Tuesday, November 01, 2005

'Tis the Sugar Season...

Random thoughts on the beginning of the holidays:

  • If I was the king of the forest, I would either abolish Standard Time, or at least move the date back until the first Sunday in November. This would give the little kids an extra hour to go Trick-or-Treating in somewhat brighter light. The older kids can still prowl around after nine looking for mayhem, but the 3-to 9-year-olds could use a break. I managed to get my hands on 50 little keychain flashlights this year, and gave the kids the option of getting one of them instead of candy. I ran out in about 15 minutes, but it was cool to see their bright blue lights up and down the street that evening.
  • Hot new costume of the evening: Throwback basketball jerseys and bookbags worn backwards (pack on the chest). OK, so it's really not a costume at all, just kids from the poorer neighborhoods trying to score candy. At first I was a little resentful--not because they were invading my neighborhood (I'm guessing a lot of them don't get much in the way of treats the rest of the year without involving thievery), not because they weren't dressing up in costumes (again, with what money?), but because they weren't even lugging around a sack. I then realized I would most likely have done the same thing if I could have gotten away with it, and just enjoyed sitting out on the porch handing out the sweets. My only requirements were that they had to smile, and they had to say "Trick or Treat" or "Happy Halloween," or some such thing. Sometimes that took a bit of work. And by the way, there were probably as many suburban kids cruising my neighborhood as there were boyz from the hood. Which leads to:
  • Halloween is really an urban neighborhood experience. City, town, village--someplace with sidewalks and front porches. Bedroom communities don't seem to cut it. The only data I have for this observation is the conversations I've had with folks in those communities. I gave out seven bags of candy and 50 keychains. My brother in a bedroom community on the other side of the state had 11 or 12 trick-or-treaters. One of my coworkers who lives in a small town to the south of the city where I live went through five bags. My friends in the B.C.'s'round here gave out very little. Hell, they were all running around on my street. At some point, I'll post more on bedroom communities, but not tonight.
  • My kids, who will cry murder when I have them carry a half-gallon of milk or five pounds of carrots into the house, can somehow traipse carefree through the neighborhood toting 11 pounds of candy each. Yes, I weighed it.
  • Right now, there's 22 pounds of candy (all right--it's probably now closer to 20 pounds) in two colorful bags in the kitchen. Before they're even halfway gone, we will be visited by Girls Scouts, delivering the cookies I purchased back in September. Those Thin Mints and Caramel Delites and Peanut Butter Patties will still be somewhere in the digestive tract when those first Thanksgiving pies get pulled from the oven. And the turkey. And the dressing. And the leftover turkey...and turkey sandwiches, turkey casserole, turkey bisque, turkey pot pie, turkey gumbo, creamed turkey and biscuits, turkey noodle soup...and then it's Christmas. All the while the days get shorter and even the most active among us feel the urge to nest. If these holidays didn't exist, Bally's would probably invent them.
But, for now, the kids are in bed, the halloween decorations are put away, the coffee's ready for the morning, and it's time for the ol' pirate to hit the hammock. Things could be worse.



Blogger Rowena said...

You have painted a lovely picture of urban American life on Halloween BP. I only had one set of trick or treaters come to my house on October 31, and they got ONE mini chocolate bar each. Hey, it was all I had!

6:03 AM  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

My pleasure. I'm thinking about taking my camera out and doing a little bit of a photo essay of my amazing neighborhood. If the weather holds, I may do that this weekend.

I only gave out one mini chocolate bar to each kid over here as well. Oops...not 'mini'-- fun-sized.

Fun-sized...that's right! Gimme 16 grams of chocolate, and it's a party!


7:28 AM  
Blogger Kandice said...

Ooooo, photo esays are da bomb! I'll be around to catch that.

Thanks for stopping by, I like your blog.

3:46 PM  
Blogger Clint said...

We had zero Trick or Treaters knock on our door this year. We live in an medium-income apartment complex in a wealthier side of town. It's not a rough neighborhood.

Was really surprised we didn't see anyone... plus now I have to eat the dang candy.

12:55 AM  
Blogger Colleen said...

mmmmm....thin mints. oh god i can do some serious damage to a box of those.

10:29 AM  
Blogger doodlebugmom said...

I live on a farm. I had three little vampires. They showed up around 9, after my husband had eaten most of the treats. I gave them each a can of pop and a full sized candy bar from his "this is for work" stash. They were thrilled. One said I had cool noises at my house, I didn't think of it til later, but that was probably coyotes howling in the woods! lol

My youngest is 10, so I took her around to the neighbors after going "in town." She decided she did much better in the country where she got handfuls of candy, silver dollars, microwave pop corn, enough pencils to last the school year, McDonalds gift certificates, plastic Halloween cups filled with bubble gum, etc. The only downside was she had to wait for me to catch up on the neighbor gossip at each stop!

Glad to see you started this blog too!

2:17 PM  

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