Thursday, November 01, 2007

A sigh of relief -- no Halloween drama to report

In the last vignette in my Heads or Tails entry this week, I related how our house has been "egged" on or near several of the last Halloweens.

I left the office early yesterday so that I could be 'on the scene'... just in case.

I am relieved to report that nothing happened.

One of my wife's teaching colleagues, whose home has also been "egged" several times in recent years, did stop by: She'd persuaded two of her neighbors, who happen to be Chicago police detectives, to keep an eye on her home yesterday. Feeling thus reinforced, she dropped by our home to see how we were faring. "The neighborhood watch is here," I told my Long Suffering Spouse when I opened the door.

Between phone calls and visits and things on the stove, I got to answer the door several times last evening. I stayed in character.....

*shimmer* *shimmer* *dissolve*
Ding dong!

Curmudgeon opens the door to find a crowd of urchins on his doorstep, some with pillowcases, some with bags, some with elaborate costumes, some not.

Urchins (all together): Trick or treat!

Curmudgeon: What? Is it Halloween?

Urchins (all together): Yes!

Curmudgeon: Hmmmmph. I suppose that's why I have this bowl of candy here, then. Well, alright then, here you go....

*shimmer* *shimmer* *dissolve*
Ding dong!

Curmudgeon opens the door to find a another crowd of urchins. These may be a little older than the last. Older kids are less likely to have elaborate costumes; indeed, many have no costumes at all. They merely beg because, on this one day, they can.

Urchins (in unison): Trick or treat!

Curmudgeon: Do you have a permit for this?

Urchins blink in confusion.

Curmudgeon: I'm pretty sure you need a permit for this.

Urchins still blinking.

Curmudgeon: Well, never mind.... (pulls out candy bowl and begins distributing)

*shimmer* *shimmer* *dissolve*
One junior high kid had on a White Sox jersey, so I asked if he was supposed to be a particular player. "No," he said, turning around to show that the back of the jersey was blank. A girl who was with him sniffed something, sotto voce, about White Sox fans. I was just about to drop candy into her bag, but I paused. "I'm a White Sox fan," I said.

The look I got was priceless: It communicated -- in a millisecond -- something would take up this many words: I'm sorry, Mister. I didn't mean anything by it. Can I still have some candy? I dropped the candy into her bag.

It was interesting that we had a lot of junior high kids -- but a lot of them were not from my wife's school. I could tell which ones were hers; they all said "¡Hola!" (Long Suffering Spouse teaches Spanish.) When my wife's colleague was visiting, I tried to persuade them to answer the door together once, on the chance it might be their students.

Imagine being a junior high kid, trick or treating at a teacher's house -- and then not one, but two teachers answer the door!

But I could not persuade them.

Long Suffering Spouse and I sat in the living room, with the blinds open, being very visible to passersby, for some time. Eventually, my wife excused me.

But she remained a couple hours longer.

Just to be sure.

Now we just have to get through this weekend.....


Patti said...

Those urchins were taken aback. You trickster.

We had 136 trick or treaters. Busy time.

katherine. said...

is it Halloween? laughing...

the permit thing was great too!