Tuesday, October 31, 2006


I’m a Halloween curmudgeon.

I’ve been plotting how I’m going to avoid those annoying trick-or-treaters since 6:00 this morning. I figure I’ll get home from work around 6:00 p.m. and immediately take Dot on a long walk along 19th Street. It will be dark out but with the street lights I’ll be able to see the kids going door to door so I can take in some of the cute costumes without actually having to welcome them to my own home turf. By the time I get back to my house around 7:30, I’ll just turn out the porch light and keep most of my indoor lights off. CRAMUDGEON.

Why can’t I just get in the spirit of things and hand out candy? Primarily because I don’t think I’ll get a lot of kids, which means there would be too much left over candy for me to eat. And eat it, I would. I know I COULD get the less calorie offensive raisins or bubble gum to give away, but come on, the houses that gave away those things were always really lame.

Even when I was young, I was never as big a Halloween enthusiast as most kids. I had fun the year I was Laverne and my little brother was Fonzie. I was old enough that year to go with my friends and we covered lots of territory - I even remember one house up on Hauser Street was giving away full-sized Snickers bars! Total score. I do remember having fun carving pumpkins and roasting the seeds. It was usually cold in Montana on October 31, often times snowing. But all of the parents were great sports so we’d have to wear big coats and mittens over our costumes but we would go trick or treating in even the worst weather. When we moved to the country we didn’t go trick or treating much any more but I remember there was a Halloween carnival at Jim Darcy those years that was pretty fun.

Without a doubt, it was exciting getting all of that candy every year. But before we could eat anything, mom and dad always had to search through the loot for those inevitable razor blades in the apples or the poison-tinged popcorn balls. Did anyone really ever find these things or was this some kind of urban legend? Being a food addict from way back, I would usually have polished off all of the miniature Butterfingers before going to bed that night.

I don’t even remember Halloween during my teenage years. What in the heck was I doing? Steve and I were probably attending some musical, reading Hollywood magazines, or driving around the neighborhood while drinking Slurpees from 7-11, or I was at home handing out candy. NERD!

Later, in my early adult years, I lived in two cities with the biggest reputations for Halloween celebrations in the entire country – Boulder’s Mall Crawl on Pearl Street and the mob scene in Austin on Sixth Street. Never went to either of these in the combined 19 years I lived in these cities! NERD!

I’ve had friends – my adult friends – who LIVE for Halloween. They plan their costumes for months in advance, they throw elaborate theme parties, they rent all of the horror slasher flicks and they make sure their house is the ONE that all of the trick or treaters want to come to. I admire their dedication, their energy and their endless creativity. Whenever I would have to come up with a costume, I’d usually panic the night before when I realized I didn’t have a thing to wear and I’d end up wearing all black and painting whiskers on my face, calling myself a cat. NERD!

Actually, I think if I lived closer to Mason and Ruby I would love Halloween now, while they are little. Matt and Shana like to dress up and they have always made really clever, funny costumes. I’m sure they’ll pass that love on to the girls. Apparently it was Mason’s idea to be “space alien super heroes” this year. I’ll post a picture as soon as I get one. Her little costume was an original design and won the costume contest at her school. Ruby was the Green Hornet. Just typing that out cracks me up. The Green Hornet.

And for the record…the best Halloween candy of all time? You might expect me to say Butterfingers or Snickers or Peanut Butter Cups but I’ll surprise you all by saying it’s a tie between Smarties and Pixie Sticks. And while I haven’t had a Pixie Stick in probably 20 years, I promise you that I would love them as much today as I did when I was eight.


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