Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Heads or Tails #12 (Spooky, Scary, Halloween-ish)

It occurred to me that Barb started this "Heads or Tails" project one week too late... wouldn't it be appropriate to be doing Heads or Tails #13 today? (*cue evil laugh and scary music*)

So: Today's theme is "Spooky, Scary, Halloween-ish."

A couple of my kids, Middle Son and Younger Daughter in particular, are into horror movies. Middle Son has seen the first three "Saw" movies, for example, and he's probably seen "Saw IV" by now, too.


I tell them -- you want to be scared? Look in my checkbook... but they don't understand.

But they will. They will. (*cue evil laugh and scary music again*)

Oldest Son was still in high school and Halloween was approaching. Some bright lad decided it would be really cool to go visit haunted graveyards. (*Have we overdone the scary music already?*)

There's more to the Internet than dirty pictures and blogs, you know. Maybe not a lot more... but, anyway, someone found a website that identified the creepiest, spookiest, most-haunted cemeteries in the Chicago area and a pilgrimage to one of these was suggested.

Various proposals were considered and rejected on the basis of distance... or security. Some cemetery proprietors are not keen on teenagers roaming the premises trying to scare each other; these might summon -- not a spirit -- but the police.

But then the planners found an isolated country cemetery. In the middle of nowhere, a fence that could be readily scaled and easy access to a road in case a quick getaway from frights spiritual or temporal was required. Oldest Son was interested in joining the party... until he found out which cemetery was to be visited.

"Uh, guys," he said, "that's where my grandparents are buried."

I believe an alternate site was decided upon. (*cue "Twilight Zone" music*)

We have candy ready, for the neighbor kids. And the others.

But it's some of the others who have soured Long Suffering Spouse on Halloween to the point where there's not one pumpkin at our house this year, not one skeleton or witch hung up. My wife has a box of Halloween decorations, including treasures that the kids created when they were little, but they remain tucked away.

Long Suffering Spouse is a junior high teacher at our parish school. All five of our children attended that school. The location of our home is well known.

Somewhere along the line, several years back now, a group of pimply-faced, hormone-laced dweebs decided it would be fun to egg our house on Halloween.

One year I drove on Halloween, intending to come home early to see the kids trick-or-treating. I kind of missed the days when ours were young enough for that. Long Suffering Spouse sewed dinosaur costumes one year that got used by several of the kids when they were little.

Of course, I wasn't as early as I hoped, but as I pulled in across the street I saw a large group of kids coming toward the house. Still in time! I thought. And I got out of the car... and heard *plop*, *plop*, *plop* noises: The little bastards were egging my house.

I put on my best bull rush, roaring like a madman and charged. Unfortunately, I did not pick a particular target. I might have caught one that way; as it was, they scattered successfully.

A couple of teachers' homes got pegged that night, but ours has gotten hit every year since. One year we did ID who'd done it -- and it was high school kids. Ex-students.

Long Suffering Spouse was devastated. "Who am I to them?" she lamented. "Why don't they move on?"

But we both knew the answer: They wouldn'tdare try this at a high school teacher's home. They'd be in serious trouble.

And this time, since we did have a good look, we called the high schools involved... and there were repercussions.

But you know what?

That made them more determined, not less. And more sneaky. We got pegged at 1:00 am once. I did my bellowing bull rush down the stairs and out into the street, barefoot, in my shorts, toward the alley from which they'd no doubt launched their attack.

But I was again unsuccessful.

Another year I waited in the car across the street. Another year we got pegged while I was out at one of my sons' football games, out in the suburbs. The memories of these unpleasant events merge in my mind; I can't separate one year from another.

But Long Suffering Spouse can tell you chapter and verse. Each year. Each egg. And it hurts her terribly.

I'm hoping that the kids who were the most enthusiastic of our tormentors -- now upperclassmen in high school -- will have finally moved on. Maybe they've discovered girls... maybe they're going to haunted graveyards this year....

But they're not that bright.

So I'm not real hopeful.


Anonymous said...

I LOVED the SAW movies!! The scarier the better for me :) Happy Halloween and happy Tuesday.

Misty DawnS said...

I love the SAW movies too! The story about your oldest son and the cemetery cracked me up.

Anonymous said...

Take a look at this post over at Second City Cop in regards to "egging".

katherine. said...

geez the only thing we ever did to teachers' homes was toilet paper...

Jean-Luc Picard said...

I haven't seen Saw III or IV. Hope to soon.

jenn said...

I can't wait until saw IV comes out on DVD. I have the other three, and me and my daughter love them.
Happy Halloween!

Patti said...

I don't watch any scary movies. I don't want to be scared.
I think we've already established (last week) that I don't like Haunted Houses, and you said you don't either.

As for the egging, I would call the cops on the hooligans.

Jeni said...

I can very easily relate to your wife being able to remember EXACTLY what year this, that or another happened when it involves something that is a direct slam there. I know how irked I was when, in the dead of winter, some snot-nosed brats paint-balled the front of our house and for no apparent reason too. Things like the experiences you and your spouse have had, added to mean-spirited, evil people putting poisons or razorblades and stuff like that into candies or "treats" at Halloween, to say nothing of other things that go through the mindset of some folks have really changed what once was a very fun time of a child's life.
When I was a kid, you went only to neighbors homes and then, you were expected to go into the front room where the occupants would then proceed to guess your identity -all usually done with lots and lots of laughter. Today, kids are transported not only through the area where their own homes are located but to villages nearby just to bang on doors, hold out a bag and wait till you drop something in there and then -no thank you ma'am or anything like that - off they go to hound another home. And today, the occasion isn't just the little kids but big ones - and I do mean big, as in 16-18 year old range! Last year, I had a group of four show up, two of the kids were taller than me and I'm 5'6" (and of a very muscular build too) but when I asked them to step inside till I got the candy, one kid said "Oh I can't. I have a cigarette lit." Ok, I smoke but that really irritated me and I said "If you are this tall, this old that you are buying cigarettes, then I think you are a bit over the age for trick-or-treating" and closed the darned door on them! Is there a Halloween equivalent to "The Scrooge?"

Amanda said...

I didn't know that kids actually did the tricks on Halloween until reading a few people's blogs today.

Good luck with catching the culprits this year.

Shelby said...

good luck with all that.. :)