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Designing Women S5 E6 - Mrs. Stillfield’s Haunted Sleepover

Updated: Nov 9, 2023

A Halloween episode?! YES. Our time has come. The whole gang is having an impromptu sleepover in Charlene’s new haunted house with pranks, ghost stories, roasted marshmallows, and of course, a grumpy Julia. (She hates sleepovers, y’all, she is very mature.)

Anyways, you know we have to celebrate “Spooky Season,” so we’ll break in the middle to talk about the origins of Halloween, including some Southern connections, and celebrations like Día de los Muertos (including a good one right here in Atlanta).

Come back Thursday for a very special “Extra Sugar” where we’ll chat about scary stories and urban legends, with a Southern twist, of course.

Here’s some of our sources:

Come on y’all, let’s get into it!



Salina: Hey, Nikki.

Nikki: Hey, Salina.

Salina: Hello, everyone, and welcome to Sweet Tea and TV Halloween edition.

Salina: Oh, okay.

Nikki: I feel like I have a scary sound.

Salina: We'll wait for her to queue that up.

Salina: It might be the week after Halloween when you're hearing this.

Salina: That's lovely.

Salina: That's wonderful.

Salina: Thank you.

Salina: Yeah.

Nikki: Legitimately.

Nikki: You want to keep going?

Salina: Yeah, I like it a lot.

Salina: So I think when this episode airs, it'll be after Halloween, but just like, by like a week.

Salina: So you're still, like, in kind of spooky season mode.

Salina: Either that or your Christmas tree is up.

Salina: One of the two.

Nikki: Whatever kind of person you are.

Salina: Whatever kind of person you are.

Salina: Yes, exactly.

Salina: But for us, we are still early October right now, so I am sure early to mid October, me checking the date.

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: Nikki's like, is it July?

Salina: Is it October?

Salina: Is it 2020?

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: Lots of questions, but we'll have lots of answers over the course of this episode, I'm sure.

Salina: Lots of answers about Charlene buying a house in the world's worst transition.

Nikki: That was my transition.

Nikki: Got it.

Nikki: So, this episode is called Charlene Buys a house.

Salina: There you go.

Nikki: So, the episode description either by Hulu, possibly by Hulu, and Salina, possibly by no one I don't know.

Salina: Who knows?

Nikki: Is when Charlene buys a haunted house, she hires Sugar Baker and associates to decorate it and insists that they treat her as just another customer.

Salina: And you know it's for real because they use the full name of the business.

Salina: I've never seen that before unless I wrote it.

Nikki: And this one airs aired October 29, 1990.

Nikki: We're calling this one Mrs.

Nikki: Stillfield's Haunted Sleepover.

Nikki: And it's written by Pam Norris and directed by David Trainor.

Nikki: So, general reactions.

Nikki: Where would you like to start us, Salina?

Salina: Yeah, well, my first general reaction is that I realized that I brought us into the episode before I even said how much fun we're having today.

Salina: Doing, like, a little mini Halloween celebration with some Halloween food.

Salina: And I forced Nikki into a pair of Halloween glasses.

Nikki: Did not think that's where that was going.

Salina: Oh, yeah.

Salina: I don't know where you thought what.

Nikki: Did you force me into a pair of what?

Salina: I've forced her into all kinds of fun Halloween activities today, and so I just want to say that how much I love spooky season.

Salina: I'm so glad it's here.

Nikki: She made me eat like 15 pumpkin spice shortbread cookies.

Salina: I did force you to do that.

Salina: Yeah, she forced me.

Nikki: It was like, every time I turned my head, she'd put like seven more on my plate, and I was just like, Salina, I've had enough, but I'm a good guest, so I'm going to eat them so that you don't have to throw them away.

Salina: Whatever it know.

Nikki: Oh, my God.

Nikki: I'm just doing the best I can.

Salina: Here, but I think this is actually a good full disclosure because we've had a lot of meats.

Salina: We've had a lot of cheeses.

Nikki: The world's biggest charcuterie board.

Nikki: Biggest.

Salina: A total charcuterie for two.

Salina: If we sound weird, it's because, well, one, we are, and two, again, I take you back to the meats and the cheeses.

Salina: I get really full.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: And I get full and I get sleepy.

Salina: So if it starts to not make sense, I'm sorry.

Salina: We're trying.

Salina: Please bear with us.

Nikki: But it's because of Halloween.

Nikki: This is the true spirit of Halloween.

Salina: Zany.

Nikki: Wacky and zany and high on sugar.

Salina: Yeah.

Nikki: And meat and cheese.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: And we are.

Salina: And we're trying to balance back out with some caffeine.

Salina: So thank you for your patience.

Salina: My first general reaction to the episode is actually, I wanted to get your thoughts on doing business with friends.

Salina: And I think based on recent episodes, I know your answer, but I'm going to ask you anyway.

Salina: Who do you think was right and wrong in this instance over the course of the episode?

Salina: So again, we'll start with the first question.

Salina: Your thoughts?

Salina: Business with friends.

Nikki: Yeah, I think business with friends is not usually the greatest idea, especially if it's a close friend.

Nikki: Because of what played out in this episode, they want you to treat them like any old customer.

Nikki: This didn't come up in this episode, but I feel like it comes up in situations.

Nikki: But you're going to do this for free or like a reduced cost.

Nikki: Right.

Nikki: But you're going to treat me like a normal customer.

Nikki: You're going to hold me.

Nikki: I can hold you to the same standards.

Nikki: You'll hold me to the same standards, but I'm not going to pay as much.

Nikki: Then it just gets awkward.

Nikki: And then in the situation of an interior designer, it's like your best friend and you want to be for real.

Nikki: For real with them.

Nikki: But also they're a client.

Nikki: So if you really hate that wallpaper, you want to tell them because you're their friend.

Nikki: But you wouldn't usually tell a normal client.

Nikki: A normal client, you'd be like, whatever you want.

