In New York, Halloween day was sunny and brisk. If I had weather control, I would have slowed down the wind a tad. As usual, I spent a fortune on goodies to contribute to the national sugar high – just in case the Power Rangers and princesses descended – and as usual, no kids came. Well, maybe the usual handful did, but I was called away to help with the Halloween chaos some miles away at my daughter’s house.
We experienced one disappointing trick. Awaiting my arrival and having to take her own kids door to door, my daughter Liza put a giant bucket of candy on the front steps with a “Help Yourself” sign on it. Maybe she should have said, “Help yourself, but the video tape is running, so don’t be greedy,” or “How many would you take if your mom were with you?” or “Honor system. Two per customer,” or better yet, “You are being watched from inside the house.”
For the hour or so Liza accompanied the kids, her help-yourself approach worked well. When she came home, at least two thirds of the candy was still in the bucket awaiting the reach of other small and not-so-small hands. But when everyone’s coats were off, she opened the front door to bring the stash inside just in time to see a couple of boys bolting. They had claimed the remaining booty as their own and hit the road at full speed as they heard the door opening. So was this a kids-will-be-kids thing? Was it like putting out a bowlful of treats in a bowl and expecting a puppy to take only one? Was Liza nuts not to have simply put up a note that said, “Come back soon. We’ll be home?”
I’m not sure of the answer. It would have made an interesting “Candid Camera – I still remember the one when a child was seated at a table with a plate of cookies on it and told not to touch them when the interviewer left the room – or more currently, a revealing segment for the newer show “What Would You Do?”
The rest of the day and evening though, Halloween was a great opportunity for neighbors to greet neighbors shepherding their own kids in search of candy and cavities. Small children coached by parents and the medium-sized and older kids who cruised the neighborhood on their own were downright delicious. “Thank you,” or “Happy Halloween,” or “Wow” they offered.
“So cute,” a bunch of chatty middle school girls cooed when they caught sight of the un-costumed but adorable puppy eager to be part of the fun. “Can you tell what I am?” some asked, a test I failed more than once. “Sorry I’m not wearing a costume,” one almost teen-aged boy said, “but I was too cold.” Did he think I would even notice or that the trick would be on him and he wouldn’t get a treat? And I loved the big brothers or sisters who made sure that their younger siblings who hung back a bit got their fair share. Not one kid said, “Can I have some more?” That made Halloween a treat for me, too.
As for the treats still in my pantry, I think I’ll give a good treat to my thighs and tummy and give them away!