Sunday, November 4, 2001

So Halloween went by without much notice in our house this year. Halloween is usually one of our favorite holidays - Lee's window paintings of skeletons and stuff, the carving of mutant pumpkins, the trips to Home Depot for costume materials, etc. Then we usually have some kind of barbecue or party of some kind. We were even especially looking forward to this halloween, because it would be Jasper's first - we were going to dress him up like a squid, which would undoubtedly be more fun for us than for him.

Instead, we blew it off. With my current lack of gainful employment, even the expense of costume materials and sugary snacks for the local urchins and miscreants was deemed excessive, never mind barbecue and party stuff. We've become exceedingly cheap over the past few months.

Turned out, we weren't the only ones who skipped the festivities this year. Trick or Treaters were conspicuously absent from our street.

It was wierd.

Last year, Lee bought a TON of empty calories delivery vehicles to hand out to the roving gangs of costumed extortionists, and even made up like 50 little goody bags so they'd get something cool, not just another undifferentiated drop of sweetness into the candy oceans contained in the various pillowcases and plastic Jack-o'-lanterns. By the time I got home from work that night at 7:00, the goody bags were gone, and the reserves of snack sized Sugar Wads, Choco-Cruds, and Dento-Destructo Bombs were nearing zero. We had to shut down distribution a little after 8, and there were still tons of the little buggers running around the street for hours after that. It was a masacre. We didn't stand a chance.

This year, the street looked like World War II London with the air raid sirens wailing. Not just the porchlights, but the windows of every house on the block were black, as if they'd been painted out. Not a breathing soul walked the street, which is unusual even on a regular night.

Were people scared to take their kids out this year? Were they afraid that, this Halloween, the Tricks would all be excessively violent and destructive and the Treats would necessitate agressive courses of antibiotic treatment? I heard that other neighborhoods had an average crop of trick-or-treaters; even a few blocks away, I'm told, they were out in force. Not on my street though. It was completely deserted.

All in all, it was the creepiest Halloween I'd ever experienced, due to its conspicuous absence.