On Friday night I made a trip to Goodwill to find the makings of a hobbit. Did they have short woolen trousers? They did! Did they have a plain, pocketless long-sleeve shirt? They did! Did they have a woolen vest? They did! Did they have a wig of wild hair? They did! I forked over my $21.96 and came home with the following:
Then I checked the nook for other bits and pieces:
Pipeweed! And a pipe with which to smoke it! A flask filled with spirits! A bit of cheese and salmon from the fridge, a walking stick cut from the locust, and I was transformed from J.D. Roth, middle-aged humbug:
into Jolly Brandybuck:
Kris chose a quick-and-dirty costume not far removed from reality: a hazmat worker.
Denise’s house was well decorated: spooky spiderwebs glowing under a black light, a cardboard coffin, the hall of Halloween candy horrors, a great forest mural thing, and various dismembered limbs. And, of course, there was plenty to eat, including some delicious Mexican beef and chocolate sheet cake. I cannot — and did not — resist chocolate sheet cake.
It was a pleasure to meet Betsy and Scott, and to chat with them about their lives. Here are Scott (with his party pooper award), Denise (in her fantastic vampiress costume), and Betsy (as The Media).
I must have made a convincing, if tall, hobbit. Despite some other great costumes, my hobbit won the costume contest, and I came home with $10 in lottery tickets (which yielded $4) and a trophy. I wonder if I can use the same costume next year…
I was disappointed that I didn’t get a chance to use my prepared spiel. I wanted for somebody to say, “I thought hobbits were short,” to which I would reply, “That’s a myth. A vile, nasty rumor started by dwarves — no surprise there — as a means to distract from their own height issues. As you can see, hobbits are actually as tall as humans.”
I crack myself up.
We left the party early spend some time with the Gingeriches. Jenn told us three amusing Halloween anecdotes:
- Jane is one of Hank’s kindergarten classmates. She’s as ebullient as Harrison. The other day, the kids shared what they were doing for Halloween. Jane’s house is being turned into a Haunted House and her Halloween costume is a Dead Cheerleader. Harrison is so jealous, both of the house and the costume.
- For weeks, Harrison has planned to be Superman for Halloween. Tonight, only an hour before the church Halloween party (oxymoron! oxymoron!), he announced that he was not going to be Superman, he was going to be a firefighter, and that’s it. Nothing else. If he couldn’t be a firefighter, he didn’t want to be anything. Only a firefighter would do.
- At the church Halloween party (oxymoron! oxymoron!), Hank’s class had a piñata. Tristan, dressed as Spider-Man, was taking his turn, without much success. Hank decided to shout encouragement: “Use your web! Use your web!” When this had no effect, he turned to Jenn and said, “What we need is heat vision.” sigh — It makes me glow inside to know I’m helping to create a geek.
We had a nice time with Jenn and Jeremy, then drove home for an extra hour of sleep.
I am a man of many quirks. One of these is that I prepare for the coming or going of Daylight Savings Time in advance. At least a month before we’re supposed to adjust our clocks, I adjust mine. This year was no different. And all day Saturday I was joking to Kris, “My watch is almost right.” Well, we had a power outage Friday afternoon. I didn’t correct my clock until Saturday night before bed, and when I did, I set it from the computer’s clock. Can you guess what happened? That’s right: despite all my careful planning, I failed to make the correct adjustment for Daylight Savings!. Oh, the bitter irony.
This being our first Halloween in the new house, we didn’t know what to expect. There aren’t a lot of kids in the neighborhood, so it wouldn’t have surprised us to have nobody visit at all.
At 5:57 tonight, we got our first trio of Trick or Treaters. Kris answered the door. The first child, a boy, was obviously a vampire. The second kid was Hermione Granger. The third child looked like a princess, but here face was ashen white. “Are you a princess?” Kris asked.
“A dead one,” said the girl.
What? Are these dead female icons representative of some proto-feminity rampant among girls today? Are they mimicking some point of popular culture we’ve missed? What’s going on?
At 5:58 we were visited by a pirate girl.
At 5:59 we were visited by a second pirate girl. And death.
A three-year-old biker in a Harley-Davidson jacket visited us at 6:19. He almost looked like a pirate. Maybe he was a pirate biker?
At 7:08 the hordes descended: a pirate (sense a theme?), Batboy, “something weird”, and — are you ready for this? — a “bloody princess”.
“Are you a dead princess?” I asked the girl.
“No,” she said. “I’m a bloody princess.”
“She’s got older brothers,” her dad said, as if that explained the whole thing.
Five batches totalling eleven kids. Not many, eh?