Prophet is getting old for a dog. He’s over eight now, and I’m spotting grey whiskers, discolored eyebrow hairs and a general slowing of his body. You’d think he’d be done with all this Halloween nonsense. I mean, I didn’t trick-or-treat past seventh grade (and even then, I was allowed out only because I was collecting for UNICEF by then). Grown ups like Prophet and me are supposed to be done with all that silly child’s play.
But no. No matter how hard I try to be all serious and calm, the bobbing pumpkins come out each year from my basement storage box, along with “Casper” my front porch ghost. And I remember the extravaganzas my small family and I would make of Halloweens past.
I’ll never forget the year my elder daughter rigged up a skeleton to drop from the ceiling of our front porch as we opened the door to give out candy. Or the costumes put together with sweatshirts, baseball caps and face paint. I was never one for masks.
And the dog! Whichever one we had always seemed enthusiastic either for the open front door (opportunity to escape), or the candy he’d inevitably get into.
For the past couple of years, my good guy and I have been away from home on Halloween night, and I missed handing out the goodies. I love seeing the small princesses and ninja “men” parade up to my door. Even the “kids” who I had to tilt my head up to see in their ghoulish interpretations of “fooling the bad spirits” were fun.
So this year, Prophet and I decided to stay home and welcome the trick-or-treat-ers once again. My decorations were kept simple–by now I realize exactly who has to box them all up again–and I didn’t precisely get dressed for the occasion. In years past I put on a sweatshirt with happy ghosts and corn candy dancing all over the bright orange background. This year I put on a Broncos sweatshirt and my guy said it was a perfect costume of a football fan (I wouldn’t know–I hardly watch football any more). I sat in my living room with the drapes open and the lights on.
Five o’clock came. I hoped I wouldn’t be eating dinner when the first little ones arrived. Nope. No doorbell rings.
Six o’clock came. Dinner was done and no one came. We started to watch a recorded television show, then stopped. Wouldn’t want to be interrupted with Halloween passing-out-candy duties. I grabbed my iPad and began playing games.
Seven o’clock, three Sudoku, and four Spider Solitaire games later, the first ring came. Yippee! I jumped up from the couch. Prophet came racing in from the kitchen, all blasts of his vocal chords working well. We just about scared the poor little Kermit and Miss Piggy out of their wits with our enthusiastic “Happy Halloween!” Each child had to be thoroughly sniffed before giving the few pieces of candy out. At least Proph stayed in the house–sort of.
By nine o’clock Prophet and I had gone to the door maybe four times. The children this year were all in sweet costumes. No scary stuff. No big kids. No hordes driven in vans from neighborhoods far away. It was quiet–except for the one occasion when I heard a light paper crunching sound and caught Prophet stealing a couple of candy bars. Meanie that I am, I took that chocolate right away from him. The witches caldron was still almost full. I suspect Prophet was trying to help me feel better, by taking some of that nasty stuff I was pushing on unsuspecting astronauts and Snow Whites.
I saved the nasty stuff from Prophet’s care and for the past five days have lived in a sugar high that I know will be my undoing. I finally hid the candy in my pantry, but I know where those goodies are. Maybe next year we’ll have more trick-or-treaters, but if not, Prophet and I won’t be too sad. We know how to fill and empty that witch’s caldron.