Trick Or Treating
I quickly stashed the bag of treats I had gleaned from my early evening hour of trick-or-treating along the hallowed streets of the neighborhood. Unlike the wee ghosts, goblins, and ghouls who now drooled over their goodie piles in the light of their family living rooms, my friends and I were unsatisfied with half of a Halloween. We wanted the tricks as well as the treats of the night.
In reality, we wanted to be the tricksters and it mattered not to us that the homeowners we picked to trick had been generous with us earlier that eve. We carried their street names and house numbers in our heads and the tools for our mischievous shenanigans wrapped in our hobo kerchieves.
Elm Street, 113, we toilet-papered the trees; Oak Avenue, 205, the black cat barely made it off the porch alive as we tossed week-old eggs her way; and, at 406 Pine Place, we smashed each jack-o-lantern face to smithereens our amusement to glean. We left no flowerpot unturned and flipped all hanging baskets upside-down.
We were practicing pranksters, juvenile delinquents acting as if we were in training to join the ranks of gangsters, and we lurched from street to street in search of house after house to douse with our pranks. Hell-bent on torment we targeted the elderly, specifically little old ladies that we knew lived alone and would need aid in straightening up the messes we’d made. We moved all their furniture off their front porches and hid it down the street in the bushes.
Yes. We had the nerve to go back the next day to volunteer — for a fee — to come to their aid, undoing the deeds we had done.
These shenanigans stuck with me in my head and heart long after my hooligan days were a thing of the past. To this day I do not decorate the front of my home for Halloween. It’s as though I live in fear of the night of the year when the unhallowed hoodlums would be at my door to taunt and to haunt me as I had done to others on a past Halloween.
Do unto others … Trick or treat?