Monday, October 31, 2011

Trick or Treat



When I was fifteen, I thought that my best buddy and I were the only people in the country for whom Hallowe'en was the holiday. Yeah, yeah, Thanksgiving and Christmas and 4th of July, but they were down the list. 

Times have changed. Walk through my neighborhood, the houses are festooned with giant motor-powered ghost and spider balloons, plastic punkins, ghosts and witches, couple are even rigged with strobe lights. People start putting this stuff up first of the month. Amazing.

The trick-or-treat aspect has certainly changed. If you challenge one of the tiny Harry Potters or Toy Story characters with "trick" when they show up, they won't have a clue what you are talking about. Treat-or-more-treats seems to be the operative mode. And they are so cute you wouldn't want to upset them.

Back in the day, come dark, I joined the tens of millions of kids running loose on the streets with my pillowcase or brown shopping bag, and we roamed until ten o'clock. And woe be it to anybody who didn't answer the knock–we would egg their house, soap their screens, or TP the bushes, and served 'em right. They should know better. 

My mother would always do the candy inspection when we got home, just in case somebody wanted to slip a razor blade into something homemade, but that wasn't a problem. We all knew our neighbors, and we all knew who gave out what. There were old ladies who would do a few dozen candy apples, and if they were out when we got there? They would pass out pennies.

My personal connection goes way back, and has only gotten stronger. My best buddy and I exchanged letters every Hallowe'en, until we stopped talking to each other. I kept writing them, only in a journal. My son was born on this date. My daughter got married on Hallowe'en. My baby sister was born on trick-or-treat night, albeit a couple days before the 31st. They used to do that, schedule trick-or-treat on a better night. 

But hey, it's still my holiday; all you johnny-come-latelies? You can have Arbor Day.

I'm off to go carve my pumpkin. I'll post the after picture when I'm done. (See above.)

Happy Hallowe'en.

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