Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

This has always been one of my favorite holidays, especially when the kids were little. Taking them trick-or-treating and seeing them so excited and happy was one of the true joys of parenthood. And then eating the candy they collected was fun too. Of course there’s always that one eccentric house. We had a dentist who gave out toothbrushes. Thank goodness he wasn’t a proctologist.

And where I live, near UCLA, there was always a second wave of trick-or-treaters.  After the kids had turned in for the night, sorority girls in yummy costumes would ring the bell. I’d be holding the candy bowl for them in one hand and my Emmy in the other.

During Matt & Annie’s elementary school years there was also the annual Halloween carnival. This was a public school catering to the local neighborhood but we were hardly a typical neighborhood. One year I volunteered to make snow cones and Hugh Hefner and his six bimbos strolled up to my cart. He had a kid in the school. A noted soft-porn actress whose children attended the school offered this for the silent auction: A two hour nude session where you could photograph or paint her. The principal graciously declined that offer, but I bet it would have brought in a lot more money than the autographed WINGS script I donated.

For the school’s “Haunted House” Gene Simmons participated. He would pop up and stick out that four-foot tongue. One mother was so freaked she literally sued the school.

Ah, good times.

One thing I learned though -- Halloween is an OUTDOOR holiday.

My son’s birthday is November 2nd. (Happy upcoming birthday, Matt!). When he turned five Halloween night fell on a Saturday. So for his party we invited a bunch of his friends to the house where I would take them all out trick-or-treating and then they’d come back for pizza and cake. 5-7 PM. No muss. No fuss. Great plan.

Except it rained. No, it POURED.

First off, as parents deposited their kids they asked if we’d take siblings since they couldn’t take them trick-or-treating in the rain. Of course we said yes, and so at 5:00 I had forty screaming crazed children running around my house – chasing each other with hatchets, and fairy wands, and Star Wars blasters. After relentlessly trying to wrangle this supercharged mob I finally sat down on the stairs and took a breath. I was so proud of myself. I had gotten through it. It’s almost 7. Then I checked my watch. 5:20.

If you have little kids enjoy these precious Halloweens. Soon enough they’ll outgrow you, want to be with their friends instead, and trade blasters for tequila shooters. At least I still have my memories… and the sorority girls keep coming around.

One last Halloween note: I’ve always found it odd that Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t believe in this holiday so they stay home…on the only night of the year when people would actually open their doors to them.

Happy Halloween.

Boo!

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

It will be very entertaining to see how many complaints you get about "Star Wars phasers".

Star Wars = blasters
Star Trek = phasers

:)

Eduardo Jencarelli said...

I might be labeled a geek for this one, but Star Wars and phasers are words that really don't mix. Phasers are more of a Star Trek staple.

I actually got visits from kids, asking for candy. First time that's happened, especially given that I live in a country that doesn't exactly celebrate Halloween.

Having said that, Happy Halloween.

The Curmudgeon said...

Oh, great! Give the Jehovah's Witnesses ideas, why don't you?

Mac said...

"A noted soft-porn actress whose children attended the school offered this for the silent auction: A two hour nude session where you could photograph or paint her."

I thought no-one could be more embarrassing than my mother at a school fundraiser, when she offered knitting lessons. Mum, I was wrong.

Blair Ivey said...

Can someone please explain how a day devoted to all things scary got attached to the word 'Happy'?

RCP said...

I can see how it would be one of the joys of parenthood to take your kids out. The little ones are adorable in their costumes. And I have to admit I get a bit misty when they gingerly take one piece of candy out of the bowl and say "Thank you."

Can't begrudge the older kids either, since I insisted on "one last" Trick or Treating excursion when I was 12 and 5'6" - some of the adults answering the doors looked at me like I was going to slash their tires.

Tonight, I'll be attending a public screening of The Masque of the Red Death hosted by Victoria Price (Vincent's daughter). Then I'll probably grab my trusty axe and hide behind a tree. It's okay cause I only do this on Halloween. Yeah, that's it. Only on Halloween....

DanTedson said...

"After the kids had turned in for the night, sorority girls in yummy costumes would ring the bell. I’d be holding the candy bowl for them in one hand and my #!%@ in the other."

Unnecessary censorship, you magbast, you.

"One last Halloween note: I’ve always found it odd that Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t believe in this holiday so they stay home…on the only night of the year when people would actually open their doors to them."

Whereas homeless people take full advantage of it.

Johnny Walker said...

Emmy works much better!

DanTedson said...

You, sir, are a fetishist.

Debby G said...

Your blog is always a treat! Except for the baseball posts.

My dad was a dentist so we gave out sugarless gum. Not as good as a chocolate bar, but a little better than a toothbrush.

My youngest child is now 11, so this may be the last year I get to go trick-or-treating. :-(

erniecanuck said...

Amazingly, some schools here in Canada are banning scary costumes and want children to be "friendly": a "friendly pirate", a "social Darth Vadar"?

Tim W. said...

My daughters are 9 and 6 years old and are still at the right ages to enjoy trick or treating, but not too young to get too scared to go to some of the houses. While I enjoy the Christmas season more, the actual day of Halloween might be my favourite. I can be more creative decorating, and there's no post holiday let down.

Bob and Rob Professional American Writers said...

>"I’d be holding the candy bowl for them in one hand and my Emmy in the other."<

Iv'e been reading your blog for a few of years...that joke made me snot-out-my-nose.

I'll respond for you..."what makes you think it was joke?" ;)

Bob

Anonymous said...

My daughter is 27, sigh, and I really miss the good old days of taking her trick or treating. On my corner we had 5 families, 9 kids (aged within 3 years of each other) and we went out as a group. The kids would hit the houses and the parents (we outnumbered the kids by 1) had a Red Flyer wagon with a beer cooler and plenty of beer following right behind. We took our bags of candy with us and gave it to the kids on the street. One dad was an aeronautic engineer (worked for Boeing) who created an automatic beer can chiller for the hot cans that didn't fit in the cooler. We had more fun than the kids, I think, lol.

Pam aka SisterZip

Casey Mahoney Brad P said...

I bet that Emmy is a chick magnet.I would carry that to bars.I am not really a Halloween person.Love watching scar movies.

Casey Mahoney Brad P

YEKIMI said...

Love watching scar movies

What, like "Scarface", "Scar City", "The Scar", "The Scar Of Shame", "Blue Scar"?

WV: maries-The name of a pizza place where I used to eat.

Dave Olden said...

I was an obsessive Star Trek Fan as a teen, and I'm cool with "Star Wars phasers."

It's one big forgiving universe, as my favorite painting of Spock will attest...

... http://tinyurl.com/3e9pp3g

selection7 said...

@erniecanuck about non-scary costumes...

http://www.kittyhell.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/hello-kitty-darth-vader-pink.jpg

Paul Duca said...

This has now joined the PEANUTS special as a favorite Halloween tradition.

Mr. Tedson, as well as Rob and Bob...someone else previously noted the "Emmy in the hand" line.

Quoth him..."I hope that was NOT a euphemism"