Monday, November 1, 2010

Boo, Humbug! I Am a Halloween Scrooge

We didn’t do Halloween this year. The Crown Prince wanted to come and hand out treats as always, but his group home, as well as his school, are nearly thirty miles away. It would’ve been too late to drive him back to the home afterward. In the morning I would’ve had to wait until Baby Bear was on the bus to take the Crown Prince to school/group home and yada yada yada the whole thing was just a logistical mess, especially since Mr. Lucky had to work Halloween night.

While I’m no fan of Halloween to begin with—maybe because I do enough dressing like a freak and scaring people and yelling for candy the other 364 days of the year—I still felt bad about all of this. The Crown Prince talked non-stop for months of coming to our house on “Sunday, October 31, 2010” (he knows which day of the week for every holiday each year), and wearing what he calls his “pumpkin shirt” (orange T-shirt with a jack o’lantern face on it) for the occasion. The group home even called on Friday afternoon wanting to know what time we were picking him up. He’d decided. But I had to overrule him, and got utterly no pleasure out of it.

After 6 pm Halloween night, I closed the living room blinds and curtains, and made sure all the outdoor lights were off. We didn’t have any jack o’lanterns or Halloween decorations of any kind; just a generic fall wreath made up of autumn leaves hanging on the front door (after Thanksgiving I’ll switch it out for the Christmas wreath).

Baby Bear and I repaired to the family room toward the back of the house to play Crash Bandicoot on the Sony Playstation.

Despite all my humbug precautions, there were still two separate incidents of trick-or-treaters at the door, sending the dogs into a frenzy of barking. The second group of trick-or-treaters was a little more persistent than the first—they rang and knocked and rang again. The house was dark but dogs were barking at the window, so surely there had to be humans with candy.

Are there new rules out there I didn’t hear about? Kiddies, you don’t go to homes with no lights. I remember years ago when we took our two older children trick-or-treating on MacDill Air Force Base, at one house the doofus resident kept opening the door to tell trick-or-treaters that he had no candy. He’d close the door, then another swarm of kids would come up to knock, and he’d open the door again to tell them there was no candy here, rinse and repeat.

Yet his porch light was on. All he had to do was turn it off and he could go back to his beer and Cheetos in peace. The rules in military housing are quite clear about that, and I could’ve sworn similar guidelines were in place in the civilian community.

I simply didn’t answer the door. There was no point when I had nothing to give, and the overexcited dogs might have escaped to wreak more havoc on the children, and besides, I do it with solicitors all the time. I love that peephole that lets me see not only who’s ringing my doorbell, but what they have clutched in their hands. And it’s never balloons and a video camera and an oversized check with my name on it.

The Crown Prince will definitely be coming over for Thanksgiving (I count on him to rattle off the complete menu for me and to harangue his father about putting up the Christmas tree the very next day).

But the creepiest thing of all about our non-Halloween Halloween? Mr. Lucky has yet to bring home bags and bags and bags of half-price candy.

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