Skipping over the boring and/or annoying bits involving grocery stores and melted candy and whatnot, I got home, cleaned up a bit and turned on all the lights and put the candy out (or in the freezer, depending) and then saw my neighbor setting up across the street. I went over and said hello and asked if he needed any help. He didn’t but he invited us over to hang out later on. Every year they set up a few tables in his driveway and they serve chili and cornbread to whoever wants it and they pass out candy to kids. I said yes as soon as he mentioned chili. His wife really knows how to make a great steak chili and it should not be passed up when offered.
The street I live on is hardly rich man’s street. Everyone, including (or in a few cases, especially) the retired people have felt the crunch of the last year. But it’s a nice street, and a quiet one, and the people who live on it are doing a damn sight better than the people who live a few miles south or a few miles east. And because of that, our street is a popular destination for the trick-or-treaters.
Last year there was a fifty/fifty mix of trick-or-treaters who were dressed and trick-or-treaters who weren’t. In my opinion you shouldn’t get shit for not dressing. Also, about half of them didn’t even say thank you when we passed out candy. You’re welcome you little fuck, thanks for visiting my street.
This year, literally 100% of the kids were dressed up as something or other, my favorite being the neighbor kid who was dressed up like the Heath Ledger Joker. The weird part was that he looked kind of like Michael Jackson from behind. This year, literally 100% of the kids were polite and said thank you and some of them even told us we had a beautiful house.
I went across the street after a while and took a seat and hung out with my neighbor and his wife and we ate chili and talked and discovered that some of my best friends used to go to high school with her back in the 70’s. I just hit forty a few months ago and she’s a few months away from hitting fifty and neither of us was able to figure out how we’d gotten so fucking old. It’s worth pointing out that 100% of the kids were dressed and polite on that side of the street too.
There was a two-week old baby there, who was about the size of my foot. The neighbors to the east were there too and we all talked and various friends came over and introductions were made and no one from that house knew my name and that was alright because it was only the second time I’d spoken with any of them since all of us just work too goddamn much to see a whole lot of each other. We talked about the economy, and we wondered where Dave, my neighbor to the west was since he usually comes over to help eat chili, and we talked about Orville, my neighbor to the east, who’s 95 years old and is about to spend two weeks receiving kidney treatments and possible surgery, and we all marveled at what amazing shape he was in for 95 and how he was in better shape than a few of us, who were half a century younger.
Finally, I looked across at my house and saw trick-or-treaters knocking on my door, and then knocking again. Annette finally opened up, but I realized she was probably falling asleep after having worked 30 hours in two days. So I took my leave and went back across the street and went into the bedroom and told her I’d take it from there and kissed her and told her to go to sleep, which she did in about five seconds. And then I passed out candy until 9pm or thereabout and, with only two or three pieces left in the bowl, said to hell with it and turned off all the lights and shut down the house for the night.
All of which is just a really verbose way of saying last night was the best Halloween I’ve had since I was out walking the streets of my neighborhood, dressed like a pirate, and asking for candy.