Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween

Today is Halloween, which means in less than 24 hours Halloween will be over, thankfully. I'm not a fan of this holiday. If there were a Grinch associated with Halloween, I would be him. I don't think I cared much for it even as a kid. I remember looking forward to it and planning, for hours on end, costumes and trick-or-treating routes, but when it came down to the night of the festivities I could take it or leave it. Maybe I'm wrong about that, maybe I was thrilled all through Halloween and hated to see it go, and this morose feeling I have is just a part of my curmudgeonly, though lovable, character. That's why I have a fact checker, though, and if I'm wrong my mother will let me know.

October 31 is for the kids and I will let them have their day. I was excited for them just last July when they picked out their costumes - C is a werewolf, JP is Spider Man, S is a ballerina and GK will be a little lump of drooling matter - and I was thrilled when they colored scraps of paper orange and black, cut them out and taped them to the front of the house with black electrical tape because it was the only tape they could find. These scraps of paper complemented nicely the toilet paper ghosts hanging in the trees. I even carved a pumpkin for them, the older three all huddled as close to me as they could get while I summoned every last bit of enthusiasm for that gourd as I could, though only giving fleeting attention to where that butcher knife made purchase.

It's not just the kids, though. It's 5:38 a.m. as I write this and I know I've got a full day of customers, grown-up people, asking me what I'm going to "be" for Halloween and asking me where my costume is. And I'll have to make conversation regarding the bit of make-up they decided to don or the funny wig and hat they wore to their office for an entire day.

Perhaps I'm a crotchety 85-year-old man for Halloween. Perhaps I'm a mean old man every day of my life. But I'll try to put on a smile this evening as we walk the kids around the neighborhood, begging for candy from strangers, and oohing and ahhing over whatever costumes show up at the front door to collect treats. But come November 1, bright and early, I'm collecting the trash hanging in the trees and taped to my front door.

Here, the kids show the camera what digits they want removed when I'm finished with the pumpkin.