"As a friend, I have to tell you that you've finally gone around the bend on this ghost business." - Dr. Peter Venkman, Ghostbusters
Pugsley, riding a big plastic dinosaur straight to the big plastic dinosaur rodeo. Pugsley’s looking off into the sunset, just as every two-year-old hero should, after saving the school marm from the desperados and getting a lollipop, straight up, on a dirty stick.
Halloween has come and gone. This is the first year that The Boy has really done it right. Oh, sure, he’s knocked on doors after scurrying about in Fairbanks Halloween-level temperatures, but this year we pounded some pavement, house to house.
In Fairbanks, trick or treating consists (mainly) of either driving to the mall and wandering about with a host of other pre-teen kids as store employees dutifully give you one Tootsie Roll® each, and not the big Tootsie Roll, but the one that’s maybe half an inch long. Did I mention that the mall is brightly lit? And that everyone is wearing an overcoat over their super-cool Spiderman™ outfit? The alternative (if you don’t live in town and can’t sprint house-to-house before your ears freeze off) is to load up The Wildermobile and take The Boy to various houses of people we know, and then surprise them because they live in the country, too, and weren’t expecting trick-or-treaters. You get strange things, like Pop-Tarts®, ammunition, and frozen packages of moose steak as treats that way.
Tonight, however, we had a good, old-fashioned city Halloween.
The Mrs., Pugsley, The Boy and I went out trick-or-treating while Alia handed out candy at the front door. As we were walking I asked The Mrs. why Alia was dressed as a witch.
“Alia’s dressed as a mage. Get it right,” The Mrs. chastised.
My bad. In my defense they kinda look the same. Must be a different union.
Pugsley picked his own costume this year, choosing a fuzzy monkey costume. Pugsley will probably forget by next year that trick-or-treating while wearing a fuzzy monkey costume when it’s just above 70°F out is only a little more comfortable than choosing to trick-or-treat during the summer in Egypt while wrapped in live Siberian huskies. Pugsley was sweating like a FEMA official at a combination forest fire/hurricane by the time The Mrs. and he went back home to rehydrate him.
The Boy, dressed smartly in his ghost hunting outfit, continued to canvas the neighborhood as it got dark and as more and more porch lights began to illuminate the roads to high-fructose heaven. The Boy and I hit house after house, talking to neighbors that we’d lived less than a football-field away from, yet hadn’t even said hello to during over ten months of living here. Since they don’t know me very well yet, they were fairly polite.
The biggest thrill for The Boy tonight was when a 12 or 13 year-old came to the front door and saw The Boy’s costume.
“Wow, a Ghosthunter™! That’s a cool costume,” he said, looking at The Boy’s T.A.P.S.® (The Atlantic Paranormal Society) shirt and hat.
Despite getting only some of those gum drops that could double as pencil erasers and a box of Milk Duds dating from the Nixon administration, The Boy bounced away from the house.
“That was the best house yet, wasn’t it, Dad?”
Sure. Being seven and having a 12 or 13 year old think you’re cool? Yeah, that’s the best house of the night.
We walked home and The Boy indicated that he was getting ready to count his candy, then he’d eat some.
“Count his candy? Man, The Boy might be headed for a career as an accountant,” I told The Mrs.
“No,” The Mrs. explained, “It’s for school. His teacher assigned it.”
I would say that teachers have succeeded in sucking the fun out of Halloween, but I think The Boy would disagree. He got a heiny-load worth of candy.
For the record, 59 pieces of candy is equivalent to a heiny-load, and not a bit of ammunition in the batch.