By A.C. Cargill
Even ghosts like tea, especially at this time of year. Decorate your dining room with carved jack-o-lanterns, faces aglow from lit candles within, add in some rubber bats hanging about (literally) and plastic spiders spinning cotton candy webs around the room. Then, have a few of these “spirits beyond the pale” in for tea and a bit of a chat. Many ghosts are quite congenial and engaging conversationalists — especially over a good “cuppa”!
Not all ghosts have a Casper-like personality (remember the “friendly ghost” of cartoon fame?). Fortunately, they also don’t all have the aspect of Jacob Marley (Ebenezeer Scrooge’s former business partner) who dragged heavy chains as he walked through doors and moaned loudly, warning Scrooge of the dire consequences of living such a miserly life.
Some ghosts are quite timid — you might even say cowardly — such as the Canterbury Ghost. For several centuries he scared the wits out of anyone daring to stay in the family castle, and waited for a kinsman to do a brave deed in his name. He did finally find one and will gladly tell you all about it while you both enjoy a hot and steamy pot of tea.
Then, there’s Cosmo Topper from the Topper movies in the late 1930s and early 1940s. He wasn’t a ghost, but he knew a madcap couple that became ghosts and followed him around to help him get a little more fun out of his very staid, boring life. Of course, that was decades ago, so he’s a ghost now, too. Get him to give you the latest scoop on the antics of George and Marion Kerby, and maybe even Mrs. Topper (played by Billie Burke — you know, Glenda the Good Witch from “The Wizard of Oz”) will come, too.
Of course, in New York City the Ghostbusters keep those spooks and spirits under control and out of the subways — most of the time, at least. One blast of their ecto-plasmic-raygun-whatchamacallits, and ghosts were totally tamed — perfect tea time guests.
Ghosts can be a bit stuck in the past, though, and often are not up on current events, the latest fashions, which character is in a coma on “General Hospital,” or who is now hosting the “Tonight Show” (it changes so frequently that I don’t know that myself). So, if you are going to have a ghost or two in for tea, you will have to be patient with them when they don’t know who Ashton Kutcher is or how to do the “Macarena.”
So, go ahead, invite a ghost or two to tea. Brew up a potful of Ceylon or Dragon Well. Bake up some great pumpkin cookies with orange frosting (a ghostly favorite). Light a few candles and read an Edgar Allan Poe story or two out loud. Don’t forget the spooky music such as Mussorgsky’s “Night on Bald Mountain” or the campy favorite “The Monster Mash.”
Enjoy and don’t go too batty!
Check out A.C.’s blog for more expert advice on living the “tea-life.”