Saturday, October 31, 2015

Halloween—Trick or Treat? - Again

Another Halloween is upon us....whether we want it or not. 
Luckily, not much changes with Halloween from year to year, except for the measurable inches of snow we sometimes receive.

I'd like to stay and chat some more, but I'm having trouble locating one of my mouse ears and one mouse ear just doesn't fly, especially with the witches next door who are sticklers when it comes to potion preparation. 


From the Archive of Retort - October 31, 2011



Trick or Treat!

Where's the snow shovel?

Hey Dude, you’re stepping on my tail!

Ho Ho Ho!

All things you normally hear on Halloween…except maybe the Ho ho ho.

Actually, now that I think about it, there’s probably going to be a Christmas commercial running somewhere the minute you turn off the lights on the Trick or Treaters.

Can’t start too early.

Halloween is one of those “holidays” that you either love or hate. To the uninhibited among you, you love it and begin plotting your costume-ware as early as July…maybe sooner.

I’m thinking you’re also a big fan of practical jokes. Can’t get enough of those fart cushions at parties!

To the inhibited, of whom I count myself, the thought of picking out some self-conscious bunny eared costume complete with cotton tail is…well…not pleasant.

Okay…sure… I had a bad experience once. But that officer was way out of line.

Luckily, Z looked so adorable in her little baby doll outfit that she was able to talk him out of using the least the metal ones.

So, tonight is the big night!

I think I smoothed things over with the Zombies. I waved to the dad Zombie yesterday, while he was out shoveling his driveway, and he actually waved back. Of course it was the Grandma Zombie’s detached arm he was waving, but I interpreted it to be a good sign.

Unfortunately, the Witches are still not speaking to me. I said hello while they were out practicing their broom riding tricks and I couldn’t get a rise out of either of them; not even a cackle.

Oh, well.

At least the Vampires are still talking to me. To be honest, they can be a little too chatty sometimes. I mean sometimes you just want to have a Vampire free moment. 

Just once in a while, you know?

The Vampires get a big crowd on Halloween. We all do, in fact.

Our neighborhood actually looks like a Hollywood version of Halloween night. The streets are filled with kids.  There’s actually a din…an actual din as the sound runs up and down the street alongside all the kids.  But we don’t mind, cuz they’re nice kids and for the most part they only use organic eggs to deface your house.

It wasn’t always this way. For a while the neighborhood was like a ghost town on Halloween—pun intended. If you got 15-20 Trick or Treaters you were doing well.  Then they began this “Boo in the Park” thing a while back and ever since, kids from all over town flood our little streets. 

It also doesn’t hurt that we have so many ghouls living in the neighborhood now.

We actually have about 40 pounds of candy; over a thousand pieces standing by.  And we give out every bit of it…aside from the couple of dozen that I consume while giving it out.

The first year, after we installed our full view glass storm door, was the best. Little kids were walking into it by the dozen, so excited were they to get their little treats. There’s nothing more enjoyable than watching a little 4 year old, all happy and smiley, race onto the stoop and then POW...he doesn’t know what hit him.

If you could see those little cute expressions of shock and awe!

But don’t worry; it didn’t seem to faze them. In fact I don’t think many noticed at all, so intent were they on this great new candied aspect of life.  I think they just thought it was part of the gig. And it was a great way to know when someone was at the door.

Thump… Thump…Thump… Thump…Thump…

“More kids at the door!”

Eventually, Z taped a paper spider to the door and the thumping stopped.

But it was great while it lasted.

Then there’s always the question of how many pieces of candy to give to each kid.

It depends on how much traffic there is. In the beginning I’m usually generous and will give out 3 pieces per kid. If it’s a neighbor kid that I know, then more. And if it’s a particularly cute kid or his mom’s hot, 5 or 6.  

But don’t tell Z my system.

One time I was starting to panic because we were getting low after only an hour and a half of treating, so I started giving out only 2 pieces to each kid…even if the mom was dressed as Jennifer Lopez.

One little Princess girl, in appearance and attitude, looked in the bag after I dropped in her 2 pieces and actually said, “We usually get at least 3.” 

No kidding….

So I told her I was getting low and had to economize and actually reached into her bag and took the two pieces back.

Well…actually I didn’t.  But I wanted to, and it makes for a better story if I say I did.

Anyway, by the end, we always start to panic, cuz we don’t want to have any turn aways. 

There’s nothing worse than a turn away.  A cute little kid in a Buzz Lightyear suit comes up to the door, loudly pronounces “Trick or Treat” and you reach back and the only thing that you get your hands on is the half chewed Almond Joy that you threw back in the basket an hour ago.

“Sorry, Buzz. We’re all out. Try the Zombies across the street; they never run out.”

Usually they’re so stunned by this unexpected development, they don’t know what to do. I mean the rules clearly state that if there is no Treat provided they must now Trick

That’s a lot of pressure on a 6 year old.

Luckily Z will usually come to the rescue and dig out a pack of Dentyne or something and throw it into their bag. Sounds odd, I know, but at least their breath smells minty fresh when they get to the next house…and 4 out of 5 Dentists approve!

No kidding, one time we actually had to start doling out my supply of Peppermint Dentyne, just to get through the final rush. Then we quickly shut the door and turned out the lights. 

Sometimes we even huddle behind the couch so as not to be seen from the windows.

Well, I better go get ready.  The Zombies are already out shuffling around getting their little “Haunted House” thing set up.  The Witches are still working on their broom routines and the Vampires are rolling out the candy filled caskets.

Hard to compete with all that.

I do feel sorry for the Werewolves though.  Nobody ever goes to their house any more.  Not since that little over salivation incident a few years back. Now they don’t even turn on the light.

I don’t know…they’re Werewolves. Shouldn’t we cut them a little bit of slack? 

I mean it's Halloween.

If not now...when?

Need a treat...or even a trick?

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  1. matty and i were the only trick or treaters walking the neighborhood from this house, well, with the wookie of course....the girls are teenagers so they have their own tricking and treating agenda. matty was so overjoyed to get a pack of gum, so much more exciting than the BAKED cheese doodles. the girls asked me if i bought candy to give out. um, no i did not. i told them we have plenty of extra taco seasoning to share. low and behold, the doorbell rang just once with costumed beggars. i hope they liked the BAKED doodles....

    1. Wow...a pack of gum! We were out by 7:30, having started at 6 but the neighborhood was jumping until after 9. In the early days when we were still naïve, we ran out and felt so guilty, we started giving out packs of Dentyne we had lying around. Now, when it's gone it's gone...without guilt. Bring Matty and the Wook around next year for the good stuff....

    2. i think you are retorting from like 6 and a half bridges away....


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