It’s Halloween kiddies. That creepy magical night when it’s socially acceptable to hide yourself beneath a costume and stroll the streets begging for candy from strangers. We can’t feed the homeless children shivering in the alley around the corner but we’ll give away a mini kitkat to anyone who screams “trick or treat” at our front door. We really are an odd people, aren’t we?
When I was young, trick or treating was a mixed blessing. These were the days when my brothers were far too young to be thrown in prison which meant that they were roaming the streets like wild dogs. Wild dogs with scissors. They would corner random children that didn’t have the benefit of a parental chaperon and hold them in a friendly headlock while cutting open the bottom of their pillowcase and emptying it into their own. (Yeah, we used pillowcases. we were a greedy optimistic bunch. I would get home well before them and immediately dump the contents of my sack on my bed and do an initial good/crap sorting of my loot. The crap pile was anything homemade and wrapped in saran. Second to those would be the tightly wrapped tiny rolls of pez like candies. I think they were called “rockets”. I hated those. Everything else would be shoved in a bag and hidden in the secret room built into the top of my closet. My mom had a carpenter build it- it was just a sheet of braced plywood with a hole cut in it just big enough for me to shimmy through. I had enough space to sit with my legs crossed and read or write by candle light. it was also big enough to hide my bag of “best” candy. My brothers would return with their pilfered goods and come to my room to add my candy to theirs. I would intentionally leave a few choice pieces so as to not raise suspicion. They would have a bag full of rockets and hard candy and other crap and I would sit in my closet hide-a-way and eat miniature chocolate bars and rasinettes.
I was a sly child.
I don’t think that Halloween is quite as innocent as it was when I was young. Costumes are purchased at stores rather than created. Being that we were poor, mine were most often a hobo, a hooker, or a punk because they were cheap & easy to make.
After returning to Vancouver from wherever the hell I was that time, I crashed on a friends couch for a short while. It was in the west end which equates to Halloween mecca. We had a small party, stocked the house with booze and candy and were completely overwhelmed by the nearly endless parade of kids that screamed for free shit at our front door. We ran out well before the stream of them did and started giving away cash. When that ran out, we just grabbed random shit from the apartment. I’m pretty sure that the kid that got my well worn copy of Dostoevsky’s “Notes from the Underground” was pretty pissed.
Happy Halloween crazy people.