Yes my friends, October 31st 2011 has come and gone, and so goes another successful year and my ritual haunting the old neighborhood. I started a little later than usual, but that was no excuse for what i saw..... A completely dead street with absolutely not a single devil, ghoul, ghost, skeleton, zombie, ninja, spider-man, harry potter, fairy princess, optimus prime.... NOTHING. Its just me this year- The 6 foot tall reaper returns, celebrating his 15th year. What compels me to do this another year? Apparently I am the only one! Yes all the children must be at home sleeping because they were at "the Mall" all day. Well you can keep your center for commercialism, this ghost of Halloween past still soldiers the night on October 31st. Keep your laughter to a maximum, this is something i take with 100% unseriousness.
The first few houses is always the hardest... But then around 20 minutes into it, im reminded of why i do this. Not only is this the largest bounty of candy ever recorded- but because so many neighbors tell me "Oh here take some more- you were the only one this year". As a Halloween fundamentalist, somebody has to do this. One old lady (who searched around her entire house and garage nearly 10 minutes for the candy because she forgot where she put it) also told me that i was the only one this year- and that there was not many last year" I wanted to tell her so bad- "thats what you said last year mam".
Its always an interesting experience visiting my old houses that i spent so much time time growing up in. every year i like to see what they have done with my old room at 214 Maplecrest; or see how they redecorated my old house at 142 Maplecrest. This year they changed the guest parking on me and moved it over next to the playground. As i walked by the playground i couldnt help but reflect on my younger days growing up in the neighborhood. The time i spent roaming around at night on the weekends- talking on my Father's WIRELESS MOBILE CELLULAR DEVICE which was the size of a Vietnam military issued communicator. I remember rollerblading around that same neighborhood when i was 13, walking my dog with my old man when i was 14, hanging out at the pool when i was 15, my first spray painting mission with my mom at age 16- all the trips to west palm from Jupiter, the smilie gas station that had no name just a big smilie face, hanging out at the beach and the movies, the several thousand times i walked the same walkway to my front door- and there i was after 16 years.
As a 28 year old, my mind works differently than it did then when i was younger (no jokes), I start to notice details about the homes; such as if they have a termite problem, subtle lawn ornaments, missing shades on there window, gotti door knockers etc. Its funny i wont think of the inside of a persons house all year, but when i walk up to the door i remember subtle details about the house, who it is answering and what the inside looks like. Last year a common theme i noticed was the crude signage of people did to their front door that would read something along the lines of "SORRY NO CANDY (FROWNIE FACE)" or my favorite- simply "NO CANDY!". NO CANDY is like a huge FUCK YOU for the kids. The two biggest holiday seasons for retail is on Halloween and Christmas- and you're telling me you spent more time crafting a FUCK YOU sign than you could picking up a 99 cent bag of candy for the kids/ghouls?
One of my favorite things is the people's reaction to a 6 foot tall man at their door dressed in a crazy skeleton mask and black robe. Some people love it, some people are confused- either way i get candy because by the time they open the door they are bound to the agreement- TRICK OR TREAT. Sometimes i like to knock on the door a few times when i see them watching television and wait for them sarcastically. Im sort of like the LAST one every year, that big fucker who keeps everybody in line and makes sure that next year they have candy for everyone. BUT this year however i started a little later than normal (8:30, normally 8) so i didnt have the time to criticize the people who didnt have candy. I did however get this one jerk- this foreigner guy had the audacity to open the door and tell me he had no candy to my face; so i just said "no candy.... no, candy?" I stood there motionless with my bag out and waited sarcastically until he closed the door to walk away. LUCKILY i wasnt in the time frame to seek retribution for this violation or else his house would of been festooned with eggs, shaving cream, bologna and an assortment of toilet paper. This is an old American Holiday; everyone who gives an offering and decorates their home enjoys celebrating- those who dont are completely up for scrutiny and the occasional flaming dog shit.
Another trend i noticed a few years ago was a large number of houses that were foreclosed- that is always a sad thing to see and i pictured how you are supposed to explain that to a kid. There is this really nice lesbian that goes ALL out with music, cob webs, tombstones, skeletons- and when she opens her door inside is even MORE crazy stuff. She does it every year and i think it is so cool she does that. This one guy I watched through his entrance door window this year, slowly walk up and turned off the lights on me- just when i thought "woaw are you serious? is he just going to walk away right in front of me while I'm here like that??" then threw himself against the glass and tried to scare me! Very nice dude- he was another one that told me NOBODY came to his door- then unloaded candy on me! Thanks guy, not only for giving me candy but for being cool and for thinking about Halloween. The VERY VERY WORST thing i hate in the world on Halloween is- hypocrisy. This will be the house that has multiple jack-o-lantern, Spiders, lights, ghosts etc and absolutely NO MOTHER FUCKING CANDY. You fake hypocritical lying bastards! So many off those every year! Two houses this year had the classic "bowl of candy" offering in front of the door, this is always a blessing. One house had a table and a bag on it- it was sort of dar and hard to see so i reached into the bag to see what goods we got... It was miracle grow... THOSE BASTARDS! BUT I was SO tempted on taking it because i really do need miracle grow for my plants- however i decided against it because i didn't want dirt all over my candy.
