Halloween this year was a little different. The doorbell rang only once, followed immediately by knocking and insistent shouts of “trick or treat!”
It was past 9:30 and decidedly dark; only a few lights were on in the house and I had made certain that the porch light was out. The trick or treaters were either arrogant little bastards who felt entitled to candy they had not earned or they were too stupid to pick up on the signals conveyed by darkness in the doorway. In either case, I felt no pity and no compassion. To the contrary, I thought it might be appropriate to scare the holy shit out of them by bursting out the front door, wielding a machete, screaming, “Which one of you idiot soon-deads want to be dinner?!” But I didn’t.
No, I remained silent. I ignored them. My wife is the one who has, of late, become annoyed with Halloween. As for me, I’d be happy to give the little beasts a few pieces of candy and compliment them on their scary costumes. But my wife finds Halloween an annoyance. We’ve switched roles in that regard; she once took some pleasure in buying and distributing candy to the cute, fancifully dressed kids while I snarled at the interruptions while I watched television or read books. Now, she announces days or even weeks in advance of the day: “I’m not doing Halloween; I’m not buying candy.”
Given her attitude and the fact that we are candy-less, I try to make the house look dark, like no one is home, so the kids don’t think we’re just ignoring them and so they don’t throw eggs or rocks or launch rocket-propelled grenades at the house. But after I have turned out the lights and am groping about in the dark, she walks in and turns on every light in the house. It’s as if she’s making a point of announcing “We’re HOME! ” And then she reiterates that she will ignore the door, knowing they know we’re home.
Tonight, though, when the beasts came calling after 9:30 p.m., I reached a decision: if anyone ELSE comes knocking, I will answer the door in my underwear, my 8-inch chef’s knife in hand. The moment I open the door, I will shout, “Drop your bag of candy, you piece of rotted rat flesh, or I’ll slice your daddy’s balls off and turn them into mountain oysters right here, right now!”
No one else knocked. Not yet, anyway. It’s just a few minutes after 10; there’s still a chance. I’m hoping we get no more knocks at the door tonight, because if we do and I carry out my decision, I am fairly certain I will be arrested and held without bail.
Juan, I remember my experiences as a trick-or-treater. Like you, I recall the throngs of kids; it was a great experience and every house with a light on the front porch was visited. Most people gave candy, but some had “healthy” treats; we visited them, anyway, because we could always eat the apples or oranges later, after the candy became too much for us. As a kid, I recall that Halloween was almost always a chilly evening; not so much anymore. I like your neighbors who offered a whiskey-soda; maybe it’s time to create an adult version of Halloween, with adult beverages; dress up to look like characters from literature and go house-to-house looking for drinks apropos to the characters. I guess you’d have to be in the right neighborhood.
My son wanted to go Trick-or-Treating, and so what was I supposed to do? I put on some make-up and walked with a cane as we ambulated down the streets looking for lit homes, begging for candy!
From the perspective of a Trick or Treater, this is freaking dangerous, because people openly bear arms, and being shot at someone’s door is not so inconceivable.
In high school, we extended Halloween to a night of driving down streets, hanging out at the Dixie-Queen, or Drive-Inn (Night of the Living Dead would be playing) toilet papering homes after that, doing fireworks — we were manic crazy teens on the run!
“Now when I was a boy, there would be throngs of children,” I told Tio, who asked me about my Halloweens. But it’s true. It used to be that way, or at least until media discoveries of people poisoning candy or fruit back in the 80s. So people quit doing it so much.
Something is lost there, because at every lit home during our trick or treating I talked with neighbors who usually sat outside. In fact, the last house we visited plied me with a whiskey-soda! We talked. It was the first time that I really got to talk to these distant neighbors who were fun-loving and gregarious!
Remembering back: On the Day of the Dead, the family would get together and picnic at the cemetery. My grandmother, with a troop of kids behind her, would hobble from grave to grave: “This is my brother,” she would say, or “this is your great grandfather and grandmother who….” fill in the blank.
Haha! What a funny story, John! You made me laugh! In particular, the possible grenades propelling, and Janine turning on all the lights and therefore blowing your cover!! 😀
Pam, I would have loved to have performed for you! 😉
Oh how I wish I’d come for a visit in your neighborhood tonight. I would have bribed a youngster to ring your doorbell, just to watch the result. Happy Halloween !