Well. We got our asses kicked last night. Our neighbors up the street, my running partners, staged a Halloween extravaganza worthy of any Hollywood movie set.
There was a full graveyard, with rickety fences and cobwebs and dark, dangling tree limbs. Eerie green lights cast a ghoulish glow over the yard while also creating deep shadows. A long, narrow, and deep wooden coffin--Dracula style with the blunt edges and almost hexagon shape at the top--housed our neighbor, dressed as the mother of all mummies. Limp, aged rags dripped from her limbs and her face was a mixture of black, purple, and green bruises. SO COOL.
We went with with the witch and pumpkin-head man. Pumpkin-head man is simply a large orange plastic mask that Blair dons along with country clothes. He sits in a rocker and I "stuff" him with straw that pours out of his gloves, shoes, collar, and the buttons on his shirt. Even up close, he really does look like a stuffed dummy (apologies, dearest) sitting there. I pass out the candy and then right as the kids walk away, he raises a hand and intones, "Happy Halloooo-weeeen!"
The kids jump, the parents jump. One dad leaped back then started laughing and said, "Man, I thought that thing was fake!" What amused us is that after Blair talked and waved, the kids would still turn to me and say, "Is he real or fake?"
We went through 10 bags of candy, albeit we toss huge handfuls into each kids bag. It's worth it when after we drop the candy in we hear, "WOW--thanks!"
Two of our neighbors played soundtracks, so as kids went up and down the street they heard the sounds of moans, screams, clanking chains, and the loud ominous bongs of a clock. Across the street, a purple tarantula the size of a miniature horse lay in the yard. It's leg were paper mache and every time the wind blew, it picked the legs up and made it appear as if the spider was rearing back of crawling.
Say what you will about safety, there's still something magical about trick-or-treating house to house. It's just not Halloween unless you scare yourself by wondering if maybe some psycho stuck a razorblade in your Three Musketeers.
One bummer note--not a lot of kids walk anymore. A car would park in front of our house and parents and kids would pour out, go to 3 homes, pile in the car to drive 20 yards up the road and repeat. No wonder we're a fat nation. Kids also didn't automatically say "Trick-or-Treat." They would more often just stick their bag out.
Who cares? I love Halloween. Cutest costume of the night went to a 3-year-old blond-hair, blue-eyed boy dressed up as Woody from Toy Story. He walked up to us grinning, kept grinning as Blair waved at him, and just stood and waved back and grinned. His dad had to pull him back down the walk as he kept grinning and waving. Unbelievably cute.
A lot of kids were a little nervous approaching us, so we're thinking our Sleepy Hollow idea of having them walk through a bridge may be too scary. I'm wondering if we can do a pirate ship and make them "walk the plank" which would be a board about 6 inches off the ground.
Until next year... here's "gouling" at you.