It happens every Halloween. I don't mind, really. After all, our subdivision branches off a main road, and is basically two large circles with the homes close together. Perfect for safety, efficiency and quantity.
I'm talking about the Invasion of the Candy Snatchers.
You know what I mean: parents from other neighborhoods who either drop off their kids, or park and go door-to-door with the younger ones. I don't mind, really. Halloween is all about the children. I know I said in an earlier post that it's all about the candy; I meant children. Yes I did. Did too. I know you are, but what am I? I digress...
Here's the thing -- if you're a child and you come to my house, you get candy. I used to give a little good-natured ribbing to the older kids who phoned-in their costumes(just spray-painted their hair, threw on a bandana, etc). But hey, the economy sucks hard right now; folks don't have an extra $30-plus to blow at "Halloween Express." So, you come to my house, you get candy and lots of it.
The 'surrogate trick-or-treating' this year, however, was off the chain. Two giggling, teenage cheerleaders held out three pillowcases, one of which had an 8"x10" glossy of a smiling, blond cheerleader stapled to the front. "Can you give us some for our friend? She's at a competition." Um, ok. It was early; they were cheerful and polite; I was on a M&M-fueled sugar high... Everyone gets candy! I saw several variations on this theme throughout the evening.
The piece-de-resistance occurred around 8:30pm (In our township, the 'official trick-or-treating hours are 3:00-7:00). I opened the door to a Mom with two small toddlers in a double-stroller. Asleep. With plastic pumpkins on their laps. Adorable? Yes. Having any business being out at 8:30pm, when they really needed to be at home in bed? No. But everyone gets candy. I put the last two fun-sized Kit Kats in their pumpkins and tried not to wake them up. Huh?
As I turned to close the door, Mom held out a third pumpkin. Did I miss a someone? I looked around. She saw my confusion, smiled and said, "...for the baby." Was there a baby? I didn't see a baby, except for the two in the stroller. What "baby?" Was she pregnant?? Um, let's see..Jolly Rancher? Tootsie Roll? Now-and-Later? All of these are completely appropriate food items for a BABY. I dumped the rest of the bowl in her pumpkin. Happy Halloween.
(Don't worry, honey. After Tuesday, you will be.)
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