Nikki: Did you consider this?

Nikki: And then they're going to say, no, I like that ugly wallpaper, so you're going to go with it.

Nikki: So I just think for all the reasons it feels like going into business with a friend was not a great idea.

Nikki: And I think Julia was right to be hesitant to do that.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: It is weird, though, that they kind of are all in business together and all friends, but this is where things fell apart for them.

Nikki: Yeah.

Nikki: I think Charlene seems I don't know, have they said that she owns a stake in the business or she just works for them?

Salina: I don't think they've ever said that she owns a stake in the business.

Nikki: I only draw a fine point on that because I think it's when your money's up on the table that things get really awkward.

Nikki: Now, she does have a paycheck in, but like if she's not decision making with the other ladies?

Salina: I don't even know.

Salina: Does Mary Jo?

Nikki: I don't think so.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: I think it's just Suzanne and Julia, obviously.

Salina: Is that right?

Nikki: Because Anthony does.

Nikki: Now.

Salina: Well, we haven't gotten there yet, but we will.

Salina: Spoiler alert for a 35 year old show.

Nikki: Anthony will?

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: He's about to become a partner.

Salina: But that said, it makes me think that maybe Mary Jo does have some stake in it, because if I were Mary Jo, I would be a little upset if Anthony got to be a partner before me.

Nikki: Yeah.

Nikki: Can someone tell?

Nikki: I need someone to correct us on.

Salina: Yeah.

Nikki: If we're wrong.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: Feel free to reach out.

Nikki: I'm also Googling it really quickly.

Salina: So while you're doing that, I'll just say that my answer was I wasn't even necessarily.

Salina: That customer client thing is a whole different ball of wax.

Salina: I guess I was thinking about just, like, if you were to literally go into business together.

Salina: And I don't like to never say never, but if you're going to do it, I think you have to be incredibly selective and lay down really prescriptive ground rules.

Salina: And I also think it has to be someone who sees things, especially money, similarly, and things have to be equitable, and nothing will ever be completely equal.

Salina: There's no true one to ones, but I think as long as you have people who are working to make things fair and they don't lose sight of that, and they don't lose sight of each other, and they don't lose sight of being thoughtful, you probably have a better shot.

Salina: But those are some really quite rare things to come together all at once.

Salina: And for that reason, I fall more in the no category than the yes category.

Salina: But in terms of right and wrong, I think for me, I see a little bit of both.

Salina: I think Charlene needed to have accepted their first answer, which was no.

Salina: And then I think maybe especially Julia and a little Mary Jo rough on Charlene isn't the right word, but maybe poking her a lot, because I don't think there are people who poke she's not really.

Salina: So I think when she does things, it doesn't seem as intentional, and I think they're more intentional people.

Salina: And so when they do that kind of off, it comes off a little rougher, I think I can tell you.

Nikki: That way back, it was a reminder.

Nikki: In season one, Charlene invested half of her life savings into Sugar Bakers.

Nikki: So I think she is, if not a partner in name, a partner in finances.

Salina: Thank you for catching that real time.

Nikki: You're welcome.

Nikki: Mary Jo also is a yeah, okay.

Salina: Okay.

Nikki: I think Charlene was kind of annoying.

Nikki: And I said that in the last episode as well.

Nikki: No, two episodes ago, I said that this episode, she was kind of annoying.

Nikki: I think that treat me like a customer and then also, I'm going to be really annoying as a customer was really obnoxious.

Salina: Right.

Salina: It doesn't give you carte blanc to just do whatever you want.

Nikki: Right.

Salina: Also, I really hate the customer is always right.

Nikki: It's just not true.

Salina: Right.

Salina: Nothing is always anything is not nothing.

Salina: Cookies.

Salina: I don't know.

Nikki: Well, it was just something interesting.

Nikki: Like the electrician with the plumbers crack showing.

Nikki: She knows that's the cost of doing business with Sugar Bakers, he's their electrician and suddenly when she's paying for it, it's not good enough.

Nikki: So she wants the other women to do the awkward and have a conversation with him that she was unwilling to say in the past, hey, is this the best look for our customers?

Nikki: Should we have a conversation with Rusty?

Salina: Well, it's kind of like it almost reminds me a little bit in restaurants when something awkward is happening nearby and the customer wants the server to take care of it.

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: Oh, sure.

Salina: Because I'm a psychologist who understands people losing it and I would absolutely like to step into this very potentially dangerous situation for you and those $5 I'm going to get at the end of this wonderful meal that we're having together.

Salina: So yeah, I think there's some pretty high expectations in customer service.

Salina: Sometimes jokes on them.

Nikki: And for Charlene to have known what was behind the curtain and to know what the situation was on the business side of things just made it all the more weird.

Nikki: She was just asking for some really irrational things and just really irritating me along the way.

Salina: Also, it was like rude to Rusty.

Nikki: Yeah, for sure.

Salina: You leave that man alone.

Nikki: Just leave him alone.

Nikki: He's done good business for Sugar Bakers for a long time.

Salina: That's right.

Nikki: Can I ask you a hypothetical?

Salina: Oh, I love hypotheticals.

Nikki: I think was the house really haunted?

Salina: So I was on a rewatch mission this morning, getting primed as one.

Salina: Done.

Salina: Ready?

Salina: Yeah, ready for the big fight.

Nikki: Also known as us recording the fight you had with the Sugar Hooter reward.

Salina: That's right.

Salina: And I had the same thought.

Salina: It really hadn't occurred to me.

Salina: I guess it's like one of those things where it just didn't matter.

Salina: But there were a couple of weird things that really did happen and they never explained because like and it's weird because they took the time to explain that Anthony was indeed the one weird thing.

Salina: Yeah, but that doesn't explain the chair.

Nikki: The picture falling off.

Nikki: The chair moving.

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: So that was okay.

Salina: Good decision.

Nikki: I was like, am I missing a detail somewhere?

