Even more forbidden words of the 1990s

28. Trick or Treat – Richie Tankersley Cusick

Apparently there is something about the Halloween season and moving into a house where someone has been murdered that inspires hideous prank phone calls. Oh, to not have caller ID anymore…those Budweiser penguin commercials just don’t have the same punch; and I guess technically they’re not on TV anymore and I’m only mostly sure they were Budweiser commercials. I think the can was blue with some sort of mountainesque jagged line on it, I could look it up but writing about the 90s just doesn’t work that way at this moment. I lived it, man. I had a friend who used to prank call people on Halloween by playing clips of the movie Halloween to their answering machines or, if they answered, to them and then he’d hang up. He chose his dialogue from Halloween arbitrarily and I’m sure he’s still a bit of an odd bird.

Anyway, teen murder (don’t do it!) happened in the house that Martha and her new, vaguely sociopathic step-brother Colin move into in a town that has a name. Their parents finally go off on their honeymoon just as some prank calls, creepy ones, start freaking Martha the fuck out. She essentially goes nutbars each time she answers the phone. So, anyway, Martha has trouble with her high schooling, but she makes bestest friends with this girl who was BFFs with the girl who was murdered in Martha’s extremely drafty and chilled room and her guidance counselor is the brother of the girl who was BFFs with the murdered Elizabeth and Martha starts almost dating the brother of the girl who was BFFs with the murdered Elizabeth…anyway, don’t make friends with anyone named after a hotel chain, no matter how desperate you are to avoid hanging out in your own home with your new, not-actually-a-sociopath-but-he-could-play-one-on-TV stepbrother. Was that too long?

“Pickles, the calls are coming from inside the house,” Murderface whispered. “They’re telling me that Orange Julius and Dairy Queen have entered into an unholy partnership.”
“As long as Orange Julius continues to exist…” Pickles stared wistfully into the future, now filled with hope.


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