Tuesday, October 31, 2006

But not this year . . .

For years, our home has been visited by an average of well over a hundred little witches and goblins and Batmen and Freddie Krugers each Halloween Eve. We lived in a neighbourhood with lots of little darlings (I am being only just a little bit sarcastic, many of the kids were really great) and they all visited for their allotment of candy. We lived at the edge of a little village, and so lots of farm kids would visit too. Their parents would cruise along the crescent, slightly behind their children, and when their sacks were full, or the kids got cold, or someone had to pee really, really badly, they would leave.

We moved at the end of August. We now live at the northernmost edge of London, Ontario. The area is still mostly under construction. The streets are muddy, there are partially built houses everywhere, and I can't imagine anyone visiting for Halloween candy, at least this year. I hope I'm right, because we didn't buy any. Thankfully, we don't have an outhouse that can be upended in retaliation if someone feels that they have been tricked, rather than treated.

When we arrived in Canada fifty-seven years ago, Halloween seemed to us to be a strange celebration indeed. My brother and I got into the spirit of things after a while, and made sure we got our share of candy and other goodies from our neighbours. We had a lot of fun. Now that we are adults, it is our turn to make sure that our children have a safe Halloween.

My son won't be out collecting candy anymore. He is fourteen now, in high school, and too 'cool' to do such a thing. He is as tall as I am, and I agree with him that it is time to bow out and let the little kids get his share.

What will we do tonight, since no-one is likely to be ringing our doorbell?

I don't know.

Are there any scary movies on tonight?


  1. Don't you have any old neighbor friends from your old neighborhood that wouldn't mind sharing hot chocolate with you as they open their door to the little ones?

    That is what we are doing. Oee and I are going to TDOW's aunty's house to visit while the kids come all dressed up. It's a great time to visit, because there aren't any chores or business that can be worked on when the bell rings every five minutes.

    Just call someone up and offer to bring some drinks.

    If you want to dress up, here are a couple easy costumes..

    Baby powder in back-combed hair and a little mascara mixed with face cream for your face, lipliner around the eyes and cotton balls glued to your eye brows.. you can go as a 'dirty old man'.

    Hmm.. I guess that's not a good one for the kids..

    Well.. you can use the one I was going to use this weekend that I gave up for study.

    A Freudian Slip. Put on an old slip, glue-gun post-it notes to it and/or downloaded images from the internet, write words on them, cut a slit up the front to expose men's briefs(or ladies panties, as the case may be ~ Oedipus/Electra complexes) with "Parapraxis" written on them (slip of the tongue).

    Hmm.. yeah... maybe not.

    Well.. perhaps forget about the costume and just show up as a friend with hot chocolate. You'll still get to get out and have some good laughs.

    No reason to give up the season just because your boy is grown.

    If not. Rent Dawn of the Dead. Classic.

  2. Hilarious, Penny! Love those costumes. Actually, for the D.O.M. look, all I need to do is go as myself.

    Have a great time tonight. You deserve a break from your studies and some fun with Oee and TDOW.

  3. > The area is still mostly under construction

    I'm disappointed that you made a decision which will contribute to greater urban sprawl and consequent increased property taxes for all of us.

  4. I remember feeling the tradition of Halloween really strange, too. Especially with my Canadian mother who thought many American ways very odd (eat a hamburger without silverware?). My favorite memory is going out with a friend in seventh grade. But, my feet ached even then, so after a few excruciating hours I stayed in and watched The Graduate with her mom, and my friend continued her candy gathering. She still teases me about quitting, but I'd take a good movie over walking for hours in the cold and dark any night.

    I hope you had a good evening. I hope no one tricked your for having no treats.

    Were there any good movies on? Not in Illinois; I stayed in and read Jonathan Strange and Dr. Norrell. By the way, "Moom" discussion this weekend!

  5. Bellezza: It was a very quiet night and, as expected no-one visited. We had a nice, relaxing evening and I got to watch 'House' uninterrupted. Love that show. In real life, I would likely deck a jerk like him, but it makes for entertaining TV.

    Anonymous: If you would like to engage in an intelligent debate about urban sprawl, I would be happy to do so. Blaming me for your taxes going up makes very little sense, I'm afraid. My property taxes will be over $6,000 per year, probably a lot more than what you pay. What do I get for that in services? Very little that has any direct benefit to me. Most of the money is pissed away on inefficient city government, various giveaways to all kinds of programs I will never use, and lots and lots of bungling. If you live in London and read the London Free Press, you will know what I am talking about.

    I rather suspect that you might be one of those "what is mine is mine, and what is yours is mine too," sort of people and that your notion of fairness and fair share are quite different from mine. My analysis of what constitutes fair share is available here: http://atavist.blogspot.com/2004/06/defining-fair-share.html. I suspect that my position is quite different form yours.

    It is true that our taxes are too high. Solution? Privatize every service provided by our municipal government. Hire competent managers to run the city, not politicians or bureaucrats. And stop asking for 'free' anything. It is never free. Someone pays for it, usually in disproportionate fashion.

  6. I remember going trick-or-treating in your neighbourhood when I was really little. Maybe when we lived on Bridges Street? I'm not sure when, but that would make sense because we didn't live in a neighbourhood very condusive to trick-or treating what with it being all businesses and sketchy and whatnot. So those are my earliest memories of halloween - your neighbourhood.

  7. Hi, Jasmine: nice of you to comment. It's nice to reflect back, isn't it, on different times. Now you're married, working, and experimenting with purple hair!! Yes, I read your blog too. Give my best to Todd. (Jasmine is my niece, a very sweet, bright, and thoroughly delightful woman.)

  8. Anonymous: No offense, sincerely. If you have a point, you should make it and if you believe in your point, sign your name to it. It's much more effective that way.

  9. I miss having the little trick or treaters coming by, but that just isn't a part of the Panama culture.

  10. Well, Don, judging by the posts on your blog and the photographs and the obvious enjoyment you seem to have in your life in Panama, that seems like a small sacrifice. I love to read about what is taking place in the Boquete and David area and about your life there.