Salina: You are not.

Salina: I had just one more general reaction, which is that their sleepover, like just the parameters of it just felt like a good time to I tell me more.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: Well, I mean, just the idea.

Salina: I just love a sleepover.

Nikki: And we're back to sleepovers with Halloween and sleepovers.

Nikki: This is Salina's Mecca.

Salina: I'm just living my best life, but not with Julia.

Salina: She's the worst sleepover person.

Nikki: Like a super sticky she's me at a sleepover.

Nikki: Just let me go to a king size bed and sleep alone with a darkened room and a face mask on, and you guys do whatever you want.

Salina: Whatever you want.

Nikki: I want you guys to have fun.

Nikki: I want to not be part of it.

Salina: Oh, I don't think she wants them to have fun, though.

Salina: So that might be the difference between you and her.

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: But it's interesting that you bring up episode ten in season one, the sleepover.

Nikki: Tell me more.

Salina: Okay, but let me tell you why.

Salina: Because they're basically recycling this episode, right?

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: There was a spooky connection that brought them together.

Salina: It's not really spooky.

Salina: It's the misunderstanding of but, like, there was kind of, like that threat element, right?

Salina: Because Suzanne thought that she had a voodoo curse placed on her, and so everyone had to come together.

Salina: In this case, there's, like, kind of the spooky element to the house.

Salina: The truth is, Charlene doesn't want to stay there all night by herself.

Salina: It brings everyone together.

Salina: In that previous episode, in season one, there was tension.

Salina: That time, it was like Suzanne versus everyone.

Salina: This time, it's like Charlene versus everyone.

Salina: So it's interesting to me to see those parallels across the seasons.

Nikki: What I was trying to look up yet again, quickly is if that one also aired.

Nikki: No, that was a December episode.

Nikki: I was wondering if that also aired around Halloween.

Salina: It would have been a beautiful third parallel.

Salina: It would have been well, see, I don't know if you know this about the first season, but they shot the episodes in a certain order, and then they aired them out of order.

Nikki: Brand new information.

Salina: Brand new information.

Salina: So it's possible that it was supposed to air around Halloween.

Salina: That was really nicely cued.

Salina: Thank you for that.

Nikki: You're welcome.

Salina: Thank you.

Salina: Did you have any other general reactions?

Nikki: I did not strays.

Nikki: Mary Jo was answering the phone a lot at the beginning of the episode.

Nikki: I think for someone whose job is not to answer, the already seems like she was already pulling some favors for Charlene at that point.

Nikki: So she could go look for houses.

Nikki: So least Charlene could do is maybe not be yeah.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: Oh, you better watch out, Charlene.

Salina: Nikki's on the warpath now.

Nikki: Charlene so much, it just makes me mad.

Nikki: They're doing her such a disservice.

Nikki: The other thing, my only other stray is character growth.

Nikki: We talked about this with Mary Jo in the last episode, how she's really standing up for herself.

Salina: Sure.

Nikki: What about Julia eating fast food after she yeah, she used to not eat fast food in season four.

Salina: It's either growth, or it's like season four never happened.

Salina: Either way, she's eating hamburger, potato, potato.

Nikki: She's just tearing up that cheeseburger.

Salina: Yeah, well, character growth.

Nikki: She did like it her cheeseburger in this episode.

Salina: Well, the last time oh, yeah.

Salina: When she finally did after she was.

Nikki: All uppity about yeah, yeah.

Salina: You don't have to be so haughty is Charlene's house.

Salina: Definitely Mary Jo's house, but like stripped down.

Nikki: I think you might be right.

Salina: If anyone out there knows, tell us.

Salina: I couldn't tell.

Salina: Anyway.

Nikki: You might be right because the staircase goes but see, Mary Jo's house changed at some point.

Salina: It did.

Nikki: In like the first season, there was the staircase that goes up in the fireplace right there last season.

Salina: So it's the first house.

Nikki: Yeah.

Nikki: Good call.

Nikki: Which is really Suzanne's house, which is.

Salina: Really Sugar Baker, which is really lot 22 or whatever it is.

Salina: So I was going to say too, that this just felt like such an appropriate episode for Annie Potts with her ghostbusters resume.

Salina: So I couldn't help but think about that.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: Especially since she was like poking at it.

Salina: I wish they had done something a little bit more on the nose, even.

Nikki: Oh, yeah.

Salina: That would have been a lot of fun.

Salina: All that said, if you approve, can you queue up a little sidebar Diddy, so we can talk about Halloween.

Nikki: Okay.

Nikki: It's a sidebar.

Nikki: Salina sidebar.

Nikki: She's got a keyboard looking for a reward by digging deep in the obscure, taking us on a detour.

Salina: What?

Nikki: You got Salina in Salina's sidebar?

Nikki: Don't tell him how badly I just messed all that music up, Salina.

Salina: Well, that was edited out.

Salina: That was easy enough, probably, right?

Nikki: Oh, boy.

Nikki: Well, thank you.

Salina: Regardless, the worst thing is you queued up our theme music and I didn't even notice.

Salina: You could have queued up like NBC Nightly News and I'd have been like, I'm ready.

Nikki: No.

Salina: So I've pulled together some things for Spooky season and I wanted to talk really about the origins of Halloween.

Salina: And of course I'm going to throw in some southern tidbits where I can.

Salina: So the micro summary here is if we just wanted to just do this in 2 seconds, is the Celtics started what we now know as Halloween thousands of years ago and Americans commercialized it.

Salina: That's it.

Nikki: Excellent.

Nikki: Thank you.

Salina: But we'll Ellen Gate.

Salina: We'll Ellen Gate.

Salina: Just a tad.

Salina: Of course it wasn't Halloween when it first started.

Salina: The Celtics were celebrating Saw Win, which was basically a festival recognizing the end of harvest.

Salina: They also believe this is when the veil between the living and the dead was thinnest.