At one point in the night i wanted to make better timing so while i walked past a connection area with no houses- i ran with my humungous sack in hand. After that weighted sprint, I began to sweating profusely which in turn made my razor thin cloak stick to my body. I picture people rationalizing my tall height as some sort of 13 year old that shot upward over the summer- but he would have an awkward perhaps boney body type of a juvenile who hasn't filled in yet- instead the sweat forced the thin robe to my body in combination with the muscles in my arms beginning to bulge and vein because of the weight from hauling my heavy candy sack around created an extra bizarre sight. Picture this; a 6'1" tall grim reaper is standing at your door with a large sack of candy and his swollen, hairy, veiny arms and hands gripped to the bag- there is a good chance this is no pubescent 13 year old... What i love the most is people will automatically open the door thinking there is a small group of children and instead you get me. ME lol. They cant NOT give you candy. One lady automatically leered downward when she opened the door and staring RIGHT in her face was my own and you can tell she near soiled herself. "You have a scarey mask!!" is a great compliment; not only to my same choice of mask ive worn 15 consecutive Halloweens but also to the fundamental spirit that HALLOWEEN IS supposed to be SCAREY! Many people laugh and compliment me, im not sure because they love seeing a good costume or maybe its because they know I'm humungous? A SMALL underhanded comment i got this year made me think. Perhaps i am being paranoid, but this one guy mentioned while giving me candy "here you go sir". I said to myself "Sir??? is he joking?? could he know?". I always find it funny when a kid younger than me answers the door and gives me candy, it always makes me laugh at how confused and scared they are. One kid dressed like a skeleton and being i was a large skeleton myself i told him what an awesome mask he had on- and then he said- "thats nuthin- check out my face!" taking off his mask and showing off his gruesome make up. Awesome- this was my hope for the future of Halloween.
I try to avoid confrontation at all costs; keep it short and to the point. I hit houses that has their lights on, if I'm in a hurry I'll wait 10 seconds and move on. Sometimes its bad when you can see them watching television and you know they are ignoring you. A few houses have a single step that you make to enter the entrance door, those are great because I stand directly behind the step to decrease my height by an entire foot- this aids in the illusion that perhaps a 6 foot tall respectable man ISN'T at your door and that children are getting larger or having a bizarre pituitary disorder (despite the fact that ive gone there every year since 1996 in the same costume- i have still never been confronted!). A pillow-sack is a perfect choice because not only is it traditional- but its size always fools the eye by thinking its never that full when the candy travels all the way to the bottom. It also doesn't appear very full- it just swells the bottom- it isnt until you see it lifted upward you realize how massive the booty is getting.
It takes me EXACTLY one hour to hit up every single house in my old neighborhood. When i finish, i pull my hood back but keep my mask on and sling my swollen pillow sack full of candy over my shoulder and begin my victory walk back to the car. I had the pleasure of seeing 2 teenagers (a boy and a girl) walk down the EMPTY neighborhood while taking my victory walk. As we strided closer it was obvious we observed each other's presence- mine especially. About 15 feet before crossing, one of them said nervously "uh Happy Halloween" . I remained absolutely silent which was incredibly awkward until we crossed paths and then immediately TURNED AND LUNGED FORWARD and went "HAAAAAAAAAAA!PPY Halloween!". They shrieked and started laughing right afterword repeating how much I scared the hell out of them. That was the greatest point in the night for me; i got to do what you're supposed to do on Halloween.
In the beginning i always say to myself laughing and cringing behind my mask "oh my god i cant believe im out here again, this is hilarious as it is humiliating...." but then you remember how fun it is and you get this unloading of candy into your sack.... I realize if i didn't do this nobody would. I have a responsibility, not only to my ritual but to my old neighborhood. As i reached the end of my victory walk- I could picture someones face while sitting quietly on their patio, spotting the last trick or treater of the night... walk up to a car, get inside and drive away.
and now what you been waiting for- the fruit of my psychotic labor: