The Halloween Humiliation

Posted: October 28, 2011 in Uncategorized
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“One man’s transparency is another’s humiliation.”~ Gerry Adams

Last night was the annual October showing of the cartoon, “It’s the GreatPumpkin, Charlie Brown.”, one that I would have to say that has been a part of my life each and every October. And each time I am reminded of my childhood memories of Halloween and Trick-or-Treating.

Sufficed to say that even in my adult life, I have watched that cartoon every October ever since I can remember and have missed it, but once in my life time.

And with those childhood memories comes a tale of a child’s Halloween nightmare.

Living on a circle drive, my parents were very serious about us, their children, not to wander too far down the block on either side. But one year for Halloween, we were actually “smart” enough to have gone all the way around the entire neighborhood as fast as we could without the parents wondering where we were.

Naturally this was back during a time when Halloween or parents were concerned with the dangers of children being out at night. Still though, when we went out each Halloween, we always had an adult with us, whether it had been my father or mother. But this one year, we were left to the supervision of the two elder siblings to watch over us in the night as we went door to door begging for candy.

For years, our neighbors were kind of predictable. We knew which neighbors gave out healthy stuff like boxes of raisins, and we knew who had “the good stuff” which was chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate. Not to mention bubble gum. Our favorite house actually was the one who handed out the bubble gum. Not to say that its better than chocolate since that is a matter of opinion, but those neighbors across the street and one house over, had that gum in a candy dish– all year long. We knew it was a for sure bet.

But this particular tale would have moved my childhood into the next chapter of Halloween activities as our small-sized plastic pumpkins with the handle on it would prove not to be enough from the bounty that was inevitably before us. If we only were smart enough at that young of an age to have used our pillow cases!!

It just so happned that year on Halloween  on that same evening, or late afternoon, there was a wedding and I went with my father and younger brother to that wedding. We knew that there would be a reception, and let’s face it… when you are that young, the dream of having wedding cake as well as assorted salted nuts and those pink, yellow, and green colored mints added on to the piles of candy that would have been taken during the night was a child’s wet dream before they even knew what one was.

Needless to say, my father did not allow us that dream.

We had a choice: Wedding reception or Trick-or-Treating? We thought that we would get more out of the evening if we went home and went door to door. We were SO right!!

Also with the underestimated candy luggage was the action of doing away with the old standby Halloween costumes that were easy to slip on, like a shirt with a mask that was held together by a thin rubber band and tiny holes for the nose to breathe out of and of course the eyes to see. That Halloween, we did not have to dress up like a character from Scooby-Doo or a princess or whatever it was that we had. I think a Frankenstein monster, we had one too? I don’t recall. What I did remember was actually being “grown up” enough to wear the make-up and paint.

So we went out. We skipped over those who were bearing fruits and nutrition-filled food, as well as those just handing out caramel apples and went straight across the street for our gum. That year, we got TWO pieces of gum and we thought that this was the beginning of a marvelous adventure.

Door to door, house to house. Both sides of the street. And then we had reached our “limitations” to what we were used to. Going any further in the neighborhood was unheard of, but the elder two siblings said “Let’s Go!!”.

We left nothing unchecked. Each and every house was struck. Several neighbors that we never saw face to face or even knew as neighbors would definitely remember our faces as we stomped across front yards and cut across lawns to get to the next front door faster from the house before.

Our lousy plastic pumpkins were full before we even made it half way. The thought of going and knocking on strang doors started to bother me, so I every once in a while I would surrender my candy-filled pumpkin and tell my brother, “I don’t like this house. It’s creepy and the porch light isn’t on. I don’t want ANYTHING from this house.” And so my brother would go ahead and take my pumpkin and come back several seconds later. Clearly, I would end up with far less than he would.

My humiliation came to me when we had finished the entire lap around the block and came home for the inevitable “parental scanning for dangerous objects and mother/father candy taxes” were applied. Yep, we had to go through that TWICE.

Needless to say that a majority of the chocolate items were gone before they gave back our candy. But then I would see in my brother’s pumpkin some items I had never thought possible to be given out for Halloween.

Someone had given him a Little Debbie’s Star Crunch. It was untampered with in a singled package. And on top of that, he had a single dollar bill.

When I asked him where he got them, he simply smirked with a bold smile of bragging and said, “You said you didn’t want anything from those houses, so I didn’t get you anything.”

Neither my mother or my father would take that Star Crunch from my brother. So this fabulous snack treat, and some pocket change totally was lost because I didn’t trust the houses on the other side of the block. So humiliating!

I would learn never to turn down Halloween treats, from anyone at anytime no matter what. We were still going to have to go through the parents to make sure everything was safe. But all that meant was more for us for the next week. Even if we lost the grandest of all treats to the parents, we still had awesome replacements because nobody from that point on when we went out, would dare say “I don’t want anything from this house.”

 

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