Friday, October 26, 2012

Happy Halloween

It feels like fall in Southern California. The Santa Anas are blowing making the palm fronds rub together in what sounds like a banchee cry. Perfect for Halloween. Pumpkin is the flavor du jour. In case you haven’t noticed it is like everything is coming up pumpkin. At Trader Joe’s alone there is pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin spice tea, pumpkin chai mix, pumpkin soup, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkins macroons, pumpkin ale, pumpkin pancake mix, pumpkin bread mix, and pumpkin bread. I have almost have enough candy. Maybe one more of the giant bags from Costco and we won’t run out at 8:30 like we did last year. Who would have guessed that by then we would have had 600 trick or treaters?

This year I’m taking no chances. I’m going to get one extra bag that has 150 mini candy bars. We practically have to go into endurance training to get through the night. I figure it takes three of us. There’s the main door handler, though the trick or treaters are so constant, there is no chance to close it. So, the door handler’s job is strictly handing out the candy. Then there’s the refiller, who keeps a backup bowl always ready and makes the fast exchange as the door bowl gets close to empty. The door person and the refiller usually switch jobs during the evening. The third person is there to step in when either of the other two need a bathroom break or a few minutes to sit down.

The two cats spend the evening lounging in a bedroom with the door shut to make sure they don’t decide to check out the crowd. Goldy has never shown any interest in the trick or treaters or anyone else who comes to the door. There’s no need for a closed door for her. She makes her own choice to stay holed up on the other side of the house.

The numbers of trick or treaters has slowly been increasing over the years, but what really pushed it over the top was when a neighbor down the street started decorating their front yard. I’ve never seen exactly what they do, because I’m always too busy with the candy, but it seems to take days to set it up and days to take it down and there’s a lot rental stuff involved. Either some TV station talks it up or maybe it’s on Facebook, but it draws people to our street like a magnet. It helps that we are on a two block stretch of flat streets at the base of the hills.

It gets so busy, you can’t see across the street for all the people walking in it. Gradually it thins until there are just teenagers with pillow cases and costumes they’ll tell me are “ the kid that sits next to me in math.” In other words, no costume. And then it’s done for another year. The cats come out and sniff at the door. Goldy goes for a late night walk. And I toss out the pile of empty candy bags.


Planner said...

If your creative neighbors take off for a family vacation in Hawaii this Halloween instead of decorating their house, you'll have to rent a storage shed for the leftover candy!

I can't even imagine the sea of trick-or-treaters. You must know all the most popular costumes--assuming you have time to look at them!

Happy Halloween!

Betty Hechtman said...

Planner, no chance my neighbors are going away. I went past their house and they have already started bring stuff out. I noticed a gold and white casket. This year I'm going down there to see what's going on.

Linda O. Johnston said...

I definitely live in a different L.A. neighborhood from you, Betty. I bought a little candy this year just in case, but we almost never get any trick-or-treaters.

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda, for years we lived on a street with no trick or treators. What a change. They come by the van full. We went from 200 for years, then 400, then 600 last year before I ran out of candy. My son thinks it's all word of mouth and there will be more this year. I'm going to Costco for another bag of candy just in case.

Planner said...

You'll have to mortgage your house to pay for all that candy!

I bet that creative neighbor is a dentist! (I'd like to know what's going on over there, too. Maybe you can take pictures.)

Betty Hechtman said...

Planner, Good idea about the pictures. I'll take my phone.