On this very special night of Trick and Treating (although, not doing that here in France) let us learn a little bit more about this holiday season. Mr. Jack-o-Lantern seemed to be the perfect person for the occasion. Let’s see (or read) what he has to say
AuthentiKally Ethnic (AE): Good day Mr. O’Lantern, I am so honored that you were able to join us today. I know how busy this time of the year is for you.
Jack O’Lantern: Actually my name is Stingy Jack, but please call me Jack. And on the contrary, Halloween is the only time when I actually get to rest.
AE: Really? But we see you everywhere decorating the lawns in the front yard, illuminating windows as night falls…
Jack: Are you talking about those pumpkins that litter the houses? What very poor imitations of my personae! My head isn’t as big! And I certainly don’t smile as much! Darn! I have a reputation to maintain!
AE: Oh dear! And here I was thinking that these decorations were to honor you and your story.
Jack: [Hahaha.. Jack bursts out in an evil laugh] Honor me! Are you jacking me! I pride myself in being a stingy, despicable old man with zero regard for anybody else myself! Capable of fooling the Devil himself twice over. So much so that he had to resign himself to accepting that he will never have me. These so-called Jack-o-Lantern sculptures have nothing to do with me… They are pathetic!
AE: OK. So if you have no regard for this celebration why are you still here every year?
Jack: Not a smart one are you!
AE: [Eyebrow raised] I guess not… And you?
Jack: I have been roaming this world since my death with nowhere else to go but this world of the living…
AE: Nowhere to rest your weary soul? How sad!
Jack: [waves the statement away] Do not waste your pity on me. I have found a way to fill my days… And on Halloween everyone invites me in. It’s even easier to blend in and not be noticed. But whilst nobody notices me, I take notice. Because despite the masks, nobody can hide from Stingy Jack.
AE: So you have a mission on Earth then?
Jack: [Hahaha… the evil laugh once again] Everybody thinks that they know the end of my story with the devil… When I asked for some light to illuminate my way back from Hell, he tried to make a bargain with me: I accepted to reap more souls for Hell in exchange of a stupid rutabaga with an ember from Hell.
AE: How many souls have you reaped so far?
Jack: Many! Your world is full of so many corrupted souls. I don’t have to do much actually! Halloween is perfect for identifying them. Because you cannot hide behind a mask. Your true nature will always come out. All those people who think Halloween is about who has the biggest pumpkin, who has the best decoration, who has the best costume, who gathers the most sweets… and forget that it’s a time to share and gather with family and friends and pay tribute to those who have left us.
AE: Are you saying that we have lost our way? Yet, it’s a good thing to celebrate, no? People give out sweets… Isn’t that sharing.
Jack: It’s not because you perform the actions that it makes you a good person. The person who is incapable of helping someone really in need… Do you think it makes him or her a good person if he or she goes to church regularly?
AE: I see what you mean: “Walk the Talk…?”
Jack: Not so stupid after all!
AE: But in the end even these poor souls that you are reaping have some place to rest. Even if it’s Hell. Which is not the case for you. It must be tiring to be on the move forever…
Jack: I’ll let you in on my little secret [He leans closer. I can feel his fetid breath and he continues in a whisper] I am building my army thanks to these souls that I am reaping for Hell. An army who will answer to me and overthrow that foolish fool who thought he could trick me. I will trick him once again. Just wait and see! And I will be the King of Hell!
AE: [Skeptic] An army against THE Devil. Pleaase! [Steups!] Do you know how many souls you will need to pull that off?
Jack: Have you taken a good look at your world lately? You guys are making my job sooooo easy! Those who have no regard for your dear Mother Earth, consuming in excess even when they don’t need it! Those who see the distress around them but couldn’t be bothered to lift a finger! Best yet, turn a blind eye and continue their merry way! Those who judge others even quietly, thinking that nobody sees what they truly think but their actions tell it all and especially their eyes! And today thanks to the COVID-19 I find them even faster. I didn’t even have to wait for Halloween! You have those who have no respect whatsoever for the rules and brazenly endanger other people’s lives because “Oh the mask doesn’t look good on them”! And here I thought I was the King of stinginess and selfishness! [Hysterical laughter] So yes, keep your pity for yourself. Because at least I knew what I was. You guys think you are such good persons… when realistically you are no better than me and you don’t see what’s waiting for you on the other side!
AE: [Disheartened, because I do see what our world looks like] Thank you for having been with us. [Turns to you] Dear reader, do we really not see what is threatening us all? Are we that lost?