This Halloween, Truman and I might hide around the corner from our front door, me with a wiffle ball bat and he with his … I guess that’s a wooden sword in the photo above … laying in wait for the kinds of post-pubescent teenagers who have terrorized America with aggressive door-knocking, man-grabs for candy and generally obnoxious behavior that has soured me on the annual observance of this pagan holiday.
A couple of years ago, we turned off the porch light and were getting ready for bed when I heard a loud banging on our screen door – BANG BANG BANG – as if they were coming to kill us and ride off on our dog. Something like that. I angrily opened the door to find a kid who appeared 15 or 16 years old, with a couple of grade-school age siblings wearing capes that looked like tablecloths ripped at the last second from their breakfast nook. The older boy wasn’t even wearing a costume. None of them said a word as they looked at me. No trick, no treat. They just held their bags open. Their parents’ van idled across the street; I could see a man’s elbow sticking out the driver’s side window. We’re all waiting, sucka.
When I get very angry, which believe it or not has only occurred a handful of times in my life, my eyesight is overtaken by a blinding flash of white, and it happened this Halloween night. Picture me surfing on a wave of frothing purple venom three stories high, and then that wave crashing down on these three orcs … these children of the corn.
And that’s when my eyesight returned and I snapped back to reality. I looked past the kids and at the man in the idling van, his elbow jutting out like a cab driver’s, barely paying attention, probably surfing the web on his evil iPhone. It’s your fault, dude. More bad parenting, which will be our nation’s downfall. I wordlessly tossed the last of the candy into the children’s bags – there wasn’t much left – and silently prayed that someday Congress passes a law that requires people to take a parenting exam before they can have kids.
This week’s song of the week is “Thriller,” sung by another wonderful parent, Michael Jackson. Trick or treat.
A couple decades later, a Filipino prison warden seeking to keep his charges busy made the following re-enactment of “Thriller” possible. This is probably the best choreography I’ve ever witnessed outside the state of Nevada.