October 31, 2014
It was the first Halloween our parents let us go trick-or-treating by ourselves. As my friend Stephen and I walked along past the smiling pumpkins and happy skeletons he muttered, This whole holiday is getting way too commercial. There was a time when it was all about the candy. And tipping over outhouses. I agreed. Indoor plumbing had ruined the holiday. It was time to put the Hallow back in Halloween.
I was dressed as Boba Fett. Stephen was Raggedy Ann, because his sister had stolen his Han Solo outfit. Our first stop was the Scoot Sack down on the corner, where we shoplifted four cans of shaving cream and bought some turkey jerky, for the protein. As we were walking out Carbuncle Clarence, the seventeen-year old who was perpetually behind the counter, stopped us. Stephen had shoved the shaving cream cans down his shirt, so he now looked like a pregnant Raggedy Ann. I was sweating behind my mask, and Stephens eyeliner had started to run, making him look like a goth Raggedy Ann. Hey you kids, said the Carbuncle. Didnt I see you in here earlier? We both shook our heads. He pointed to a bowl of those peanut butter kisses in the orange and black wrappers. Take some. Happy Halloween. We thanked him and hurried out back to the neighborhood.
The first four houses we hit were decent enough, giving away chocolate bars, caramels, little bags of jelly beans and candy corn. The fifth house was dark. Not being home on Halloween wasnt a personal affront to us, because we were on a mission, but we decided these heretics must be punished. We filled their mailbox with shaving cream. This didnt seem quite enough, though, so we covered their mailbox with shaving cream. There was still something missing, so we set it on fire. This was a fair warning, but for good measure I left a note in their door apologizing for the fact that the baked Alaska theyd ordered had been delivered late. We then moved on.
Two doors down we found a pumpkin carved with a smile, which was an insult to everything Halloween stands for. I whipped out my pocket knife and turned the smile into a snarl. Then we used a combination of shaving cream and chewed turkey jerky to make it look like the pumpkin was vomiting blood. A sweaty guy with a garden hose came around the house and asked what we were doing, so we ran to the next block. The first house there belonged to crazy Mrs. Morrison. She gave us each a light bulb and a whole box of chocolate laxatives. She also gave me a roll of electrical tape. We made a note to stop by her house again on the way home. She never had candy, so she gave away whatever she had handy. The previous year Stephen had gotten a license plate and a potato. I got a chandelier.
A few doors after that was my summer school history teacher Ms. Sheldon. She apologized for forgetting that it was Halloween. She hadnt bought any candy, so she said wed have to pull a trick of some sort. We liked Ms. Sheldon and really didnt want to do anything bad to her, but she didnt have an outhouse. Since we couldnt think of anything else we settled for breaking one of her windows and setting a bush in her front yard on fire. The next house was empty because it was for sale. Damaging the mailbox didnt seem appropriate for a house that wouldnt get any mail, so instead we used the shaving cream to write cuss words and warnings about the dangers of apostasy on the brickwork.
Moving on to another block we found some young kids whod had their candy taken away from them, so we shared what we had along with the rest of the shaving cream. We also promised to take care of the infidel responsible, and directed them to Mrs. Morrisons house. We both knew who the candy thief was, and only had to follow the trail of smashed pumpkins to our old nemesis, Kevin, the school bully and son of the town proctologist. We split up as we approached him. He was dressed like Lee Marvin in Gorky Park. He saw me first and tried to run, but Stephen had crept up behind him and wrapped a candy necklace around his neck. Using it as a garrote Stephen whispered in his ear, Whats this we hear about you taking little kids candy? Kevin gulped. I didnt do nothin, he gasped. I said, Lets see, and took his bag of candy. While Stephen tied him to a stop sign with electrical tape I replaced all the Hersheys, Snickers, and Three Musketeers bars in his bag with laxatives. And I took all his peanut butter kisses in the orange and black wrappers.
After we stuffed a handful of orange circus peanuts in his mouth a big sweaty guy with a garden hose came around a corner and asked what we were doing. We realized it was Kevins dad, so we ran back to my house. My parents werent back from their euchre tournament yet, so we dumped out all our candy in the living room floor and started to go through it. First we separated out the peanut butter kisses in the orange and black wrappers. We licked each one and added it to the big ball in my closet. Since it now weighed at least twenty-seven pounds we agreed it was time for phase two. The next day wed dump it in the school swimming pool before class. We then turned to separating and categorizing the real candy, putting chocolate in one pile, jellybeans and gummies in another pile, pixy stix, jawbreakers, and sweet tarts in a third, and so on. Stephen was allergic to licorice, so I traded all his for my candy corn, a light bulb, and a pencil sharpener I’d found hidden in an apple. The radio was on, and as we sat contemplating our haul Werewolves of London began to play. Stephen and I realized wed experienced the real meaning of Halloween, so, to celebrate, we dressed all in black and went back out and set Kevins house on fire.