Growing up, my favorite thing about Halloween was the opportunity to watch spooky-themed cartoons all day long. The very best days were when Cartoon Network showed old made-for-TV Scooby-Doo specials. Boo Brothers, The Witch’s Ghost, Zombie Island… all obvious classics. But, for me, there was always one that stood head and spooky shoulders above all the others.
Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School.
If you haven’t ever seen it, I cannot recommend it highly enough. The plot is incomprehensible: Scooby and Shaggy get hired to COACH VOLLEYBALL AT A BOARDING SCHOOL FOR THE DAUGHTERS OF FAMOUS MONSTERS.
QUESTION ONE: AT ONE POINT IN SCOOBY-DOO CANON, WERE WE EVER LED TO BELIEVE SCOOBY AND SHAGGY ARE REMOTELY QUALIFIED TO COACH VOLLEYBALL?
I KNOW I’M YELLING, BUT THAT’S MY MAIN QUESTION.
The titular ghouls play a yearly tournament against the cadet academy next door. And, like, even when I’m pretty positive the cadets WATCH THE VAMPIRE GIRL TURN INTO A BAT IN FRONT OF THEM, they’re always just like, “Oooh, there’s something weird about those Grimwood Girls!”
BITCH, THEY HAVE A DRAGON.
Looking back, Ghoul School is probably the earliest hint that I’d end up at a women’s college, eventual non-binary-ness be damned. Ghoul School was like all the best AFAB-friendship stories I devoured growing up, but had the added benefit of them being MONSTERS.
Because I like it when monsters are friends. I like it when the weirdos find each other and hang out together. It’s sort of my personal life dream at the end of the day. Sometimes my weirdness makes me feel broken and lonely, and I really used to fear I’d end up that way forever.
I am being challenged on that front more and more lately. This year has totally sucked, but damn, I know some great people. Some great, WEIRD people. I actually know IRL so many of the passionate, wonderful monsters I dreamed of befriending as a little kid on Halloween all those years ago.
So, I wrote this play about three monsters- Elsie, Tally, and Louise- who work together at a doughnut shop. They’re monsters second and best friends first. They have slumber parties and tease each other and fight evil together. I love them. They remind me of you, after all.
We’re reading my play out loud tonight and I’m really overwhelmed by the idea that my friends will be in the audience. Because this play is really a love letter to them. To all the marvelous creepy crawlies in my life who have made me feel more wonderful than broken. More sunshine-y than monstrous.
Happy early Halloween, pals. “Life, although it may only be an accumulation of anguish, is dear to me, and I will defend it.”