Monday, November 04, 2013

To the last trick or treater of the night

To the last Trick or Treater of the Night,

When our door buzzed, at 8PM, I was not surprised – I was even somewhat relieved: we had only a few candy bars left, and I was happy to be rid of them. My daughters were already in the bath – far less tired than I, the one who had ran the darkened street chasing a ghost through crowds of monsters and miniature, Iron Men, all with a fairy princess on my back, whipping me with her ladybug scepter.
But I plodded to the door, the phantom and fairy in their bath chattering at their mother. I open the door, candies in hand… but the “Happy Hallowe’en” died on my lips. For that, I apologize.

You were young, if one defines “young” as “born sometime during the Reagan administration.” You opened you candy-sack with a facsimile of an embarrassed smile. It is not clear if yourself were in costume: you were wearing nice loafers, slacks, and a conservative looking wool coat, above the collar of which peaked what looked to be an amateurish neck tattoo. Last Trick or Treater of the Night, were you a neck-tattoo guy dressed as a banker? Or a banker dressed as a neck tattoo guy?

No matter, on the sidewalk below was a baby carriage, in which I assume – but am not sure – was a baby, who I will do you the credit of assuming – but again do not know – was in some kind of costume other than “sleeping baby wrapped in blankets.”

Please understand, Last Trick or Treater of the Night, back in the mists of time, I too was a new father, so eager that my child should enjoy all of her “firsts” that I was heedless of whether or not she understood or would even remember why there was suddenly a tree in the house, or a flaming cake in front of her.

But lets be honest: your child does not have teeth. Unless you were planning on using your blender to make a Snickers-slurry and spoon-feeding it to him/her, there is no way you were “trick or treating” on his or her behalf. Again: as far as I could tell, your child was not even awake, so it’s not like they were experiencing the wonder of the wandering grotesqueries around her.

In any case, I do not mind that you are probably old enough to remember an age in which Dave Grohl was a drummer and Billy Ray Cyrus only needed to be ashamed of his own career. I do not mind that you may well have tucked a Cabbage Patch Kid (which you are also old enough to remember) into a baby carriage in order to score candies from the neighbours.

But next time, bro, say “Trick or Treat,” ok? It was the least you could do.


Your neighbour.