It seems like autumn has become little more than an extended marketing campaign for pumpkin-flavored things. As a pumpkinhead—that is, someone who will freebase anything vaguely pumpkin-flavored—I'm OK with that. In October, I don't want to eat or drink or smell anything not squashy.
Already, I've called Burgerville's corporate office to ask when pumpkin smoothies will be out, and sneaked out of the office to buy Southern Tier Pumking beer. Before the sweet release of Thanksgiving, I may end up ordering a $27 pumpkin-scented wax tube from the Yankee Candle Company and some Lululemon jogging pants.
Our friends in Seattle are to blame, of course. Starbucks' wildly successful Pumpkin Spice Latte made this a corporate trend, and now even McDonald's makes a version of the PSL—yeah, PSL. That's what I call them now. If you walk down Northwest 23rd Avenue, you'll find pumpkin soap at Lush and pumpkin shakes at Moonstruck and a whole book of recipes for "fall's signature flavor" at Williams-Sonoma. I surrender. Here are some non-pumpkin Halloween activities, with a handy conversion to how many $4.55 PSLs you're giving up in exchange.
2013 VooDoo Doughnut Haunted Corn Maze
Where I grew up, doughnuts were an integral part of any Halloween party. In Oregon, not so much. But there's nothing more Portland than Voodoo Doughnut-branded fun at this haunted corn maze on Sauvie Island. Watch out for the ghost of day-old Old Dirty Bastard and the Grape Ape of Death. Rubber boots recommended. 7 pm Fridays and Saturdays through Oct. 26. 16205 NW Gillihan Road., 621-9545, portlandpumpkinfarmandtwilightmaze.com.
$10 or buy two PSLs.
Remember Suicide Girls? Back in 2002, those heavily tattooed ladies were the future of softcore pornography. Now they're bringing a burlesque tour to Roseland Theater. There are $20 general-admission tickets and a $454 VIP package that includes dinner with the strippers...ahem, burlesque performers, a signed copy of Suicide Girlsâ book Hard Girls, Soft Light and a âcommemorative VIP laminate.â But no lap dance, because these are burlesque performers, not strippers. 8:15 pm Wednesday, Oct. 23. Roseland Theater, 8 NW 6th Ave., blackheartburlesque.com. 18+.
$20-$454 or buy four to 99 PSLs.
The Golem with live soundtrack
The Golem: How He Came Into the World is a 1920 classic silent film from Germany, the third and only surviving film from a trilogy about a creature from Jewish folklore. The screening features Portland pianist Beth Karp providing the soundtrack. 7 pm Wednesday, Oct. 30. Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta St., albertarosetheatre.com.
$13 or buy three PSLs.
This family-friendly event features candy, stories from ghosts and the rotting corpses of famous Portlanders. People playing ghosts will hand out candy and give autographs to children. Noon-3 pm Saturday, Oct. 26. Lone Fir Cemetery, 2115 SE Morrison St., friendsoflonefircemetery.org.
Free, bring your own PSL.