Salina: And so this made it an opportunity to celebrate souls crossing over.

Salina: And so some of the traditions that we still follow today were seeded at this time, but then a lot of them were ways to ward off ill intentioned ghosts.

Salina: So I'm just imagining that, yes, we're into some of these ghosts, but some of these ghosts are bad.

Salina: So we don't want those guys around.

Nikki: Or gals.

Salina: Guys or gals.

Salina: They gurus.

Salina: So they lit bonfires today.

Salina: We use them for s'mores and to see our beer.

Salina: Sure enough, they wore disguises so that ghosts wouldn't recognize them.

Salina: Of course, today we call these costumes and they even left food outside of their homes to keep ghosts from entering.

Salina: Or what we might think of as the super 1.0 version of trickortreating.

Nikki: Where did the jello shots come in?

Nikki: And the spiked Halloween punch?

Salina: I want to say witches magic brew.

Salina: So it turns out that the south has a place in our Halloween history here in the US.

Salina: And that's that the southern colonies are actually the ones who first brought Halloween stateside.

Salina: That was new news to me.

Salina: I did not know that.

Salina: So what that means is here in the US.

Salina: It was here where people first did things like celebrate the harvest, tell ghost stories, get their fortunes, read these things that still kind of find their way into Halloween shenanigans.

Nikki: Is that because we have so many Irish?

Salina: I don't know, it's necessarily because of Irish, but it definitely was coming over from old country, whatever your old country was in Europe.

Salina: So I think when I was reading about saw wind, it is Celtic, so obviously Irish, but also maybe northern parts of France, some pockets of England and one other place that I can't think of right now.

Salina: But that's funny that you say that.

Salina: We'll get to the Irish part in just a second, but their New England colonial counterparts, on the other hand, were quite puritanical, if you will.

Salina: So these kinds of things were frowned upon.

Salina: For me, that's crazy.

Salina: For me, that's crazy because having been to New England in the fall and leading up to Halloween, it is the most Halloween embracing place I've ever been.

Nikki: I mean, hocus pocus.

Salina: And I think I think it's kind of like embracing.

Salina: And it is Salem, too, that I'm thinking of.

Salina: But everywhere we went in and around Massachusetts and Vermont and I think maybe went to New Hampshire for a little bit.

Salina: Like all of these places, if you go in my neighborhood, there is a handful of houses that really decorate for Halloween.

Salina: In Massachusetts, it was like every house was decorated.

Salina: It was weird if you weren't decorated.

Salina: So for me, it was almost like, what?

Salina: I mean, it makes sense for the times, but it is just so vastly different than it is today.

Nikki: Their last hurrah before the snow comes.

Salina: Well, that's a good point.

Salina: Sure.

Nikki: Hanging up Christmas decorations in the snow probably isn't very fun.

Salina: That's fair.

Salina: They do a good job.

Salina: And some of it was very scary.

Nikki: Oh, really?

Salina: Yeah.

Nikki: I don't like scary Halloween decorations.

Nikki: I'm more of a goofy, spooky kind of gal.

Salina: Yeah, me too.

Salina: I didn't really enjoy the Flayed man decorations that I saw.

Nikki: I was like, I don't like that.

Salina: I was like, whoo?

Salina: It went zero to 60 so much.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: Southern colonies may have brought the holiday here.

Salina: It was Irish immigrants who made it popular nationally when they started coming in higher and higher amounts in the mid to late 19th century.

Salina: So also weird to me, to be honest, because I've been to Ireland around Halloween before now I was in the north, and so in the Republic of Ireland it might be quite different, but in Northern Ireland, nothing was going.

Salina: Um, but I read some articles and they were like, and Halloween is still widely celebrated.

Salina: And I was like, is it?

Salina: Because I didn't see any of it.

Salina: And I was excited too, because I was like, I bet you they put on a real show.

Nikki: Dumb question.

Nikki: So is Halloween.

Nikki: Exactly.

Nikki: October 31 in Ireland.

Salina: I think so, because it all has to do I had this in here and I took it out.

Salina: But do you know why Halloween falls on the 31st?

Nikki: Halloween?

Salina: Well, that's it, okay?

Salina: And the reason why is because we've talked about this, I think, around pagan holidays and Christmas, and the idea that well, if we haven't talked about it.

Nikki: Here, I think we have.

Salina: Okay?

Salina: The idea is, like, the Catholic Church is trying to replace pagan holidays with some of their own, and so they instituted, like, All Souls Day and All Hallow.

Salina: I knew I should have kept my note.

Salina: Hold on.

Salina: You know what?

Salina: I think you're fine.

Nikki: The reason I'm the only reason I'm asking that recently came up, thanksgiving in Canada is different than Thanksgiving in the US fair.

Salina: So All Saints Day is on November 1, and then All Souls Day is on November 2.

Salina: All Saints Day is also known as All Hallows.

Salina: That's where All Hallows Eve came from.

Salina: So that's why it falls on the 31st.

Salina: So the Catholic Church is actually responsible for it being on the 31st.

Salina: Kind of unintentionally.

Salina: But the reason that that kind of goes to your question is catholicism is obviously not just like practice in one corner of the world.

Salina: So that wouldn't be a strictly American thing.

Salina: Give me just a second and I'll work my way back here.

Salina: Okay, so the genesis of Halloween haunted houses in the US.

Salina: Is interesting.

Salina: You know about this?

Nikki: No, I don't know.

Nikki: Okay, tell me.

Salina: So basically they came about as a reaction to what happened on Halloween in 1933.

Salina: So all around the country, hundreds of teen boys vandalized their towns.

Salina: And I'm not talking about little tricks and pranks.

Salina: They were flipping over cars and sawing off telephone poles, like really destructive things.

Salina: And some cities wanted to cancel the holiday altogether, but many communities decided they'd find ways to keep them busy, like creating these neighborhood haunted houses, like just.

Nikki: Locking them in the house.

