Saturday, October 29, 2011

A sweet treat of a Halloween

Just ran out of candy.

This year, I didn't have a costume ready in advance for Tom and myself. I went to the 4 p.m. showing of "Traces of the Trade" at Little Art (excellent documentary) and didn't have a lot of time before the 6 p.m. trick-or-treating.

I had just recently dismantled my "Keep Yellow Springs Weird" scarecrow due to it not being structurally sound and becoming comically obscene as it slowly succumbed to the elements. So I had a lot of torn sheets laying around the house. I decided to try to make Tom into a mummy. We set up a table, lamp, and chairs out in our driveway with our candy supply. At 6 p.m., just as the kids started to make their way down our street, Tom was put in charge of the candy and I started ripping sheets.

Mummy-making takes a lot longer than what I anticipated. An unforeseen added bonus was that the process provided entertainment for our little guests and their onlooking parents. Forty-five minutes later, it was a race to see if I could finish his look before the candy ran out.

I've heard a lot of people complain about the number of kids that show up at their house on Halloween. I know there is a debate about whether it's a good thing for out-of-towners to come to our village for Halloween, especially in light of dwindling funds for our tradition of neighborhood bonfires and eats. For most of my adult life, I've lived in houses or apartments that didn't get trick-or-treaters or got very few. This year definitely drew a big crowd to our street---possibly because the weather was so good.

We didn't spend a lot on candy because we didn't know how many to expect. Our supply lasted til 7 p.m. We had two pieces left just as three trick-or-treaters approached our driveway. The one young girl who didn't get a piece simply shrugged, smiled at us, and said very graciously, "That's okay. Happy Halloween!" Tom loved being a mummy and seeing all the kiddies in their sweet costumes. Who knows how many of our guests were villagers or who was from out-of-town. It was impossible to tell. What they all saw was a whole town participating in a community event, joining in the silliness, being a safe neighborhood, and welcoming everyone equally.

As a marketing strategy, it's brilliant.

At 7 p.m., when the candy ran out (as well as the sheets), we brought in our furniture, turned out the porch light, and settled down on the couch to watch Jaws.