Not Me

I’m not going out on Halloween this year, not after what happened last year. This year I’m going to stay home and hand out candy and get scared when the candy runs low and the kids are still coming, and panic thinking that if I run out, I’ll have to douse the candles on the pumpkins, turn out the lights, lock the gate and pretend I’m not home.

That malicious neighbor kid up the street, the one that will eventually wind up in jail a petty thief and drug dealer. I think he’s the one that kicked my outside pumpkin, crumbling it, when we ran out of candy a couple years ago.

You can tell I have mixed emotions about Halloween. This started as a pre-Christian pagan harvest festival. Today, kids dress in costumes, some portraying a Middle Ages Hungarian count who never had fangs or flew as a bat, but impaled victims on stakes up their you-know-what. Modern kids beg candy door to door from neighbors so they can rot their molars just prior to the financially strapping parental obligation of teeth-straightening braces.

It all makes perfect sense to me.

But I’m not venturing out this year to accompany my daughter. My wife can.

I should have known better last year. We were making the rounds and even though tiny Kyle (a neighbor boy) had tripped in a dark hole running to a front door for candy, scraped his chin and was crying despite my soothing words—-things were proceeding well enough.

There was that thrown water balloon, launched by an unknown hand, but it missed us by at least 30 feet.

A group of kids approached and I was joking around trying to ease Kyle’s pain by taking his mind off his recent fall. There were a bunch of kids dressed up in the usual get-ups, Frankenstein, the were-wolf, Dracula (for some reason I always think he’s gay), the mummy. One of the kids, short and tubby, had the poorest-looking costume I ever saw, kind of like a bed-sheet made into a dress.

Boy, I thought, you could do better than that.

I came up, put my hand on the kid’s tummy, playfully thumped it and said, “Pretty neat suit. What you got in there, a pillow?”

But what I felt wasn’t a pillow. It was real skin. It was a short fat woman, dressed in a real dress, accompanying children like I was.

She hauled off and hit me right in the stomach…..hard.

I gasped, “I’m sorry. I thought you had a pillow in there.”

She angrily mumbled, “I’m a woman,” and stomped away.

I walked for a full block—-bent-over. Kyle consoled me. The woman could hit as hard (and was about the same height) as Rocky Marciano.

“That’s it. I’ve had it.”

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