Nikki: Why do we have to create an entire event for badly behaved boys?

Salina: Well, I don't know, but maybe we wouldn't have the same Halloween today if they hadn't.

Nikki: Lord.

Salina: Well, it is interesting because I do think this is probably a time when people would have been more, let's just say, well, no one would have befared the strap, you know what I'm saying?

Nikki: Right.

Nikki: This feels indulgent for the 19 what did you say, 30s or 40s?

Salina: It was right in the middle of the depression.

Nikki: Feels indulgent.

Salina: I wonder if people were just kind of beaten down too much from the depression.

Salina: I don't know.

Salina: It feels confirmed, honestly.

Salina: Feels like that played into why the kids did it in the first place.

Salina: Because if you kind of like watch the ebb and flow of history when there's economic downturns, you just see more of that kind of behavior.

Salina: It's like people lashing out because they can't control anything else.

Salina: You've had a lot of faces today.

Salina: I'm not saying I agree with it.

Nikki: I'm just saying what you said.

Nikki: What did you say a minute ago?

Salina: Who knows?

Nikki: They're in the depths of a depression so they lashed out.

Nikki: Yeah, been there, been there.

Salina: Great Depression can't confirm, but today haunted houses are often super elaborate.

Salina: So we have a pretty big one outside of Atlanta called Netherworld that's really popular.

Salina: And American haunts actually estimates there are over 1200 haunted attractions that charge admission fees now and they can get quite pricey of that, I can assure you.

Salina: Kind of related to this.

Salina: Here in the south, we have our own special twist on keeping the kids busy.

Salina: So I was reminded of these by an article, and it's a Southern thing.

Salina: One is there's a good deal of trunker treating.

Salina: So for folks who don't know, this is where church members park their decorated cars in the church parking lot and pass out candy to kids.

Salina: It takes out the whole trick aspect, which I think is frowned on by a lot of Christians.

Salina: And then the concept is also that it's safer because most likely you know who is giving your children candy and with everyone right there, there's less opportunities for mischief.

Nikki: We were just talking about trunk or treating because we did not remember this growing up.

Nikki: Kyle and I both grew up trickortreating.

Nikki: So trunk or treating we thought was a development in the last couple of years like that not quite millennial, maybe elder millennial and a little bit older than us.

Nikki: Gen Xers, like protecting their kids, super insulating them from everything.

Nikki: I did not even think about a church aspect because the only ones we've ever been invited to are at the daycare or in our neighborhood, they do a trunk or treat.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: To my knowledge, I'm mostly aware of them in churches.

Salina: This article was specifically talking about them in churches.

Salina: I would say I've known about them.

Salina: It was definitely after we were of age, of the appropriate age to be trickortreating.

Salina: But I can remember them happening as far back as like maybe when I was in high school or middle school.

Nikki: I don't remember that.

Nikki: Maybe we were just heathens.

Nikki: We weren't invited.

Nikki: Church didn't want us.

Salina: Maybe you were too old unless you were going to be decorating a car.

Salina: But the other flipping cars.

Salina: Flipping cars, flip cars.

Salina: Well, and cutting out the telephone pole.

Nikki: I need them to keep me busy.

Salina: Something for the firewood or it all goes to a good purpose.

Salina: So I totally forgot about this other thing that the article mentioned.

Salina: Do you know what judgment houses are?

Nikki: Can't wait.

Nikki: Tell me more.

Salina: So it's like the church's answer to a haunted house.

Nikki: Oh, no.

Salina: Okay, so I actually helped with a few of these when I was little and I was in middle school and I was involved with our church and they basically had it was like some kind of a h*** house.

Salina: And you basically scared someone into becoming a Christian.

Nikki: Oh, my goodness.

Salina: You show them the difference of what happens if you accept Jesus into your heart and you do or don't go to h*** based on the choice that you make.

Nikki: Holy moly.

Nikki: That's terrifying.

Salina: So y'all had nothing like that?

Nikki: I literally never well, you also didn't.

Salina: Know about trunk or treating a judgment house.

Salina: So they called them judgment houses.

Salina: I didn't know them by that name.

Salina: I was thinking about one H*** God's heavenly Savior location of Halloween festivities, but the biggest one around us.

Salina: This is not what I participated in, but it was called the Tribulation Trail and it was like a haunted hay ride and I think they still do it each year.

Salina: And you basically go on a hayride where they act out the different parts of Revelations.

Salina: Guys, it's a real trip being in the south.

Nikki: That's terrifying.

Salina: Before we UN sidebar, I do want to touch on one last thing, which is Dia de los Muertos or the Day of the Dead.

Salina: The south is a diverse place and that includes many pockets where there are large Hispanic and Latino populations.

Salina: I have lost Nikki to the end of my front door.

Nikki: Made that weird noise.

Nikki: I am lost to the tribulation trail down in Covington.

Salina: That's right.

Salina: You're going to take the kids.

Nikki: Tribulation Trail shares the story of redemption through an immersive theatrical experience inspired by the book of Revelation.

Nikki: And then there's an FAQ.

Nikki: And the question is, is childcare provided?

Nikki: No, childcare is not provided.

Nikki: And then is there an age limit?

Nikki: It's recommended that children under twelve not attend.

Nikki: We may refuse admittance.

Nikki: Is this run by a church?

Nikki: Yeah.

Nikki: That's terrifying.

Nikki: That there's an entire part of the Bible that they're not only going to tell you about, they're going to act it out and it's too terrifying for children.

Salina: I mean, it was I mean, I haven't lived down there in a long time, but it was a huge deal.

Salina: Like a lot of people went to it every single year you've been I don't think I ever went on the Tribulation Trail.

Nikki: It's found on

Nikki: Yeah.

Nikki: This is terrifying.

Salina: I do think maybe the one I did was h***.

Nikki: House.

Nikki: It's originally created in 2003.

Nikki: Okay, I'm sorry.

