This was actually published in Forbes Magazine online last week. I retouched the layout a little, as Forbes don't know how to build a Web page. And, um, Mr.Ewalt, a climax is a synonym for finish: Trick or Oxymorons?
Where's Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, though? Han Solo and one of the sand people, perhaps?
We live in a fairly secluded suburb, so I went into this gambit not expecting a lot. This year?s yield of Trick or Treaters was a little below average in quantity?we got about 20, more than in previous years after the ?Security Scares? in past decades (I get the feeling that the ?razor in the apple? thing was an urban legend)?and very poor in quality.
I bought a Father Time fright mask, and wielded a scythe, along with a laser pointer to harass kids (and perhaps scaring them more than the mask), and a Polo Jeans sweatshirt. My wife dressed, as usual, as a witch, but had to buy a new hat, as though an actual witch would be a Fashion Slave. From 6:30 to 8:30, I observed the following:
? The Darth Vaders, two of them, were both under four feet tall, and my mask scared one so badly, I had to take it off before he?d hold out his pumpkin loot container.
? There were a number of fairy princesses(but no cowboys), and for once, the weather was mild with no rain, so snowsuits underneath the costumes didn?t ruin the effect.
? As a "safety" measure, this big-butt fire truck wandered the neighborhood, running all lights, probably frightening the kids more than reassuring them.
? One high schooler dressed as Death, got feisty and dueled with me and my scythe with his plastic sword. He apologized for having his mask up, explaining that he couldn?t see. He asked me where I got my mask; I replied, ?What mask???corny but effective with youths.
? Lots of parents stood in the street as the young ?uns came to the door. One of them, holding a LaBatts bottle (! I dunno, do you really feel a kid is safer while you drink?) came up to the door to tell me a car parked in front of our house had its dome light on and a purse was in the front seat, but the car was locked. First, we park our car in the garage on Halloween, as should everyone, because Silly String is still a big seller. My next door neighbor, Michael, explained that his wife had gone out with girlfriends, and one of them owned the car. Michael sat out on his porch as a greeter, and on a boom box played a combination of spooky music and Chaka Khan oldies. He?d put his trash out, which was okay ?cause he was on the lookout, but so did other neighbors?which seemed unwise.
? As the night grew full, it gave way to sparser visits from older kids. One gal, 14 I imagine, wore lip studs?but I think she always wears them. Her girlfriend drove her around?um, if you?re old enough to drive, why not drive to the supermarket and buy candy you really like? She mistook me for Dumbeldor...sigh...
? The kids in general weren?t in the spirit! No play-acting, very few actually held out their bags?I had to reach out, open their freaking bags and deposit the goods. And their ?Trick or treat? greeting was largely executed with the boister of announcing to your parents that you flunked math. I had to ask a 7-year old, ?Okay, say it.? She replied, ?Happy Halloween...? As in my own youth, pillowcases were used a lot for loot collecting.
? If I were to give out awards for Best Costume, it would?ve gone to a 13 year old boy dressed as a Big Baby; a hoop under his garb to suggest plumpness, rosey painted cheeks, a XXL Dr. Denton?s nightgown with a bonnet and bib. Second Prize would?ve gone to a 10 year old dressed as a hippie (scary in more than one way), replete with a really good tie-dyed tee shirt and an afro wig?I said, ?Oh, Jimi Hendrix!??he laughed but I doubt he understood. One oddity was a little girl in a black studded biker?s jacket?where the heck did she buy a size 3 Brando Special??? Worst costumes were common; a lot of fake blood makeup with very little costume. One 5 year old had a skull mask that oozed blood when triggered from a hand-held unit, a new iPod I think.
? We turned out the green porch light and called Happy Witching Hour quits after 20 minutes of no-rings. I heard that corn starch is good to put on latex masks you?re retiring, we still have about 20 chocolate bars left out of a five pound bag that my wife and I keep swearing we?ll throw out right before we scarf one or two, and I still need to swap out the green light bulb.
Hope your All Hallowed Eve?s was at least as fun as mine!
Well that image sure put me in a Halloweenish mood, retroactively of course. I don't begrudge the fact that I live in the sticks and Trick or Treating just can't happen when the houses are so far apart, many with gates. I do miss it, though.
You're image reminded me of something from my youth, Gare. When I was but a wee lad I had a good friend, Harvey Gross (I kid you not), who lived on the other side of our block in a new house. That means it was in the midst of several empty lots which were lightly wooded and ideal for all sorts of kid stuff. We could be found there quite often playing "Capture the Flag" and other semi-organized kid games.
Harvey's family got the first TV on the block, too, so we would hang out there to get glimpses of this strange little round tube with moving images in it. But I digress into cobwebby cul-de-sacs of memories...
Anyhow, Harvey always seemed a bit more worldly and wise that I or the rest of my contemporaries and I'll never forget one particular piece of oracular profundity which first dropped from his lips and has formed one of my deep philosophical bastions of truth. He told several of us, on a fateful afternoon,
"You can pick your friends,
And you can pick your nose,
But you can't pick your friend's nose."
That, Gare, is what your image reminded of. It's all your fault!? 8D