School Day.

schoolbusThe year I was in third grade Halloween fell on a Wednesday. This was always controversial because many churches hold a mid-week service Wednesday night and I grew up in the buckle of the Bible Belt. Halloween on Wednesday meant lengthy city council meetings to discuss whether Halloween could and should be moved to either October 30th (a bad idea) or November 1st (a worse one). At least if it fell on Sunday moving it back to Saturday was a better alternative.

In school on Tuesday my teacher Mrs. Tredway told us several times “There will be school tomorrow and there will be no costumes!”

I’m not sure whether she had a problem with Halloween generally or whether it was just because she was angry she wasn’t getting a day off. That afternoon on the bus ride home my friend Troy made sure everyone knew he didn’t care what Mrs. Tredway said. He’d be wearing his costume. Troy was my best friend. I feel kind of sad saying that now because for a long stretch of my childhood Troy was the only kid who lived near me–I lived at the top of a hill and he lived at the bottom–so outside of school he was really my only friend. That meant I put up with a lot from him, mainly his habitual lying. I learned not to question him when one night he called to tell me he had the entire cast of Battlestar Galactica visiting his house and I subtly suggested that was ridiculous. “They really are!” he screamed so loudly I almost dropped the phone. A few years later he told everyone at school he was leaving early to go do “some modeling work”. Nobody questioned him openly but we all rolled our eyes. A few years after that I was in a toy store and there was a picture of him on a board game so sometimes the most unbelievable things turned out to be true, but that’s another story.

So nobody expected Troy to really wear his costume to school the next day. I looked for him on the bus in the morning but there was no sign of him. He missed trick-or-treating because he was sick, but he did have a great costume. He was The Invisible Man.

And with that have a happy Halloween everyone. Lou Reed, if you would please.

 

14 Comments

  1. halfa1000miles

    You have a lot of bus stories 🙂

    I am in the Sourcing department and one time I came as a sorcerer, but nobody got it.

    I run my subdivison’s Facebook page and several members asked if we could have Halloween last night for their kids. I had to decline (why was that MY decision anyway?) and point out the obvious reason that we would then have to give out candy twice, because a lot of kids from other neighborhoods came over. They responded “Oh, I didn’t think of that”. Not global thinkers, those people.

    I was a big fat liar as a kid, so I was also not to be believed.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      A sorcerer from the Sourcing department…that’s fantastic. Your ringtone should be “Journey Of The Sorcerer” by The Eagles, but that’s another story.
      Giving out candy twice doesn’t sound like such a bad thing to me–but then we had a grand total of three trick-or-treaters. And I remember the year there was some kind of snafu and I really did get to go out trick-or-treating two nights in a row, one night in my regular neighborhood and one night at my grandparents’ neighborhood.
      I found a set of dentures in my bag.
      Part of that might not have been true.

      Reply
  2. Sarah

    That whole scene of your friend calling about Battlestar Galactica and later seeing his picture on a board game sounds like something straight out of a movie–I love it! Poor kid. He was probably so frustrated to think that no one took him seriously, and then he goes and nails the cover of the game. I had to laugh at half thousand miles’ point about you having a lot of bus stories. Apparently your busing tales go way back! That’s interesting that you grew up in the buckle of the belt! I’d like to hear more about that! Sorry this comment is so short. Germany is just catching on to Halloween and my doorbell has rung after just about every sentence so far.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Yes, my busing tales go back, although sometimes I have to fudge it a little and write about transportation generally. And I doubt Troy was frustrated. He never seemed to know whether anyone believed him or not and just blissfully went right on. He told the truth once in a while because of the principle that even a blind pig finds an acorn once in a while.
      And I’m thrilled that Halloween is a big event in Germany. Here we had three trick-or-treaters, which is three more than last year.

      Reply
  3. mydangblog

    I think everyone has a Troy–mine was called Michelle. I don’t know where you grew up, but if it was anywhere like I did, you would have worn a snow suit under your costume. I’m sad right now because I’m on the 27th floor of a condo in Toronto, and I have to wait til later to get the “Hallowe’en Report” from my husband–how many kids, and what costumes.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I grew up in Tennessee where I never had to wear a snow suit under my costume but some years I did have to cover it up with a coat which annoyed the hell out of me. And if your husband hasn’t gotten to you yet with a report here it is from my house where it’s so warm no one had to wear a coat. We had a witch, a fairy, and an alien, all under the age of ten.
      That was three more than last year.

      Reply
  4. Moonwatcher51

    Great story. Tonight I was my 4 year old grandson’s sidekick. The entire family dressed up like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I was April and my scruffy dog-Splinter. Good times had by all. Invisible Man is next on my list or Martini, I’m so torn…

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Go with Martini. The one downside of the Invisible Man is you’re too liable to slip by unseen, and where’s the fun in that?

      Reply
  5. Kristine @MumRevised

    I think my son might be a Troy. I blindly believe him where my husband doubts. I’m afraid to say, I might be wrong on occasion to trust the little turd.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I think most of us have a little Troy in us, especially when we’re young. As children we’re prone to testing the limits. Troy just pushed the limits further than others. He deserves some credit for being imaginative. So too, I suspect, does your son. Not that you should reward him for making up stuff, but creativity is a good thing.

      Reply
  6. Ann Koplow

    Great to be on the bus with you, Troy, and Lou. Thanks, Chris!

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Thanks for coming along on the Halloween parade.

      Reply
  7. Arionis

    Ha! I didn’t “see” that one coming.

    We usually put some effort into our Halloween decorations for the kids when they come up on the front porch. This year, however, we were on a trip and did not get back until late the night before. I had a sore back from driving two days straight and neither my wife nor I put in the effort we usually do. She just bought a pre-decorated Jack-O-Lantern and some fake cobwebs which we quickly spread over the bushes literally 30 minutes before the first kid showed up. I was then surprised to hear from several of the kids that we had one of the scariest houses on the street. What? Maybe that’s the secret, minimum amount of flair.

    I’ve also thought about petitioning (who?) to have Halloween moved to the last Saturday of October instead of always being on the 31st. That way I have all day to get creative, not to mention partaking of spirits that would otherwise give me a hangover at work the next day.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Moving Halloween to the last Saturday of October is brilliant. The only downside is Halloween would come early some years and I like to drag out the anticipation as much as possible, but the advantages of always having it on a Saturday far outweigh the disadvantages, especially when your Halloween treats include a few drinks.
      And minimal is always scarier. Some of the best Halloween flicks out there–like the original Halloween were put together on shoestring budgets. There’s a lesson there. Sometimes what you don’t see makes things so much scarier.

      Reply

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