Halloween 2011.. BEST. HALLOWEEN. EVER. Now, with your permission, or without it, I’d like to sit back, kick off my sock monkey slippers and tell you of my evening.
I began preparations earlier in the day, mixing up all the bags of candy that I had purchased just for this occasion into one big orange plastic bowl that came full of mini Snickers (which I devoured earlier in the day.) A beautiful assortment. I put the bowl on the table beside the door and put “Werewolves of London” on repeat on my stereo system which I had earlier positioned in the windows so as to drench the entire neighborhood in the sounds of Halloween. After 28 minutes of non-stop “Ahhhhhhh Ooooooooh Werewolves of London…Ahhhhhhh Oooooooh Werewolves of London” my neighbors put an end to that. Who knew nuns didn’t like Warren Zevon?
Then the trick-or-treaters began to trickle in. Trick-or- treat starts at six PM sharp, not a minute before in this house. I’m sorry to those little rugrats that showed up at five fifty-five. We have rules for a reason. I’m also sorry that they came back later and all I had left was a Ziploc bag full of crushed candy canes from four Christmas’ ago but that’s what happens when you don’t follow the rules.
At six, I opened the door and waited.
Excitement like new love filled my stomach. I hurried to the door and peered out and saw a hippie, a hobo and an M&M. I reached into the bowl and took out a big handful and aimed carefully and WHACK! hit the hobo in the left eye. I felt a little bad at first but then I thought, “hey, you’re the one who chose to be a hobo, you might as well get the whole experience. You should just be glad I didn’t have a beer can.” While the hobo was crying into the folds of his mother’s skirt, I threw several pieces of chocolate at the M&M. He opened his bag and almost all of the pieces made it. He became very focused with the content of his bag as I threw the final bunch of candy to the little hippie. She had one of those orange plastic pumpkins and she caught all of it. Then she looked up at me and with a twinkle in her eye and said,
“Why don’t you hand out candy at the door like a normal person, you weirdo!” (I was up on my balcony tossing the candy off into the night air.)
“Yeah, and why are you passing out Easter candy? That was like 6 months ago. Gross” (There was a sale after Easter, ninety percent off. Who can pass that up?)
“Just for that you’re not getting the motherload: this entire package of Peeps,” I retorted as I flung another chocolate bunny for good measure.
Off they trotted, mumbling amongst themselves and to the mother who brought them. I’m pretty sure she was teaching them some new words.
A few minutes later, after I’d just settled in for another mini Snickers, another gaggle of girls rang the bell. Taking to heart what the hippie had said I decided to do the right thing and take the candy downstairs to the door.
I opened it and staring up at me was the cutest little pair of twin girls, probably around the age of 2 or 14, (it’s hard to tell when they’re at that age) each dressed up like a different Disney princess.
“Here ya go, Ariel,” I said as I put a few crispy rice chocolate eggs in her little canvas “Please don’t feed me razorblades” tote. She said thank you sweetly.
“And some for you Princess Jasmine,” I crooned, dropping a few chocolate bunnies in Jasmine’s “I’m allergic to peanuts” bag. She too, smiled up at me until she saw what had been dropped in the bag.
“What the? What is this junk? Are you seriously that cheap that you can’t even buy Halloween candy?”
Then Ariel piped up, “yeah, and why is it frozen? How long have you had this crap? Mom, can you believe this? I’m not eating this.”
But mom had already started to usher the girls away with her own look of disgust, making a mental (but audible) note to not come to this house again.
The evening parade of Spidermen, witches and Lindsay Lohans’ continued sporadically until about seven thirty, a half hour short of quitting time.
Each group of youngsters brought similar responses:
“What is this?”
“Didn’t you give out Christmas candy last year?”
“Popcorn balls? These aren’t even in sealed packages. Did you make these?”
“What am I going to do with this doily?”
“A toothpick? A TOOTHPICK? You can’t even give out a toothBRUSH?”
At seven fifty-five, a carload of trick-or-treaters showed up and rang the bell. Exhausted as I was from climbing up and down the stairs–only to be mocked and jeered might I add–I opened the door to find five very tall trick-or-treaters. One was in a sheet with two holes cut out, one had a plastic Homer Simpson mask on with a black trench coat, another had fake blood coming out of his nose or had a really bad coke habit (jury is still out on that one but you never like to jump to conclusions) and still another had a Freddie knife/glove on his hand and was wearing a Dave Matthews concert t-shirt and the last one, the driver, just had a pillowcase held out in front of my face. In fact none of them really had Halloween bags. All of them carried pillowcases except for one who carried a scrunched up black plastic garbage bag.
“What have we here?” I said, inspecting the group.
“Look just give us the candy,” sneered Dave Matthews.
“Well just hold on there little guy, I wanna see who I’m dealing with here.”
I tried to squat to his level when I said “little guy” but I realized that without even squatting he was still taller than I was.
“Look lady, we’re not playing the game. We just want candy.”
“Ok, well, I’m the one with the candy so I think I’ll be deciding the game we play, right gang?”
This was my first major mistake of the night. How was I to know that this was, indeed, the neighborhood gang? They got a little up in arms at my blatant calling out of their gang and one of them started to go for a switchblade. Then just as he came at me with the switchblade. I heard a loud thud as something smacked him in the back of his oversized head. I watched his eyes roll back as he crumpled to the ground in a teenage heap. When the others in the gang saw what had happened they all turned around to see who had taken down their leader. With looks of terror on their faces they scooped up their fallen comrade, who had now begun to cry and headed off to their car.
As I looked down at the ground in front of me I saw the weapon: a chocolate bunny. I looked in the direction that it had come from and couldn’t believe my eyes. Standing not eight and three quarters feet away from me was my rescuer: the hippie. She smiled at me and I smiled back at her and I knew then what I had to do.
Reaching back to the table by my front door, I picked up the last package I had left and as she held out her little orange plastic pumpkin, which by now was almost full, I put in the last package of yellow Peeps I had kept in my freezer since Easter….not this Easter but two Easters before.
As she looked up with her little angelic hippie-looking face, I said what we were both thinking,
“Let these thaw a little before you eat them or you’ll break off a tooth.”