Holding Forth

Published on October 30th, 2013 | by Richard Black


Halloween and Doing the Same thing I Do the Other 364 Days of the Year.

UF_BoyCrying_022416For some reason everyone this year wants to know what I’m up to for Halloween. This, for the record, is a sum total of four people so it’s not a huge number but it’s enough to give me pause. My plans for Hallows Eve are the same as they would be for any other night; staying up past 1:00 in the morning dressed as Frank N. Furter from the Rocky Horror Picture Show as I drink too much and scare the neighborhood children.

I kid of course. I really don’t stay up past midnight and I rarely dress up in drag these days.

As a child I was never that into Halloween. Part of it may have to do with the fact that I grew up in a rural area and there were only a handful of homes within a five mile radius. It’s hard to get worked up for a holiday when the only payoff for a two mile hike to the nearest geriatric neighbor is a box of raisins produced during the Carter administration and a withered apple on a stick.

The neighborhood I live in these days does it up for Halloween which is nice. Almost every house is lit up with orange lights. Inflatable ghosts and pumpkins dot the yards of at least two or three homes on every block. The parents who aren’t shepherding their little ones around for high fructose corn syrup seem legitimately pleased to see hordes of children at their door.

I don’t much care for unexpected guests but there is something cute about seeing babies shoved into penguin costumes and toddlers dressed as bats that stirs the cockles of my heart. Let’s face it, even the ugliest child is fucking adorable in any costume. If they asked for one of my fingers instead of candy I’d probably fork one over. It’s the little shits that come afterward and around nine at night that brings out the crabby 90 year old man in me.

Around eight or so the older kids show up and in all fairness most of them are all right. Where I’m from the kids are required to tell a joke for a treat. Most of them are pretty lame and my face hurts from insincere smiles by the end of the evening but at least the kids make an effort. I shell out candy to all of them but I would give the entire bowl of tooth rot to any kid who began with “so a Wop, a Jew and a Lawyer walk into a bar…”

Of course a few of them don’t even try. I still give them candy, telling them each to “just take two” knowing that they’ll grab a massive handful and run off down the walk to their next suspecting victim. I’m irritated of course but I refrain from chasing these kids down the street and making a scene.

The little bastards I want to take over my knee are the tweens and teens who raid the candy bowl when I’m off taking my daughter for a stroll around the block.

Last year, as my wife and I took our daughter for a quick run through the neighborhood, we set out a giant bowl of treats with instructions. “Take two or three but save some for the rest of the kids”. Before I was even out of my yard we were mauled. One kid who needed a shave at the age of nine instructed the others to raid the bowl.

“When you get to a house like this you just take as much of that shit as you can carry.”

It could have been the three beers I had in lieu of dinner or the four hours of sleep I’d had in two days but my gauges redlined, much to the horror of my wife.

“This is my house and I’m home,” I said to the ringleader who looked like he’s swallowed a grapefruit that got caught in his neck. “We live in a society with rules…” I began and then continued on a fifteen minute rant about societal norms that wound up with the fall of Rome. Upon the conclusion of my diatribe I made the kid give back all of the candy he’d taken and dump every last bit of his haul into the bowl for good measure.

I like to think that the youth gained something from the experience and not just how to cry. With hope this experience will teach that young man the importance of abiding by the the social contract instead of fodder for a career in psychopathy.

This year I wanted to head things off at the pass. Instead of candy I wanted to hand out poems. My wife didn’t agree and quarantined me to the living room which suits me just fine.

It’s a shame though. I had so many great poems to give these kids. In addition to “Song of Solomon” or Allen Ginsberg’s “Ode to My Sphincter” I came up with a few little gems of my own. Here’s a sample.

Roses are Red, Violets are Blue.

Your mother’s a tranny, and you were adopted.

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