Sunday, October 29, 2006

Taking Candy from Strangers

The town kids had it easy - they'd walk from door to door, scoring a tootsie roll or pixie stick every 30 seconds. But in the country, Halloween was a non-profit industry.

It started with the costume, which would usually consist of as many layers as possible. Creativity was non-existant- the idea was to survive:
1. warmth in sub-freezing temperatures
2. protection from dog bites - usually they'd settle for a mitten or a hat, giving us a chance to escape
3. identity protection - so word would not get out at school that I had to take my little sister with me

We looked like lurching balls of yarn. If someone asked me what I was for Halloween, I'd reply, "I am cold!" That usually shut them up, and sometimes they'd even throw in some 'pity' candy.

Mom would drive us door to door while Dad stayed home and scared the living daylights out of any visitors. He did that every day, but that's another story.

We would trudge from farmhouse to farmhouse, braving fierce dogs, spooky cats, and creepy people, just to get a sticky, clumped popcorn ball that would immediately begin to suck lint from our costumes. Usually my little sister unknowingly sat on hers, gluing her to the car seat. "Help meeeee!" she'd squeal at the next stop. I'd have to yank her out of the car, the two of us flying into the dirt, whatever goodies we had gathered spilling out into the darkness. Mixed blessing actually, since I'd always manage to lose my popcorn ball, and my sister had hers stuck to her butt. Plus I got to pull really hard on her arms, on the pretext of 'helping' her, and not get in trouble for it.


It was dark. Pitch black, blanket-across-your-face dark. Sometimes we were lucky enough that the full moon was out, shining on the snow, so we could see our fingers shaking and know how freaking cold we were. Once, my sister disappeared - literally. She had been walking behind me and poof! Gone. She had been chattering away, "Wait uuuuup!" just to keep warm, when bloop! Nothing but serene, peaceful quiet. Three stops later my Mom realized she was missing and made me go back and find her. Turns out she had missed a step on a narrow walkway and was swallowed up by a snowdrift. The only way I found her was by the smell of her sticky popcorn ball.


By this time, if we could gather enough strength, we would start fighting in the car, so Mom would 'punish' us by turning the car around and going home. Then we'd eat all the candy left over from the people that my Dad had frightened away. Why we ever left the house is beyond me.

2 comments:

ScottMGS said...

I *love* it, AnnieWBH!

Jeff Meyerson said...

Mom would drive us door to door while Dad stayed home and scared the living daylights out of any visitors. He did that every day, but that's another story.

*snork*

We got to roam around two apartment buildings and never even had to go outside!