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.