I don’t know exactly why, but every year I spend a day putting up Halloween decorations. It’s not a big holiday to me like it is to some others. In fact, I hate having to go to a Halloween party and having to wear a costume. Fortunately, it has not happened more than one or two times in my life.
Now, as a kid, it was different. I liked candy as much as any other kid and Halloween in my neighborhood was the…well, it was the mother load of Halloween. I lived in a row-home neighborhood. There were 44 houses on each block, counting both sides of the street. There were about 8 blocks within my normal “territory” and that represented just ONE street. Streets? They went on forever on both sides of mine. So, if you were fast enough and didn’t get too bogged down with conversation at any of the houses you visited, you could cover a gazillion homes in the time usually allotted for the annual heist.
I’d end up with at least two supermarket bags full of all kinds of stuff from wrapped candy to homemade cupcakes, candied apples, cookies etc. Back then, there weren’t any weirdoes among your neighbors so you trusted the homemade stuff. And, oh, the bags I mentioned, they weren’t today’s typical plastic bag. Uh-ah. These were thick brown bags a good 25” tall…or so they seemed.
My parents probably hated the annual sugar hype they had to live with as I devoured the sweets of my labor. My brother and I would pour it all into whatever large bowls we could reach from the kitchen cabinets. He’s have his and I’d have mine…and it was a race to the finish over the next week or so.
So here I am, tons of Halloween’s later and for some unexplained compulsion I decorate the house. On Halloween night Rosemarie and I hand out the goodies…and we have a reputation to uphold. We hand out full-sizedcandy bars—none of the mini-bite-sized stuff. You want a Hershey bar with almonds or not, we have both. Want a Reeses twin pack, we have it. How about a Twix? Whatever. It’s full-size! It’s always fun to watch the reaction of some of the children when we present the bowl and tell them to take one of whatever they want.
There aren’t many people in my neighborhood who decorate. There is one guy down the street who’s more anal than I am. He has a fog machine, video projections on the wall, even a hologram projected in his trees. Each year he gets more stuff. Each year I stay the same. I mean, I’m already overboard so enough is enough. I figure the only thing that might motivate me to become more active—maybe even wear a mask and go knock’n on doors—is if folks started giving away ice cream sted of candy!