The Hood,  Tis the Season

Boo Humbug

Boo Humbug!

Halloween sucked. No trick-o-treaters, no dirty martini’s. I’m just a big fat crabby pregnant lady who goes to bed at 8pm.

Toby and I live down a dark scary alley at the end of a peaceful street. We live at the end of our nice peaceful street where it is connected to a big scary highway and the backs of restaurants and Persian rug stores where rats play tag along the roof lines. I think parents look down the block and say, “Not that way kids, that’s where the Boogie Man and gangsters live…” and then they herd their precious ones back towards the soft glowing lights of suburbia.

If you walked a block the other way (away from our house and the highway) you’d end up in happy-kid-city! Every house is decorated, the side walks are lit with jack-o-lanterns and strings of orange pumpkin lights. Retired grandparents rock on their porches drinking hot totties or cocoa or something. Families have outdoor dinner parties on their imported teak picnic tables, lit by tea light decorated pottery barn beach umbrellas. It really is the American-dream-come-true neighborhood right out of Sunset magazine, white picket fences included. We’re just lucky to live on the fringes.

However, fringe people don’t get trick-or-treaters. Through the years (after that first year where we turned off all the lights and pretended not to be home) Toby and I have tried all kinds of enticement to get kids to come down our alley for candy. One year we even stuck one of our cheap IKEA paper globe lamps out the window from the end of a broom and hung a white sheet over it with strategically placed black pieces of construction paper so it would look like giant glowing ghost was flying magically over our alley. We’ve tried music, we’ve tried signs, we’ve even tried placing pumpkins all the way down to the bottom of our stairs. None of it resulted in anything other than our pumpkins getting smashed to bits sometime after midnight. Nobody comes down our alley. Just us and the crickets and the rats running along the roof tops.

This year, I decided I would go to Whoorl’s house! She lives in our neighborhood AND she doesn’t live on the fringes. In fact, she lives between an elementary school and five blocks of “glowing suburbia”. She lives on “pregnancy row” as she calls it. It’s just one house after the other with kids. It was going to be great. Whoorl bought an embarrassingly large amount of candy and I went over at 4:30 pm with my pumpkin carving gloves on and high hopes of all the stories I’d tell Toby when I came home exhausted from handing out handfuls of candy to the hoards of cute little costumed kids. It was going to be great. Did I say that already?

I helped Whoorl cut her pumpkins and we set them up in a charming group on the steps of her very inviting porch. The sun sank and we waited inside gleefully munching on mini nutrageous bars. Whoorl turned on the football game and I tried to pretend I wasn’t the biggest pregnant klutz in the whole world who just spilled 87 drips of water on her perfectly perfect couch. The minutes ticked by quietly. We talked about the weather and how fat I’m supposedly not getting and still no kids. Finally, we decided to go outside and sit on the steps. Maybe we could will the kids to come to us with our cute smiles and friendly demeanor. Still no kids. We sat on her steps until my butt got sore (which is what, like two minutes now in my pregnant state?) Still no kids.

I think the whole night maybe six kids came by. What a bust. Around 6:55 pm I decided maybe I better go home and cook dinner or wash my hair or something. Whatever I was going to do, I better take my bad trick-or-treater mojo with me or Whoorl was going to be stuck eating stale Halloween candy until next year.

I’m sure they all showed up the minute I left.