Tales of Trick or Treaters
This was our first year in our neighborhood, and I wanted it to rock.  And it did!

If you saw the galleries, you've already seen how the yard was something of a spectacle.  Dani and I also donned our Riff Raff and Magenta costumes once more.  Dani wasn't happy about getting decked out again, but I wanted to complete the show.  And what goes better with a gothic scene than a gothic butler and maid?  I managed to get my costume together and make-up on before Dani came home, but I still needed her to help to apply the hair.  I had her costume set out, but it was a rush to get it on.  The kids were starting to show up while she was still getting dressed and she had to give out candy between gluing patches of my hair on, which ended up only being a half-assed job anyway.  She never got around to putting her make-up on, but she was kind of happy about that.

The Trick or Treaters started at 5:30pm and didn't stop until close to 9pm.  They must have been trucking them in from everywhere.  The ritzy part of the neighborhood is just a couple streets over from my place, and they literally had the road blocked off with barriers for some reason.  You just about couldn't drive down the street between that road our place because there was so much traffic.

I know this because I went out for candy.  Twice.  We bought a couple bags of candy last week, not really knowing how much to get since this is the first year we're in this neighborhood.  We used to live in a really trashy area, and *nobody* went Trick or Treating.  We bought candy and put the light on every year, but no one came.

This year was a stark contrast.  We got hit HARD.  We had already eaten one of the original couple of bags over the course of the last week, and that left us with only one fairly large bag. That was almost completely gone by 7pm when the trick or treaters weren't yet at their peak, so I ran down to the grocery store a few blocks from our house and bought a couple more medium-sized bags of candy.  As I walked into the store, a girl about my age looked at me dressed as Riff like I was crazy.  I thought to myself, "Um, hello?  It's Halloween."

Those two bags didn't last very long, so I ran down to a larger grocery store in the other direction and bought a really big bag.  By the time I got back, Dani had turned off the porch light.  She was having to turn kids away, and this was even with us being pretty stingy (I'm talking like one piece per kid).  She said she started to feel really bad, so it was a good thing I got back quickly.  Again, I thought this would be enough to hold us for the rest of the night.  Our next door neighbor had run out herself and had turned off her lights already.  Still, before too long we were just about out again.  I made Dani go to the store this time.  She ended up coming back with five more bags.  I was out of what I had before she returned with the refills.
This is what it looked like at the end of the night:  We wound up with one bag and about a quarter of another.  And a lot of empty wrappers.

Still it was great.  For the most part, the kids were gracious and enthusiastic.  Well, except for the really young ones who were obviously confused about why they were made to dress up in goofy costumes and accept candy from strangers when the latter is something they're expressly forbidden to do the other 364 days of the year.

It's funny how some kids get the script and some don't.  In case you didn't make it to my door this year, it goes something like this:

Them: Trick or Treat!

Me: Happy Halloween, [insert name of character or archetype]! (Place candy in their bag.)

Them: Thank you!

If you're a parent, please try to fill them in on their lines ahead of time.  They should get them right by the end of the first evening of their first Halloween.  There's nothing more unsettling than the blank look with an implicit "Where's the candy?" behind it.  You're missing the point, kid.

We saw lots of super heroes this year and a few goth characters.  Not too many monsters, but there were loads of princesses.  That's pretty much what all the girls were: Princess characters from Disney movies.  We have got to get some better role models out there for the girls.  Seriously.  On the other hand, from what I've seen in Oak Lawn, they all grow up and dress like sluts.  There weren't a lot of homemade costumes or originality among the kids who passed our door, but at least the majority of them got into things.

I know some people don't like to give out candy to kids who don't get dressed up or those who look too old (even if they are dressed up).  I don't care.  If you came out on Halloween, then that means you weren't burning Harry Potter books at your church's lock-in against Satan.  That's worth at least a couple pieces of candy.

Copyright 2006 the Ale[x]orcist.