patron was doing his best to get her phone number. I need to note here that I am a member of the establishment’s e-club, which means I log-in by jotting down my own phone number every time I get a receipt. Thus, I was tempted to tell the smitten patron, “Good luck. I’ve given Kylee my number scores of times, and she’s never called me!” All kidding aside, we’ll miss you Kylee.