Nikki: That's heavy.

Nikki: Can we just stick to the veil between the living and the dead being?

Salina: I'm glad that you said that.

Nikki: Dia de los muertos.

Salina: Tell me more.

Salina: Yes.

Salina: Day of the Dead.

Salina: So, like I was saying, the south is a really diverse place, and so there are pockets where there are large communities of Hispanic and and I'm you know, I'm sure that Florida and Texas immediately spring to mind.

Salina: But even here in metro Atlanta, we now have one of the largest concentrations of Latino communities.

Salina: And so the first thing to know is that the Day of the Dead is not Halloween.

Salina: According to National Geographic, it's a mashup of pre Hispanic religious rites and Christian feasts.

Salina: It's celebrated on November 1 and second, which are, respectively, All Saints Day and All Souls Day.

Salina: On the Catholic calendar that we already talked about, it's worth noting that there's no hard and fast rule here.

Salina: Different regions and areas celebrate differently.

Salina: So maybe they do two days or maybe they do three days.

Salina: It's really site specific, but Dia de los Muertos is to honor the dead who are believed to return to their homes on Halloween.

Salina: So it's similar, at least, like in almost said similar in spirit.

Salina: But that doesn't feel like the right word to use here.

Salina: But it's similar to the Celtic Saw win.

Salina: It dates back thousands of years.

Salina: In this case, though, it's started by Aztec Toltec and the Nahua people.

Salina: According to the History Channel, the traditions include altars, which are often made by the family to honor the deceased relatives.

Salina: They decorate them with candy and flowers and photos, and they'll even include the deceased favorite food drinks.

Salina: They'll put fresh water out, sometimes like a little basin and a way for them to kind of clean off their hands and wash up before they enjoy their favorite foods and drinks.

Salina: Candles and incense are used to help the deceased find their way home.

Salina: And then grave sites are tidied and decorated, and then family will come together at the grave site to picnic and reminisce.

Salina: And I feel like it's, like, lost on some people.

Salina: And I didn't really know this probably until maybe a decade ago or something, that cemeteries used to be a place that they were, like, inside parks, and it was a place where people did hang out and people still do, but not quite as widely.

Salina: And so I think sometimes people hear that and they think it's really strange.

Salina: But this is a thing, I think, that is spread across many cultures, that idea of that being a place where you go and spend time.

Salina: So Casey and I were able to participate in Old Town San Diego's festivities last year, and I just thought it was the loveliest time.

Salina: The scale and the intricacy of the decorations, the music, the culture.

Salina: The whole thing is just really breathtaking.

Salina: The entire place was covered with the altars, and I just fell in love with them.

Salina: They were such a beautiful way to commemorate loved ones.

Salina: Some of them were actually also for just famous people, too.

Salina: There was one for Tupac, and I can't remember all of them anymore, but it seems so sweet and tangible as well.

Nikki: Have you seen the movie Coco, the Disney movie?

Salina: I've heard wonderful things and I haven't.

Nikki: Seen I think what I love about the idea of Dia de los Muertos is the acknowledgment that when a person dies, they're not really gone and they're still part of your family's fabric and you as a person and having an opportunity to celebrate that.

Nikki: Like, Halloween has so many fun traditions for me, but that sounds so steeped in culture and family and community, and I love that.

Nikki: I think that's really sweet.

Nikki: And that movie Coco did a really nice job of showing that.

Salina: I don't know a way to say this and not make it sound like a sweeping generalization over America, but it feels like we've gotten the whole funeral thing.

Salina: Um, and I should say that, hey, your deceased family and loved ones, you celebrate them or whatever you need to do the way you want to do it, but I would much rather have a celebration than be sad.

Nikki: That's what I've said all along, is, please don't have a funeral for me.

Nikki: Don't do that.

Nikki: Go have a picnic.

Nikki: Go have some drinks or something.

Nikki: Like, have fun, tell funny stories, but don't sit in a church and be sad.

Nikki: My mom tells me funerals aren't for the person who died, so you don't get to decide.

Salina: Well, I've been told that as well.

Nikki: As the person who if I'm left behind, then I want to choose a happy party, too.

Salina: I don't want to be sad.

Salina: Yeah, I don't want to be sad.

Nikki: I want to be sad in my own private home.

Salina: I like to think that I could leave instructions from beyond the grave.

Nikki: You can just write them now.

Salina: That's right.

Salina: Just put them in a will.

Nikki: That's all you got to do.

Salina: This is just strictly for the Atlanta area.

Salina: I don't know beyond that, but you should check out maybe you should check out the historic Oakland cemeteries.

Salina: Dia de los Muertos celebration on November 5.

Salina: We're going this year, and I've only heard really incredible things.

Salina: So we like Halloween, we like the day of the debt.

Salina: We like all the good stuff.

Salina: Nikki, what did you like about this episode?

Nikki: The things that I liked about this episode were all lines.

Nikki: Okay.

Nikki: Crystals are just rocks.

Nikki: Spread the word.

Nikki: Julia said that when she took the phone away from Mary Jo, I think it was.

Nikki: We'll treat you just like anybody off the street, just like a total stranger we've never seen before, we'll never see again.

Nikki: We don't give two hoots about.

Nikki: And then when Suzanne said it's, like I told my ex husbands.

Nikki: You married me.

Nikki: You thought we would have sex.

Nikki: We're not going to have sex.

Nikki: End of story.

Salina: It's probably my favorite line in the whole episode.

Salina: I called it Suzanne's little sidebar because it doesn't really have much to do with changing your mind about a paint color.

Salina: No, but I liked it.

Nikki: No.

Nikki: So those were the things I liked.

Salina: Okay, agreed.

Salina: I also like the runner of them just pulling pranks to scare each other.

Salina: I just thought that was really fun.

Salina: I like it, too, because I think what was nice about this one is it kind of reminded me of the episode where the bed accidentally gets shipped to the office because they just feel very youthful.

