Bye Bye, Monsters

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“Is there a manager around? Call me the manager on duty.”

“Oh come on,” I sighed when I heard the customer in front of me getting angry for apparently no reason. I was waiting at the checkout, my hands full because once again, there was no basket available and I hate pushing these giant shopping carts around the aisles. So I was balancing bananas, cauliflower, a can of soup and yogurts, hoping to be able to put the items on the conveyor belt pretty quickly because my arms were getting numb.

“I just can’t believe it!” the customer was shouting. “This is awful management and customer service. Awful.”

The manager jogged to the checkout, a worried look on his face.

“Apparently, you are out of PUMPKINS!” the angry customer spat out. “On October 30! Tell me this is a joke. Tell me you have a box left in the back.”

“Are you fucking kidding me?” I thought. “Mountains of pumpkins have been on sale for about a month now! Of course there are none left, it’s about fucking time you realize it’s Halloween!”

The supermarket was indeed out of pumpkins, the customer left fuming and I was able to pay for my purchase.

Pumpkin drama. That was… unexpected.


I have no idea how the customer managed to “forget” Halloween was around the corner. It’s kind of hard to miss the pumpkins and zombie-themed front yards. And Halloween starts early—like really early, I first noticed decorations in late August!

I ODed on Halloween this year. I got sick of fake plastic body parts and ghosts by mid-September. I don’t particularly like candies, especially not the cheap kind everyone buys in bulk. Orange is not a flattering colour. I’m tired out making monster faces with Mark.

On Merivale Road alone, there were four stores dedicated to Halloween customs and decorations. FOUR! And not small hole-in-the-wall stores, supermarket-size stores. Crazy. Feng took Mark there to check out  monsters—free entertainment.


It’s amazing what lengths people go to celebrate Halloween. Entire front porches and yards decorated, elaborated costumes, lights… You have to remember that this is Canada, and it’s already cold outside. It’s not like you can have a backyard party on Halloween night.

This year, we did more before October 31 than on Halloween day. We took Mark for walks around the neighbourhood to check out the monsters when the weather was still warm enough, and he had a Halloween party at daycare the Friday before Halloween. We were going to take him trick-or-treating but he didn’t feel like it—neither did I, it was cold and windy.

I expected the monsters will be gone next week… soon to be replaced by Santas.

You can see the com­plete set of Ottawa – Fall on Flickr.

Halloween 2015 in Ottawa

Halloween 2015 in Ottawa

Halloween 2015 in Ottawa

Halloween 2015 in Ottawa

Halloween 2015 in Ottawa

Halloween 2015 in Ottawa

Halloween 2015 in Ottawa

Halloween 2015 in Ottawa

Halloween 2015 in Ottawa

Halloween 2015 in Ottawa

Halloween 2015 in Ottawa

Halloween 2015 in Ottawa

Halloween 2015 in Ottawa

Halloween 2015 in Ottawa

Halloween 2015 in Ottawa

Halloween 2015 in Ottawa

Halloween 2015 in Ottawa

Halloween 2015 in Ottawa

Halloween 2015 in Ottawa

Halloween 2015 in Ottawa

Halloween 2015 in Ottawa

Halloween 2015 in Ottawa

Halloween 2015 in Ottawa

Halloween 2015 in Ottawa

Halloween 2015 in Ottawa

Halloween 2015 in Ottawa

Halloween 2015 in Ottawa

Halloween 2015 in Ottawa

Halloween 2015 in Ottawa

Halloween 2015 in Ottawa

Halloween 2015 in Ottawa

Halloween 2015 in Ottawa

Our Contribution to Halloween this Year

Our Contribution to Halloween this Year

Halloween 2015 in Ottawa

Halloween 2015 in Ottawa

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About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.

24 Comments

  1. Martin Penwald on

    Des fois, je leur ferais bouffer leurs décorations. 2 mois à l’avance, c’est un concours de quéquettes ou quoi ? Et d’ici à peine 2 semaines, on va avoir droit à cette musique de fêtes pourrie, jusque fin décembre. J’en ai les oreilles qui saignent déjà.

  2. Finalement, y’a pas qu’en France que certains consommateurs deviennent absurdes! Sinon j’ai hâte : les bonbons avaient été remplacés par des candy sticks (le truc courbé blanc et rouge) déjà hier à l’IGA!

  3. That Mrs. Potato Head pumpkin is having an identity crisis too. Is it a potato or a pumpkin? It’s definitely a princess. Someone is creative.

    In the U.S. I expect the fall decorations to stay up a little longer since we have Thanksgiving before Christmas. I hope so, anyway.

  4. Wow, I can only shake my head on that customer.

    Here in Germany, Halloween isn’t a big thing, at least with the children. I actually didn’t notice it was Halloween until I saw adults with costumes heading to parties last weekend. What I noticed instead in supermarkets and other stores were the candles for Advent, which will be lit in a few weeks. The streets are also now illuminated with Christmas lights, and shopping will be in full swing.

    And soon enough, we’ll then shed these Xmas decor, only to be replaced by Valentine’s kitsch. How fast time flies.

  5. Oui c’est un peu juste de commencer à vouloir s’acheter une citrouille le 30 octobre 😀 Mais bon, parfois y’a des gens comme ça : si ça n’avait pas été pour les citrouilles, il aurait fait un scandale sur autre chose 😉

  6. Ha ha

    Can I confess something, it happened with us as well, the entire time I kept thinking if we should buy a pumpkin or not, so we did go looking for one on 30th as well, although we didn’t call for the manager when we didn’t find one.

    I loved how people had decorated their houses, one in particular, near Lees, had hung huge cobwebs, that was surreal, wicked.

    Although, eventually we did carve a pumpkin and experience the kids going around trick and treating, it was fabulous fun, we even had the baked pumpkin seeds, next year I am going all scary myself on halloween.

    • Oh, I do things last minute too! But I wouldn’t be outraged if the product is sold. We didn’t carve a pumpkin this year, too lazy. We would have decorated a bit if not for the bad weather right before Halloween…

  7. I’m really happy to hear that all those pumpkins got sold, actually. Every year I see boxes and boxes in front of every supermarket and I always think – who is going to buy all those pumpkins? What will happen to them? Good to hear they actually were needed by someone :).

    I had to go to the grocery store the morning after Halloween and they were already busily packing away all the Halloween stuff and replacing it with Christmas decorations. GAH.

    • I’m also amazed they sell them all. But most houses display SEVERAL pumpkins! I’m even too lazy to carve one, let alone four or five…!

  8. I grew up in rural Saskatchewan without indoor plumbing. It was an unforgettable experience going to the toilet at -40C. The pièce de résistance for kids on Halloween was tipping over an outhouse. There was always the danger that some people might have moved the outhouse before Halloween and camouflaged the hole so you had to be careful. A careless step could have led to an even more unforgettable experince.

    • Feng had a similar experience with bathroom outside where he grew up in China. He has tons of toilet-related drama stories and incidents 😆

  9. I am all Halloween-ed out too! I have been working with older children and it is all they talked about for the longest time! Yes – it will be Christmas talk next, it never stops and normally I am ot such a bah humbug but I am not feeling it this year!

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