by D. C. Haddock


Halloween! Not too long ago I was one of those kids running across neighbor’s lawns and fastidiously choosing candy from the bowls that were offered to me; now I’m the one holding the bowl while other kids pick over the morsels. This year I decided to dress up as a fortune-teller. I even borrowed a crystal ball with cool, ethereal light effects from one of my friends and spent a half hour drawing designs around my eyes with liquid eyeliner that were meant to look like tribal tattoos- needless to say, I was quite proud of myself for producing a pretty authentic costume, thanks to my mother’s wardrobe (she supplies me with the poofy shirts, flowing skirts, and super-sized costume jewelry). What I didn’t foresee (har har), was that kids would be far more interested in my candy than my cheesy fortunes (which consisted of things like “You’ll pass out from a candy coma tonight!” or “You better brush your teeth tonight, or you’ll wake up with cavities in the morning!”; you can’t blame them). Oh, I got a few compliments on the ball and my costume, but I think the best moment of the night was a three-year-old boy dressed up as a soldier from the army trick or treating with only his mother; he didn’t give two hoots about the candy at all. All he wanted to do was lightly touch the ball and watch it turn from red to green to blue. He loved it so much that, as they started to walk away, he ran back and started touching it again; and then later on, when they were passing my house to go home, he started to run back across the yard to touch it again! I told him that he was making the ball change colors, so he must be magical, and he left with the biggest smile on his face.

There was another kid who must have been about twelve who wasn’t trick or treating; all he did was walk laps around the circle by himself in literally one of the most realistic Dark Knight costumes I’ve ever seen. I mean, this wasn’t some Target-bought outfit. He either has a very skilled parent with a sewing machine, or someone spent a copious amount of money on him. Either way, here was a mini Batman walking around by himself, honestly not accomplishing anything that I could see (other than occasionally muttering something to himself), but he was really staying in character. He had the macho walk down pat, and about the sixth or seventh time he walked in front of my house, I yelled “Does the Dark Knight want any candy?” and all he did was stop, turn slowly to look at me for a good five seconds, and then resume his trek. I still have no idea what he was really doing.

My house has probably the most awkward walkway ever. Parents are always yelling at their kids to stop running, or to not walk on the grass, but not walking on the grass is almost impossible, and by the time any kid reaches my door step while walking, I’m pretty sure they’re thinking “that candy so wasn’t worth that walk”. I never know what to do, though; I know the parents are trying to teach their kids manners, but honestly, walk on the grass. I don’t care. And I absolutely love the kids that run up to me and scream “TRICK OR TREAT!” If I could get that excited about candy, I would never be unhappy!

A lot of people ask me why I don’t go out for Halloween. Most of the time I just shrug and tell them that I just don’t feel like it; but the truth is, Halloween is not my holiday anymore. It’s for the kids. I mean, since when did the coming of October 31st denote the advent of skimpy outfits accompanied by ample amounts of alcohol (which is the same as every college party ever, anyway). With that said, Halloween parties are friggin’ awesome, but when the only difference between a Halloween party and a house party is Darla walking in looking like a cross between a prostitute and a Furry, you can count me out.

One more erroneous detail to add- one year, my mom dressed me up like a horse. A. Horse.

But the year I was Arwen made up for that.