Thursday, November 01, 2007

After the glow (of the pumpkin) fades

A fairly uneventful evening best describes this years All Hallow's Eve.

Our township dictates that Trick or Treating shall occur between the hours of 5-7 PM. Since the altered DST, that means much of the door-to-door business happens in the waining daylight; hardly fun for most kids, if you ask me.

The other problem is that time frame limits flexibility. My MBH and I have two kids. So one of us mans the candy bowl while the other takes the kids around. The oldest is almost 12, but there's still too much goings on to comfortably let him take his 4 year old brother door to door. If no other reason, the 12 year old keeps running ahead and the 4 year old can't keep up (not his fault, of course).

So I try to balance hitting sufficient homes in the neighborhood for the kids to get a good load, and then circle back to relieve the MBH so dinner could be prepared.

We had about 75 ghosts, fairies, ninjas, and assorted cartoon characters. At least 2 boys whose age I'd estimate to be under 13 were dressed as pimps (how charming!); one claimed he was an Urban Gangsta.

One girl came dressed as Cat Woman; she was tall, I'd say 5'5"-5'7", and wore what my best guess was latex, possibly even sprayed on. By age and oh-so-obvious development, I'd guess her age to be at least 16 years; perhaps she was rehearsing for a future career as a stripper.

The kids who came to my home decidedly received a better selection of treats than my kids did at other homes. A lot of Bit-O-Honey (didn't know it was still made!), lots of individually wrapped SourBalls, etc. All small stuff. We were giving out standard-sized Reeese's, Hershey's, etc. MBH shops for these treats beginning in August, long before the thumbnail-sized Fun Size bags appear... she's knows when to get bargins.

I am appalled, frankly, at the number of kids who failed to say Trick or Treat and even more who didn't bother to say thank you. I'm not talking about the kidlets who are shy, or who never experienced this ritual before. I'm talking the boisterous ones who push in front of the others (like the shy ones), shove their bag in your face, and before their candy hits the bottom of the bag are racing up the driveway, yelling to their friends Yeah! I got good stuff!

More than a few times I spoke up to the silent kids by pointedly saying You're Welcome. Usually they sheepishly said thank you, but twice I got what best could be described as evil looks, as if I dared to correct them. (Note: no evidence of Tricks were found on my property this morning).

I was reminded of the rules I intended on posting after Halloween '05; next year I'll add 'Be Polite' and will post them, since the lack of courtesy seems to be growing.

Near the end of the evening, a couple and a few kids come down the driveway. The conversation of the night went like this:

He: Hey, there he is! How've you been?

Me: Doing good, how are you.

Note: I haven't a clue (yet) who this guy is.

She: How are you? Ben never introduces me; I'm only his wife, Autumn.

Me: Autumn! Pleased to meet you; I'm Charlie.

Ben: I haven't seen you in awhile! Where have you been?

Now the only Ben I know in recent years is 17 year old Boy Scout, so I know well he isn't him. As I am often faced with situations where people remember me even when I don't remember them, I started into my usual interrogation.

Me: I've been keeping busy. What are you doing these days?

Ben: Oh you, know. Same old, same old.

Autumn: So tell me, Charlie, how do you know my Ben?

OK, I'm busted.

Me: I gotta level with you, I have no clue. Ben, I apologize, but in this light I can't recall where we know each other.

It was dark, so it was a plausible excuse.

Ben: Blockbuster video.

Me: Blockbuster?

Ben: Yeah, you know the Blockbuster in town_that's_15_miles_from_here.

Me: Um, Ben, I haven't stepped foot in any Blockbuster in at least 4 years.

Ben: Well, yeah, Ok. Well I haven't worked there in over 3 years now, either.

Me: So... that means... you remember me as a customer?

Ben: You really don't remember? I was the manager.

Autumn: Well its nice to finally meet you!

Me: Ummm.... OK.

I think I gotta start making friends to balance against all these unusual people who seem to want to know me.

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