Not everyone loves Halloween...
This year, my parents are especially concerned. Our neighbors handed out flyers the other day letting everyone know they were having a Halloween party, and that all were welcome. The invitation also included a casual “by the way” message warning people to be prepared for 70 to 80 kids. There have been years my mom wasn't ready for 20 kids, and had to start handing out change or my dad's old man hard candy, the kind that's almost but not quite a color, almost but not quite sweet, and is good, as he puts it, for “making saliva”. I remember that house from when I was a kid. I hated that house. When did our house become that house? Kids today don't want Werther's, Tootsie Rolls, or Candy Corn any more than I did. At least my mom buys Smarties, my personal favorite, and gets one right.
My dad also doesn't know that my mom told me he called the cops about the wild kids migrating into the streets, our sidewalk, and driveway. I heard him on the phone with my godfather on Monday, exasperatedly recounting the tale. My dad's volume has been increasing gradually as his hearing has declined, so I heard every word of his version of events. He was upset that the desk sergeant dismissed him initially, as well as the visiting officer “taking the kids' side”. He felt that if skateboarding in the street were illegal, a warning was not sufficient; the officer should have confiscated their boards and told the kids to send their parents to the station to retrieve them. The end result of their conversation seems to be that in a few weeks, when things are quieter around here, my dad is going to send the mayor an angry letter. I fear there will be a postscript which declares, ”I am not a crackpot.” Having heard the tale from both parents now, it sounds like the officer was trying to keep the peace rather than take any side. I also heard some other details, such as one girl lying on her stomach and rolling down our driveway into the street. Kids will be kids, but kids doing stupid things are eventually going to get hit by a car or worse. I don't think my dad is wrong, though I'm not sure his approach is allowing his concerns to be taken seriously.
I did receive a lot of great suggestions from my readers about how to handle any potential backlash from the incident, from Rey's idea for a preemptive strike to Otis reminding me that I know how to use a paintball gun. I doubt either will come in to play, though both brought smiles to my face, and I'm hoping the neighborhood party will provide enough diversion to keep the kids entertained and away from retaliation. I've been spending more of my energy on the fun aspect of the holiday, coming up with my costume. To my parents, Halloween is about death and extortion, worrying about having enough candy and about mischievous kids. They don't dress up, and haven't walked around the neighborhood since I was little. I haven't gotten to where they are yet, and for now I like it that way. I think I'm ready this year, and might even enter my company's costume contest for once, though I'd have to have my picture taken to enter at the exact same time as an important meeting. Hopefully I can get the photo done earlier but, if not, I'm oddly not competitive about it. I may be competitive, but this is one day of the year when I'm not myself. I'm just happy being someone else for a day.
That's a piece of my costume this year. Feel free to post guesses as to who I am, though people who see me during the day will of course be disqualified. Perhaps I'll share some pictures tomorrow. Happy Halloween!