Salina: They feel like they're having a good time.

Salina: And it's not rocket science when they're having a good time, we're going to have a good time.

Nikki: True.

Salina: I also had a couple of lines that really stood out to me that I liked a lot.

Salina: Julia's frustration at the impromptu sleepover.

Salina: She says, that's right, Anthony, you got us.

Salina: You got us all.

Salina: You scared us out of our skins.

Salina: You've got the scariest costumes.

Salina: Charlene's got the scariest story, but I've got the scariest life because I have to work with you people.

Salina: I really enjoyed that.

Nikki: She's such a stick in the mud.

Salina: She's just all drama, but it was funny.

Salina: And then I liked Mary Jo's.

Salina: Wicked Charlene Byrne.

Salina: Charlene says, y'all are just a bunch of party poopers.

Salina: That's easy for you to say.

Salina: You don't have to get up in the morning and go work for cranky old Mrs.

Salina: Stillfield.

Salina: And then Julia getting the last scare on Suzanne.

Nikki: Oh, yeah.

Salina: And of course she's a morning person.

Salina: I'm also a morning person.

Salina: I'm just also a night person.

Salina: What about what we didn't like?

Nikki: Like I said at the beginning, charlene was just being a little annoying and I didn't particularly care for that.

Nikki: I also do not love that the haunting wasn't fully a if you're going to introduce a problem, at least resolve it for me sort of gal.

Nikki: And I think they played into it being a haunted house in a really over the top way, like it was in a National Geographic, national Geographic, national Enquirer magazine.

Nikki: And it was like a whole mean I get sometimes leaving something up to mystery or leaving something unresolved.

Nikki: Like in the last episode with Anthony and Suzanne going into the back room and chatting.

Nikki: It's sort of a did they didn't they sort of still hanging out there?

Nikki: Like, what happened?

Salina: Right, but that was very purposeful.

Nikki: That was purposeful.

Nikki: This felt like left off an, you know, maybe no, I looked at the cut lines.

Nikki: I was going to say maybe it was resolved.

Salina: I mean, I think the thing is it sort of depends on how you believe.

Salina: So someone like Julia is never going to believe in it.

Salina: And then Charlene is just like, from the very beginning, she was like, oh, it's.

Salina: And I think I don't think anything was ever going to change her mind on that.

Salina: And I don't think anything could have.

Salina: Maybe Julia would have been uncomfortable, but at the end of the day, she's very logical.

Salina: She's going to come up with a logical explanation for it.

Salina: So maybe the show just didn't think it was important, but I definitely understand why that's yeah, they didn't see me.

Nikki: On the other end.

Nikki: Is it haunted or not?

Salina: I just need to know that's what we're all here for is the haunting.

Nikki: Well, because it was so purposeful that they said that Anthony made up part of it, but then there were those other things that they just didn't address at all.

Nikki: I need to know.

Nikki: I need to know.

Nikki: So those are the things I didn't like.

Nikki: What about you?

Nikki: I don't have any.

Salina: Which I guess gets us into our.

Nikki: Rating, which gets us into you telling me what your rating scale is?

Nikki: Because I might need to borrow it.

Salina: Oh, absolutely.

Salina: So I gave it a five out of five cranky.

Salina: Mrs.

Salina: Stillfields.

Nikki: Five out of five, you say?

Salina: Five out of five.

Salina: That's right.

Salina: It's my third five of five.

Salina: Good lord.

Nikki: And we're only on episode six.

Salina: Go big or go home.

Salina: I don't think I am, because this is Suzanne and Charlene's last season.

Nikki: I'm going to give it a 4.75 cranky.

Nikki: Old Mrs.

Nikki: Stillfield she said, yeah, I mean, I liked the hijinks.

Nikki: I love a spooky house, especially if, like I said, I love silly.

Nikki: I don't love really scary, but I do love spooky.

Nikki: And so I thought some of the things like the picture falling off the wall and the chair sliding, I thought those were really fun.

Nikki: And I just wish that maybe they had addressed it one more time, even if unresolved just addressed it one more time.

Nikki: But wait, what about the picture falling off and then it just cuts to black or something like that.

Salina: Or it just falls one more time.

Salina: Exactly.

Salina: They're like, oh, he bought in Sale, right?

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: And then everybody's like, I agree.

Salina: I think that would have been a better end.

Salina: Even if maybe she's because I do like that she scared her with whatever the guy's name is.

Salina: Oh, it's something.

Salina: Bob cole.

Salina: Because when she said it and I was realizing it was Bob Dole, and.

Nikki: I was like.

Salina: I was like, this show just loves its politics.

Nikki: Dole.

Nikki: Bob Dole hanging up on the think.

Salina: I don't know.

Salina: There's really anything that I can say much more beyond what I've said for the reasons that I like this one and I'm rating it so high.

Salina: I will say that for a Halloween episode, I like this one because it was like a subtle Halloween episode.

Salina: It wasn't like, oh, no, we're having a big costume party and I forgot.

Salina: Or like, randomly just having kids, kind of trick or treating in the middle or something.

Salina: It felt well played in that regard.

Salina: And again, I love the idea of an adult sleepover.

Salina: I'm going to tell you all right now.

Salina: It keeps you young.

Salina: Keeps you young.

Nikki: I think having the subtle Halloween episode also is really syndication friendly because they could play that at any time and it would be great.

Nikki: But especially if they play it at Halloween.

Nikki: You're like, OOH, spooky episode for Halloween.

Salina: Exactly.

Nikki: I love holiday episodes of sitcoms.

Nikki: I really love them.

Nikki: When I get back to Halloween episodes in the middle, or when I get back to Halloween episodes in King of Queens or Christmas episodes.

Nikki: I just really love them.

Salina: Well, the one thing I do like about streaming now is I don't like how much everyone charges you.

Nikki: Sure.

Salina: And they are satan probably won't get any sponsorships there anytime soon either way.

