Halloween was a blast this year. Stephen’s classmate invited him and a few other children from his class over to their house for a party. As of last week, Stephen was still not prepared to go saying that Halloween was too scary. He was thinking back to last year when an older boy wore a really hideous mask that freaked the heck out of him. (The boy was really sweet and took it straight off when he saw how scared Stephen was but the damage had been done.)
Something flipped a switch in his head, though, and on Monday, he asked me to make him an Upgrade costume from Cartoon Network’s Ben 10.
As far as I know, there’s no costume of this particular superhero nor would I spend money on one anyway. So I made some black felt gloves and embroidered them, used construction paper to make that Ben 10 chest badge and stitched it on to a DNA shirt (Ben 10 turns into each superhero when alien DNA fuses with his DNA), and gave him a ski hat to wear for head gear.
We got a ride to the party from another classmate. When we got to their house, Stephen and the other boys wouldn’t stop telling each other, “Your costume isn’t scary. My costume is scary!” Guess scary is now cool and not just scary.
At the party, the kids ran wild upstairs, downstairs, outside in the garden. They played games, ate lots of chocolate, and screamed their heads off. The host mom had created a platter of “body parts” which she handed around, including a “severed finger” that was actually a raw pork sausage. Next thing we knew, one of the girls had taken a bite out of it and was eating it! YICK.
When we got the passle of kids out the door for trick or treating, it was easy to see how gangs are formed so easily. Mob mentality all the way. They ran down the sidewalk together, surged forward together, pounded the door together, shouted “TRICK OR TREAT” together, and lunged for the candy bowls together.
Of the ten houses that opened their doors, two belong in the Trick or Treating Hall of Shame.
One middle-aged woman opened the door looking very frightened.
“I’m sorry, I don’t have any children so I don’t have any sweets.”
OK. That’s fine. We’ll move on. But she clearly thought we’d do some tricking if she didn’t hand over something.
“Maybe you want some money?”
At this point, Stephen did me proud (or maybe not). His hand shot up and he said clearly and loudly,
“I want money!”
He and another boy ended up with a pound coin each while the others left empty handed.
So this is what I’m wondering about. If she didn’t have candy, why did she even bother opening the door? And if she forgot it was Halloween or wasn’t expecting trick or treaters, then just compliment the kids on their costumes, say sorry, and let it be the end. To hand out two pounds for splitting amongst 10 kids. Laaame.
The second house that belongs in the Trick or Treat Hall of Shame was one that actually had candy but didn’t want to give a pack to every child. The woman only gave out a few then said they must share when she clearly had more candy in the bowl. What the heck is that about? Several of the kids left crying. Cheap skate.
It’s a shame Stephen won’t ever experience the kind of Halloween I had as a kid when the sidewalks teemed with children, almost every house was giving out handfuls of treats, and pillowcases were heavy with junk. Last night, though, was plenty of fun to satisfy the boy. He even went to school this morning and thanked the party host and his dad for a great party. Chalk this Halloween up as a success on more than one front.
(We’re lucky we even got to trick or treat over here. Some UK curmudgeons want the nonsense to stop.)