Turge SprickmanWhile some choose to refer to me as a "seasonal businessman," I like to think of myself as the hermit crab of retail. Remember when your favorite Walgreens closed? I bet it gave your local shopping district a real black eye. People would drive by, shake their heads, and say things like "What a shame" and "I guess we'll have to go to the Walgreens a little further down the street this time." For two months out of the year, it's my job to fill one of these abandoned and/or uninhabitable businesses, bringing new life to your town, and leaving behind the spirit of the season and all burnable trash (as is our agreement with the leaseholder).

Because of our limited presence in your community, it's hard for most of us to put down any roots before those Christmas Superstore fat cats steal the show on November 2nd. Given their holiday's lack of ties to Satan, those peppermint-pushing opportunists sure get off easy, don't they? Well, come into my store, and no one's going to charge you twenty dollars to get your child's picture taken with some costumed wino who just had the vomit hosed off of him in the parking lot. I mean, I guess we could offer this service, but it's a hard sell unless you have some reindeer standees propped up nearby. You'd be surprised the kind of child endangerment people let fly as soon as you screw a red lightbulb into a piece of plywood.

Now, I'm not here to cast aspersions. I've heard us Halloween Superstore folk referred to as "glorified carnies," and that's where I draw the line. Coming from a long line of carnies, and having worked in the carnival amusements industry for over twenty years prior, I can inform you of the major differences. To begin, we don't feed our employees from a barrel of surplus chicken heads. Though I do keep a fresh barrelful in the break room at all times, my workers can always opt to dine at the Subway across the street-yet the barrel remains a surprisingly popular option through no fault of my own. Also, the switchblades my crew carries and regularly brandishes throughout the day are simply a safety measure to prevent instances of "mask death" from happening on the show floor. The next time your three-year-old gets tangled up in a plastic approximation of Spongebob's face, you can thank old Zeke over there for slashing him free. But don't make eye contact for too long. Sets him off.

I'd also like to add that my Halloween Superstore offers items you won't find anywhere else. Sure, your local drug store might have some third-rate Dracula fangs in the checkout aisle, but the amount and variety of fake blood I sell is simply unparalleled. You want to be a sexy cop for halloween? Well, I'm proud to say we offer all possible variants of the costume: "Flirty Flatfoot," "Nympho Narc," "Bodacious Bobby," "Cumworthy Constable," and "The Fuzz." And if you're in the market for skeletons, look no further than aisle 8: It's like John Wayne Gacy's crawl space over there! On a budget? Well head on over to our limited income savings zone, and walk away as The Creature from Plastic Bag Lake, Receipt Paper Mummy, or Pipe Cleaner Man (Pipe Cleaner Woman costume coming in 2016). Unfortunately, thanks to regular e-coli outbreaks, we're no longer allowed to operate our apple bobbing station within city limits, but your little ones can still keep themselves busy in our Maze of Abandoned Pallets located in the loading area. Every morning I throw a king size Snickers bar in there and if the rats don't get to it, well, one little customer's in for a surprise!

So please, the next time you stop into my store, feel free to shake my hand, say "hello," and ask about our deals on slightly distressed candy corn. I think you'll find I run a tight ship, and, after that class action lawsuit in 2008, I'm proud to say we haven't been responsible for a single case of monster makeup-based lead poisoning. I think you'll be surprised to find that, despite my nomadic nature, I'm just your Average Joe Businessman who believes that religion, friendship, and family comprise the foundation of any strong community. And if you'd like to stay in touch during the off-season, I run a successful, Patreon-supported blog where I post pictures of actual celebrity garbage. You'd be surprised at all of the pork bones Kim "Tootie" Fields just tosses away like your typical Hollyweird hotshot.

– Turge Sprickman

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