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Happy Halloween… ho ho ho!

On the Edge

On the Edge
Áine Ryan

SINCE Halloween isn’t happening, is it okay to start taking the Christmas decorations out of the attic? Shine the baubles. Straighten Rudolph’s antlers. Trim Santa Claus’s beard. Talk to the elves that usually hang on a string beside the fireplace. Make a Christmas cake and eat it. Make another, with even more almond icing and at least two bottles of sherry, just to make sure it is moist.
How about sending all the Christmas cards now too. At least the ones that never make it on time to the long lost aunt in Outer Mongolia and that ex-boyfriend who scarpered off with his super-model girlfriend to Timbuktu.
Post early and beat the last-minute rush. Well, as long as the rest of the country doesn’t have the same idea. Nobody wants to be arrested for getting into an altercation in a post office queue.  
So you have guessed. On the Edge is feeling a little edgy because of the looming lockdown. Thirty five more days at Level 5 and counting.
So what then? It is December 1 and the big question is: Have we flattened the curve? Did we listen to Tony? Hope Leo didn’t do another solo run on Claire Byrne Live?   
Is Professor Luke O’Neill still smiling and talking really fast while busy promoting his book, ‘Never Mind the B#ll*cks, Here’s the Science’?  The fact that he likes the Sex Pistols and says positive things about vaccines and treatments makes him stand out, gives us hope. And, of course there is hope, lots of it. It is not the Bubonic plague. We are lucky enough not living in makeshift shelters on the edge of giant dumps.
So if Santa puts the elves on double time. The reindeers have their hooves pared.
Mrs Claus makes a big pot of hearty pumpkin stew.  
If non-essential shopkeepers take out the WD-40 and grease their rusty hinges. If they wipe the cobwebs from their shelves and even mark down everything by 20 percent. We will come through this.  On December 1, it will be time for our many wonderful and quirky retailers to shove the ‘Closing Down Sale’ sign under the counter. Plaster a smile onto their faces and put that ‘Open for Business’ sign up on their doors again
Despite the fact that it is illegal to expose our mouths in a confined public space these days, and since they say our eyes are the windows to our souls, the masks don’t matter.  Smiling also helps our serotonin levels. Our dopamine levels rise too.  
And we all know how much we need to do to help our frazzled worn-out selves to encourage our coronavirus-confused neurotransmitters to release all those happy chemicals in our brains.  
Meanwhile, instead of trick-or-treating, playing at being ghouls and ghosts, ducking for apples, the kids can write to the big man with the beard up there at the North Pole while Mammy and Daddy clean the chimney.   
Then, rail, hail or wild winds, is a time too to turn off the news, tell that media monster to take a hike, and get out to the beaches and byways of Mayo for lots of fresh oceanic air. Happy Halloween! Ho ho ho.