Salina: But for instance, Hulu does like oh, and then HBO has a thing that they do and they just package together all of their scary content.

Salina: To your point, it's even genreed out within the genre of Spooky.

Salina: So if you want to keep it light, you can keep it light.

Salina: If you're more in my realm of like practical magic or some ghostbusters action, which honestly, there's a couple of scenes in both of those.

Salina: They're still a little scary for me.

Salina: Or if you just need to see someone's head spin around and get chopped up, seesaw.

Salina: Yeah, if you need to see the 10th one, by God, we'll get you there too.

Salina: But the other thing they really do that I like is package together all the Halloween episodes from different sitcoms.

Salina: That's just my plug for television, y'all.

Salina: I don't really know what just happened there.

Salina: 90s things.

Nikki: I only have one and it's Gary Coleman suing his parents.

Nikki: So the very brief version is that Gary Coleman was a child star in the he did indeed sue his parents in 1989.

Nikki: He was number one on a VH One list of the greatest kid actors.

Nikki: And his story is really freaking sad.

Nikki: If you want to go down a really sad rabbit hole, it's just really.

Salina: Easy to do that if you're not careful.

Salina: I think that's the biggest lesson.

Salina: And maybe this entire podcast adventure.

Nikki: Yes.

Salina: So a couple of other things I want to because I was wondering, why did I feel like I heard about this throughout the think it's because it took so long to be settled.

Salina: So it doesn't get settled until 1993.

Salina: And I remember this being a huge story.

Salina: And it's probably because every time a tiny thing happened, it probably went crazy.

Salina: Like in the National Enquirer kind of situation.

Salina: Because that was really especially, I think in the media in that time.

Salina: That was the place where these kinds of stories just were on nonstop.

Nikki: Yeah, I'm thinking about Macaulay Culkin.

Nikki: His story would have been around that same time.

Nikki: Of suing for emancipation.

Nikki: Somebody else sued for emancipation from their parents.

Nikki: Another big kid star.

Nikki: This was a really big time for that kid star.

Salina: I know.

Salina: And you know what?

Salina: I think I recently was listening to something again.

Salina: I've been listening to a podcast about erotic ninety s the Remember When podcast.

Salina: And I think this has come up there again, too.

Salina: But what I don't want to do is take everybody down.

Salina: The thing of me trying to remember, although that does sound teen kids stars.

Nikki: Along the way that never once emancipated.

Salina: Themselves from their families.

Salina: Not the girl who plays Blossom, mayan Bialik.

Salina: Thank you.

Nikki: But did she?

Nikki: She didn't, no.

Salina: Okay.

Nikki: It would just be like she had a good relationship.

Salina: Oh, it was Drew Barrymore.

Nikki: Oh, yeah.

Nikki: She was a big, too.

Salina: But I wanted to say on The Different Strokes because that's what the show Gary Coleman was on.

Salina: Really funny reference.

Salina: Kind of like a meta reference since Dixie Carter did a stint on there for like 30 plus episodes.

Nikki: And then that lady from earlier this season replaced her.

Salina: That's right.

Nikki: Beauty queen.

Salina: Right.

Nikki: Who was much more than a beauty queen.

Salina: Yes, but it's very interesting, though, for them to kind of be making those references to Gary Coleman and like her having worked with him.

Salina: It's like universe crossing or something.

Nikki: Also known as Hollywood.

Salina: I didn't know where that was going.

Salina: Thought you're about to say Hollyweed or something.

Salina: I was going to say everything in the Cold Open was really interesting, too, in terms of a 90s reference, because this is sort of like the New Age movement, whether you want to like the psychics crystals Channeling, all of these different things.

Salina: It started in the 70s, but I think it was really crescendoing around this time.

Salina: It had been very commercialized by this point, which is really what Julia is poking fun at, separating rich fools from their money or whatever it was.

Salina: And so my only point is I think this is a really 90s reference because, I don't know, you get the same joke in any other decade.

Salina: It was a very timestamped kind of thing.

Salina: And then Spike Lee gets a reference as well.

Salina: Okay, obviously he's a very talented and famous director, and he transcends decades.

Salina: But when I think about the think of him because he had such a string of really even if they weren't necessarily commercially successful, some of them I mean, a lot of them are, but other thems are just critically successful.

Salina: So whether it's like mo better blues or jungle fever malcolm X, he got game Crookland.

Salina: And this is a good segue into Southern things because while I think most people would consider him quintessentially Brooklyn, he is actually from Atlanta.

Salina: He was born here, moved when he was young, but then he came and went to Morehouse and Clark.

Salina: Morehouse and Clark are both HBCUs or historically black colleges or universities and clark.

Salina: Atlanta is the first HBCU in the Southern U.

Salina: S.

Salina: And I'm out.

Salina: Do you have any Southern references?

Nikki: No.

Salina: All right.

Salina: Any references we need to talk about?

Salina: I think we talked about them already.

Salina: Let's just close her down.

Salina: Play that spooky sound.

Nikki: So next episode season five, episode seven old Rebels and Young Models we'd love everyone to follow along with us and engage.

Nikki: Instagram and Facebook at Sweet.

Nikki: TNTV TikTok at sweettvpod.

Nikki: YouTube at sweettv 7371.

Nikki: Our email address is and our website is

Nikki: There are several ways to support the show.

Nikki: You can tell your family and friends about us.

Nikki: Rate or review the podcast wherever you listen.

Nikki: And then you can visit our website.

Nikki: There's a Support US tab where you can find other ways to support us.

Nikki: So come back Thursday for extra Sugar, where we're going to be inspired by the creepy stories the ladies told around the fireplace, leading us to talk about some Southern scary stories and urban legends.

Nikki: It takes me a minute to queue it up.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: All right.

Salina: Well, you know what that means.

Nikki: What does it mean, Salina?

Salina: It means we're going to see you around the bin bye.

Salina: Together.


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