Despite the fact that Mercury’s still retrograde, I just can’t get into Halloween/Samhain this year. Even so, I feel obligated to offer something (Tool) newsworthy to those out on this fantastic night. Endure then my ramblings, lest one finds a nugget of Chocopologie by Knipschildt amongst the Brach’s candy corn in this brown paper sack. Under the spell of the L.A. Vast Active Living Intelligence System (yes, V. A. L. I. S.), I’m fairly certain that the entity known as “Merch” will have some goodies for you in the coming black months, but exactly what these are, is difficult to discern, as there are currently toads breeding in the stagnant water of the psychomantium. Alas, but no bats flitting in the gloaming. No fragrances of autumn. No bewildered grey spirits shuffling about. Knowing well of the Binary Soul Doctrine, I am unable to exhume even my own dead past-life self (therefore, no baptism for the dead!). Even the Mass of Saint Secaire went unanswered (Raiders). Desperate to get into the spirit of things, I astral projected into the Spaghetti Warehouse in downtown Houston, but there were no ghosts knocking over salt & pepper shakers, not even Anna Nicole Smith looking for… Perhaps I should try the hallway of the third floor of the Driskill in Austin, where a painting of a little girl holding flowers seems to freak out so many visitors (curiously, a reflex of sorts of Elizabeth Templeton in the Solway Firth/Burgh Marsh photo from the 1960s). Be careful not to stare at this for too long, or else the MIW (or MIBs, as was the case with the Templeton photo) will take you away. If not the Driskill, then Le Pavilion Hotel in NOLA might do. Where are the grimacing masks and pumpkin ales I was hoping for? I’ve not even any pear schnapps to make a Brain Hemorrhage! The dancing flame on my Hand of Glory has guttered out, and all the Dr. Phil/Mr. Potato Head masks were sold out at Target. Kenneth Grant’s “Outside the Circles of Time” has been delayed, and there are no VHS copies of Fredrick Skellig’s “The Devil’s Lantern” to be found at Amoeba Records. The 24 windows of my trapezohedron are clouded (so all those blackbirds baked into a pie can’t begin to sing), and my copy of Wendy Carlos “Tales of Heaven and Hell” is scratched. What god did I offend? Hell, even David Copafeel’s sleigh-of-hand isn’t working too well (and O.J. appears to be mellowing with age). And what’s this – Dumbledore’s gay? Oh, but the “trick or treat” that I mentioned earlier: Well, if not Chocopologie by Knipschildt, then how about Delafee (for those who’d rather eat 24-karat gold instead of carnauba wax). Come to think of it, it might be best just to mix up a pitcher of orange Kool-Aid (electric or not), and watch MST3000, Vol. 8’s witty critique of “Hobgoblins.” That or read a copy of “Darklore Vol. 1”… if it arrives today from Amazon.com (fingers are crossed)… Got to get those toads out of my psychomantium!