Miss Wiggles was the first to notice the Halloween stuff on the shelves at one of the stores in our area. She and I were in a drug store picking up a prescription for Dragonwife who was home nursing a late summer pollen induced migraine. We were leaving the store when she broke away from me and ran over to the aisle where all the cute little customs of ghouls, vampires, demons, and maniac axe murderers had been setup to play with the highly overpriced, cheaply made, Chinese imports that stood a good probability of containing toxic amounts of lead. I set aside the ever present unanswered question of how in the world was it economically viable to produce and ship such trivial items across the Pacific so I could make sure Wiggles didn’t reduce the aisle to anymore chaos than it already had been done to it by previous other rugrats before her. As we checked out the various ghoulish toys I saw no reason to stop her from playing with the three foot tall dancing mummy figure as it twisted to the beat of “Monster Mash” but I must admit the thought crossed my mind that simulated blood soaked wrappings around the mummy’s mouth, I guess suggesting the mummy had a taste for human fresh, was a not something that would usual inspire a fit of giggles from my daughter. A tongue-and-cheek scary SpongeBob Squarepants episode will have her running to us for protection from whatever might be trying to scare the undersea inhabitants of Bikini Bottom. I let her play a while longer with several other items but finally had to tear her away so we could get home. Forcing her to put down the blood stain hatchet caused quite the stir, especially when she tried to bury it in my head Lizzy Borden style. Once we were in the car I did have to explain to her that Halloween was still a good while off since it was just the first week of September. I tried not to think how she might act in other stores as we got deeper into the Silly Season on the way to Christmas with all the glitz and hyper-commercialism.
For Miss Wiggles the days counted down far too slowly till Halloween. Just the thought of an almost unlimited amount of candy being given to her was enough to inspire a pseudo-sugar rush on its own. But the day did arrive and after a speedy dinner she donned the fairy custom. She and Dragonwife had picked it out several weeks prior from her extensive collection of princesses, fairies, and pixies collection of customs. Now I have to add that I saw, and still see, no difference between the appearance of a fairy and that of a pixie. But I have long since given up raising any question of the subject since I get looks questioning my basic common sense and intelligence from Dragonwife and Wiggles over the subject and see no need to make the matter worse. But much to my surprise, which it shouldn’t have been, right before we are about to walk out the house Dragonwife yells out asking Wiggles if she wanted to wear a different custom. And, of course, the answer Wiggles gave was yes so I spent twenty minutes waiting while Dragonwife and Wiggles went back into the huge mass of customs and assorted accessories trying things on only to walk back out wearing the same thing she had on before. Once again I kept quiet knowing the look I would receive if I raised any question. But I swear to God in heaven that if I ever find myself with them while they are shopping I will just find the nearest bar and start drinking until they come back for me. If they have to carry me out, well that’s the price of me being trapped in a situation I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.
The neighborhood we live in is rather small with few kids the same age as my children but it was flooded with imported kids and parents trying to maximize the candy booty and keep the local dentist special interest group fully employed. People talk about a military/industrial complex, hell that’s nothing to the apparent candy confection/ADA complex and their blatant axis of evil promoting dental decay so they can keep themselves in Benz’s and mansions. My children’s dentists, hiding behind his friendly and caring behavior is just as bad as Saddam and laughs at the end of the day as he drives off to his 5000 square foot house on the lake.
Not long after that we walked through the streets as Wiggles pursued her sugary crack with complete abandon. We easily passed several clusters of people walking their own tiny costumed tykes around trying to keep up with them. By this time darkness had completely fallen and the various groups around us seemed to emerge and disappear out of the darkness silently and quickly with only the footfalls of little feet making way to another front porch. At one front porch Wiggles was engaged in conversation with the lady of the house being told, for what might be the fifty millionths time, how cute and pretty she was when I heard the footfalls of several more costumed monsters approaching. The newly arrived rugrats turned out to have a couple of Wiggles’ kindergarten classmates to which precipitated a brief but exuberant reunion and our joining them on what remained of our rounds in the neighborhood. I must admit to a slight frustration with Wiggles at this point. The couple running herd on the four kids Wiggles had volunteered us to join were nice people but I just was not interested in running with them. They were from outside the neighborhood and had just begun their rounds but the main reason was that earlier the gorgeous blonde neighborhood divorcee had caught up with us, she with her niece, and acted like she wanted Wiggles and her niece to get to know each other. I was more than willing for the two to become friends for no other reason than to silently entertain erotic fantasies with said neighbor as we escorted and developed the budding camaraderie between the two young girls. But Wiggles did not want to go the same way they were walking and put up enough of a fight that I did not want to have a scene in the middle of the street. So the blond divorcee and her niece disappeared into the night and I ended up walking around with the nice but very chatty couple. My disappointment was soon abated and it wasn’t long before I was beginning to enjoy their company.
