But now my front door stands open, though I have a closed screen door separating me from the outside that will make any visitors feel obligated to knock. I desperately, desperately want visitors. I want little tiny ones in funny clothes who will knock at my door, and for no good reason at all, demand candy. And I will give it to them, from a big bag full of assorted fruity candies made by the Wonka company, a bag which I opened last night and took only
I've never catered to trick-or-treaters before. Growing up, I lived out in the country on top of a hill. Mama always bought a bag of candy, usually chocolate, in case anyone ever showed up. No one ever did, so every year we all ate a bag of chocolate candy. When I lived in Boone, I again wasn't really in an area where children might come by, though I was in an area where college kids might come by for jello shots. Last year, I wasn't home on the big night. But here I am now, sitting excitedly on the couch, barely resisting the urge to run out into the apartment complex and attack any small children with free candy. I am actually nervous, like I'm going to get Halloween stage fright on my doorstep and not know what to do should a pint-sized pirate come along. Am I supposed to engage in conversation or just hand out the goods? What if I bought the wrong kind of candy? What if I run out of candy?
I went trick-or-treating exactly once, and I think I was eight. I don't think that my parents were anti-Halloween necessarily, just that they didn't want to deal with the hassle. But I begged and pleaded that year, until finally my mother agreed to take me out to the houses of various neighbors and church friends. I don't think we stopped at that many houses, but I do remember sitting on the floor at my friend Estelle's house with my haul spread out on the floor. It seems that I was not that impressed with the event, because I never went again. Either that, or part of the deal I had with my mother was that it was a one-time thing. It also seems like Estelle had a lot more or better candy than I had, and it seems like she made a point to mention that fact, too. I never liked her all that much anyway.
Now it's sixteen years later, and I've finished all the banana Runts and moved on to a piece of strawberry Laffy Taffy, which I guiltily eat only on the right side of my mouth so as to not disturb the recent dental work I've had done. The good thing about Laffy Taffy is that the packaging has jokes on it, which are usually very stupid.
Q: What were Tarzan's last words?
A: "Who greased the vine?"
The bad thing about Laffy Taffy is that it is quickly gone, and now I've got my eye on a small box of grape Nerds. I hear a car motor, then a door slam, and finally, small feet. Yes, there it is! A knock at my door: a miniature Batman and a, uh, girl in sweatpants. Maybe she's dressed as her mother or something. And you know, I wasn't really sure if tradition had held after all these years of being out of the game, but they really do still say it, "Trick or treat!" And better yet, afterwards, they say something else, "Thank you."
You're welcome, Batman.