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Halloween Post Mortem

We had a lot of fun this Halloween. The Queen, Squiggle and I engaged in all the traditional Halloweenie activities. We visited a pumpkin patch:


And we got stuck in the photo hole:


(Well, one of us did, anyway.)

We got all dressed up. The Queen went as a witch. I went as Lloyd Dobler (photos forthcoming). Squiggle wanted to be a lion, so Grandma Baldwin went to work and, by gum, he was a lion.


And, as is quickly becoming our tradition, we spent Halloween in the company of some friends on Capitol Hill, whose house falls under siege every October 31st. The enormous quantity of trick-or-treaters they receive came as a surprise to us last year, but this time we knew what to expect: something akin to a 3 hour stage rush at a Raffi concert.

Sure enough, we were visited by more that 1,500 kids this year. How did we know? Because we stood just inside the door with a tally counter and enumerated each and every one. We also gave them candy, a token of our appreciation for participating in our census.

Some observations from the front lines:

  • Best costume of the night: a kid dressed as a Ballot Box. His large, square outfit had two holes--one marked McCain and the other marked Obama--and you had to choose into which to deposit the candy. Second best costume(s): an entire family dressed as calacas.
  • Funniest costume: A kid who dressed as himself, but he had tiny hands sticking out of his sleeves. To emphasize this point he took the opportunity usually used to say "trick or treat" to instead scream "I HAVE TINY HANDS!!!"
  • Bananas and penguins, both of which were oddly ubiquitous last year, were nowhere to be seen this. Apparently their 15 minutes of fame is over. We also only saw one Palin, though this was perhaps not an age range in which you'd expect her to predominate. Plenty of Jokers, though. And every third kid was a Spider-Man. It was as if an egg sac burst nearby and 10,000 tiny Spider-Men crawled out.
  • The porch of our house had an over-aggressive smoke machine. It would go off every five minutes and blanket everything in an impenetrable fog. Any kids too slow to evade the miasma of opacity would be trapped, and we would be entertained by assorted shrieks and coconuts-clonking-together sounds as kids walked into each other and banged heads. After the smoke cleared there would typically be three or four children unconscious from asphyxiation just outside the door, which the other kids would blithely walk over in their singleminded pursue of Fun-sized Twizzlers.
  • A neighbor was projecting old horror movies onto the side of his house. I mean really old, like black-and-white era. And, unfortunately, it's not until you project such a film onto the side of your house that you realize that 97% of such movies consist of three characters standing around in a crypt, delivering long, boring monologues full of expository material. I don't think I ever once glanced over there and saw anything scary happening. He may as well have been showing My Dinner With Andre/
  • Nobody wants the Dubble Bubble gum. Dubble Bubble just serves as packing peanuts for the other candy in your bag.

Posted on November 04, 2008 to Storytelling



By the way, nobody really wants the Tootsie Rolls or DumDums either.

... the more you know!

Posted by: ShortWoman on November 5, 2008 11:24 PM

Oh man, do not dis "My Dinner with Andre". I love that film. If you disrespect that movie again, I may have to lock you up in a room with an experimental polish film-maker for a month. Consider yourself warned.

Posted by: TheFishmonger on November 6, 2008 5:47 AM

We had over 200 kids last year and this year we hit maybe 35 at best. I now have 1 1/2 "supersized" bags of candy that I'm working on polishing off...

Posted by: Duane on November 6, 2008 7:35 AM

Great imagery, but I think the plural is Spider-Mans. :)

Posted by: Pat on November 6, 2008 8:26 AM

I love Dubble Bubble and Tootsie Rolls. Now I feel like a freak. I mean moreso.

Posted by: Rick on November 6, 2008 8:59 AM

87 pounds of candy

Posted by: John D on November 6, 2008 9:00 AM

Sir Baldwin, I am sick and thankfully alone in my dorm room, and I just laughed for about a minute each at vignettes 2 and 4. Actually, 'tiny hands" got me twice.

Posted by: Lizzie on November 6, 2008 10:54 AM

Dude, seriously, when are they going to invent a fog machine timer that doesn't cause emphysema within seconds? We turned ours as low as it'd go and people were still reporting that houses three blocks away were getting smoked out.

Posted by: Eamon on November 6, 2008 2:05 PM

I prefer the plural "Spiders-Man."

Posted by: yoshi on November 7, 2008 10:06 AM

"miasma of opacity"
That is brilliant.

Posted by: ellen on November 7, 2008 2:30 PM

Love the itemized list, but the "stuck-in-photo-hole" shot is hilarious. Repeatedly.

Posted by: amy on November 7, 2008 9:12 PM

The audience for "stuck in the photo hole" is so perfect. Before I even read about the sticky situation, I'd been pondering what on earth could have caused the expressions on those faces. Add to that, the boy crawling out of what appears, without close inspection, to be one of those "lady bending over" garden adornments, complete with brown, circular area... The photo is pure joy.

Posted by: radishly on November 8, 2008 11:03 AM

Wow, why in the heck didn't you go as a wardrobe?

Posted by: rob on November 12, 2008 11:33 AM