Another Halloween has come and gone. We had the usual amount of trick-or-treaters. I also assume the older kids had their parties. There was also a ton of horror movies on TV.
When I was a kid, every Saturday night there was a program called “Chiller Theatre” on one of the local stations. It showed really bad old “C” pictures (not even good enough to be a B picture) and a corn ball guy in a cheesy costume hosted it. It was on at midnight. On Halloween the host really mugged it up with the spooky stuff.
At this time in my life, I was about eight years old. We only had one TV set, and my folks were usually in bed by 11:00 PM – even on Saturday night. Yeah, they really lived life in the fast lane. My mother did not want me watching anything on Chiller Theatre because “that stuff is not good for you”. “But mom”, I’d whine, “I like it!” She would tell me not to talk back and send me off to bed. I had other ideas.
What I would usually do is set my alarm clock for a little before midnight and put it under my pillow so my folks wouldn’t hear it when it went off. It was a wind up job so no electrical cord to deal with.
When the clock went off I would quickly shut it off and quietly get out of bed and go into the living room. The TV set had been off for at least an hour. It was one of those old school jobs with vacuum tubes and no microchips. Hey, it was 1968. Microchips weren’t to be invented for another 15 years or so. I’d turn on the TV and I’d have to wait about a half hour. You know, for it to warm up. Well, maybe it really wasn’t that long. More like a couple of minutes, but when you’re eight and your show is about to come on, two minutes can seem like an eternity.
Okay, the TV warmed up and the show started. The host would say, “Welcome to Chiller Theatre. I am your host Count Frightenstein!” He looked like a cheesy mix between Dracula and Frankenstein’s Monster. Of course when you’re eight, that’s pretty scary. I was also dumb enough to do whatever he said, “Turn your lights off!” So there I was, an eight year old kid sitting alone in a dark room about to watch a horror movie. If you think about it, that wasn’t a very smart thing to do. There I was watching some cheap movie called “The Golem”. Golems were monsters from Jewish legend which may be how I developed my dislike for Jews. I won’t give an explanation what they are. If curious, just Google “Golems”.
Every little sound made in the house got me jumping. I would keep getting up to make sure the doors were locked. Then came the climax of the film. The Golem turns on its rabbi creator and strangles him. Then I heard a door close. Okay! That was it. I ran into the kitchen and got a ball of string and rigged it at the doorway to the living room to trip up the Golem if he came for me. What I didn’t know was the door sound was my dad getting up to go to the bathroom. I guess he was groggy and didn’t notice someone was in the living room watching TV. When he came out of the bathroom he must have noticed because he headed towards the living room. I heard his footsteps and I panicked. I picked up a table lamp and threw it and it hit the wall and broke. My dad stopped walking and started running. He stopped running when he hit my trip wire.
Anyway, to make a long story short, for the next two years, whenever my dad saw anyone passing our house – whether he knew them or not would call out, “Hey you! Come here. I want to show you my dumb kid. Go ahead, tell him how you smashed a $20 lamp (a lot of money in 1968) and broke your father’s arm to save us from some stupid Jewish monster on TV!” Ah, the good old days!
BTW, yes this story was just for humor, but it really did happen. If you’re wondering what my dad did to me for doing all that, let’s just say the next morning I had to eat breakfast standing up. My dad was lucky. I broke his left arm, but he spanked with his right. I don’t know what he was so mad about. If it had happened in the daytime, he probably would have had to wait twice as long in the emergency room! Hail Victory!
American Nazi Party