We were soon laughing our butts off about a whole host of different subjects, namely the antics of our children and their crazed behavior in pursuit of free candy. The tone from my companions clearly had them believing that adults would never act in such a childish manner so I carefully avoided mentioning how some adults act at major sporting events or when crazed movie fans see their current hot movie or television idol. How might I have known that the couple I was walking with might have been offended by pointing that little matter out? The husband was wearing University of South Carolina Gamecocks cloths from the hat on his head to the university colors on his shoelaces. His wife was wearing a sweatshirt that exclaimed she wanted to have Brad Pitt’s baby in rather colorful terms that I sure would have had Angelina Jolie out to kick her ass. As our attention returned to the children we were somewhat surprised to find Wiggles and the four other kids spread underneath a street light with all their candy on the ground. What was going on was a kindergarten age commodities market as the kids wheeled and dealed candy they wanted versus what they didn’t want. It was getting rather late by this time and after giving the young Trumps, Bloombergs, and Buffetts (Warren, not Jimmy) time to complete their deals and then we collected our young ones and made our way home.
You would think the adventures for Halloween would be over by now, but that would not be the case. Dragonwife had been doling out the candy since the little scurrying ghouls had started coming to the door before sunset. So by now as Wiggles and I returned her attention span was past exhaustion and her desire to be doing something else was pretty extreme. Upon our arrival home she had pretty much tossed the candy bowl to me and ran off to have a shower and “collect her thoughts”. Wiggles marched off to have a bath still grumpy about how one part of her candy dealings fell through. I set myself on the couch with a well earned Corona to greet the dwindling number of candy beggars while watching a Scrubs rerun. Several groups came and went with little beyond me making a big deal over the various customs being worn by some of the younger children wanting to give them a warm welcome. Sometime during the second episode of Scrubs I was about to turn off the porch light and pop the top on my third or fourth beer when the door bell rang again. JD, the main character of the show, being as zany as usual was doing his best to sabotage yet another relationship with some gorgeous babe while making deep meaningful comments about the human condition. I tore myself away from the show after the second ding dong of the doorbell expecting one last grouping of tiny tots looking for the sugar handout. What I got after opening the door almost had me drop my beer and that is something I never do. I didn’t find young children standing at my door with a mom or dad in the background watching over them. What I got was a girl at least high school and more than likely older in a very sexy, low cut witches custom nicely showing off her upper and lower physical assets. Beside her was a guy dressed in a very detailed and apparently expensive vampire custom complete with bloody vampire teeth. His most striking feature was at least a three day growth of beard that placed him the same age as the girl. Behind them was a Captain Jack Sparrow and much to my surprise was another girl dressed in a Hooters waitress custom more than ready to assume the actual duties at that much maligned establishment. The sexy vixen witch walked up to me and in a low sultry voice that had turned me to putty in a microsecond said “trick or treat”. Despite the fact that the three others in the group broke out into intense laughter, at my expense, I was still ready to give the witch and her pseudo-waitress companion anything they wanted in the house short of my children. Even though I was puzzled about the over aged visitors at my doorstep I was able to collect a couple of meager wisps of thought and found the means to ask them about their choice of holiday activities. They turned out to be students at the local community college, and yes the vampire and witch were in a relationship as were Captain Jack and the very lovely waitress that was not as friendly as the other three. They had done the party thing earlier and on a whim decided to relive their youth by going trick of treating. The college kids and I actually got into a conversation on my porch even after I had handed out the rest of the candy to them. After Captain Jack only half jokingly asked for one of my beers it was my turn to get a laugh at their expense. The fact that my eyes kept drifting back to the ladies seemed not to bother them of their boyfriends. I found them funny and smart with all four having real plans for their lives. They were not caught up the over ambitious career craziness many their age develop trying to make their first million by twenty-five. They all expressed a desire to enjoy life rather than be a slave to a mortgage, two fancy cars, and 401K. I’m sure Dragonwife would have been appalled with their attitude and would have tried to lecture them to mend their ways. I watched them; some more than others, walk away into the dark. By this time Scrubs had gone off and John Stewart was on now explaining some facet of strange right-wing behavior. Dragonwife came into the room soon after all fresh and clean and asked if anything exciting happened after she left. I told her no, just another boring Halloween and took a sip of my beer.