Click the link below for this specific internet radio music stream available only on Saturdays. Join us every Saturday 7PM to 10PM East Coast Time / 4PM to 7PM West Coast Time as we let our hair hang down in
  • The Time Machine Radio Chat Room
  • . Live every Saturday.

    Nushu's Lisa Mychols and Tom Richards from The Waking Hours welcome you to The Time Machine

    Tuesday, October 31, 2006

    A Halloween Scare

    DJ Myke gets nostalgic on this Halloween.

    Halloween is about the most fool proof holiday we can experience. Short of running out of candy for trick-or-treaters or having a sick child that cannot go out for the festivities, there is little that can go wrong. When Carter was big enough to get out and ramble, I was right there with him. Usually his friends from the neighborhood would get in the mix, but few could hang with him for the full evening.

    The year he was thirteen, his little sister, Carrie, was nine. This was to be the year that she was going out with her big brother. It was a week night, and we were just before planning our rounds when Carter came and asked if it would be okay if he went with his best friend from school, instead of going with us. My first inclination was to insist that he go with his sister, but, in all fairness, he was old enough to move up the ladder, and the overriding thought with me was that if I did not let him run with the pack, it surely would lead to embarassing moments for him. Reluctantly, I told him to do whichever he wanted. Within moments, he was gone. Crisis averted...

    The obvious solution was to get Carrie hooked up with some of her friends as quickly as possible. She, however, would have no part in it. She insisted on going with me. ( This was not working out ... ) I was now confronted with a nine year old Barbie / Ballerina, that had been scorned and pushed aside. ( I did not see this coming ... ) Reluctantly, I told her we would do whatever she wanted. As I followed her out the door, I looked at Trudy and Caitlan, the baby, and said, "We'll be back in a short while." Trudy had somewhat of a scowl, but I swear that three year old was laughing at me.

    Now, this is the same neighborhood six blocks over from where I grew up, so those of you keeping up know that we lived in a very congested suburb. We could start in any direction, make a circle, and be back in no time at all. Carrie said, "Let's start at Uncle Gary's house." That was seven blocks away. We got there right at dusk, and the trick-or-treating commenced. She looked me dead in the eyes, and said asked for the "signals." This was a result of a system Carter had initiated on past Halloween nights - I was to stand back on the sidewalks or in the road and motion if the "next" house was a participant in the festivities. This cut back on time, and distance. We went over the system, and about twenty minutes later, she came up to me, and handed me her plastic pumpkin - full of candy. I was grinning like a mouse. This had worked to perfection. Then she reached into the Barbie suit and pulled out several plastic grocery bags. She said, "You'll need these." Then she told me to open one up, and proceeded to dump her pumpkin's allotment into said bag. Sternly, she said, "Let's go." And we did go ... repeating this transfer of booty several times.

    How many times did I hear, "Oh, look ... poor child is by herself." And, "Here, have another handful." But, mostly, I did not hear the conversations ...just acknowleged waves and greetings from folks on front porches. And, I got a few sad, understanding "looks." I eventually asked her what she was telling these people to evoke such sympathy, but she would not divulge her secrets.

    Finally, the front porch lights were all turned off and we headed back to the fort. As we were hustling back, we passed a house with lights on in the back yard, and a lot of loud adults. It was a party. I looked at her and shook my head, but it was too late. As she turned to walk away from me, she said, "I'm going in." She actually filled the plastic pumkin one more time, and came back, and said it was now time to go home. Thirty minutes later we were back at the house. I was too worn out to take another step.

    As she walked past Trudy, she went to the kitchen table, and asked me to put the plastic bags on it for her. Trudy asked if she had had a fun night, and I had to admit that I did not think so. She never complained, but she never smiled, either.

    A few minutes later, Carter came in, and either he had a great evening, or he was on a "sugar high." As he was expounding over his exploits, Carrie came into the living room, and coldly asked, "What did you get?" He did not miss a step, as he presented his container and gently poured in onto the living room carpet, a family tradition. It seems that during his evening, he had participated in activities other than standard trick-or-treating, as his pile was just not that substantial. However, he seemed quite satisfied. She left the room, and returned ... with a different container ... it was a paper grocery sack ... one of those brown ones that stood about twenty inches tall ... and I could see that it was over three quarters full !

    Well, his jaw dropped. I looked at Trudy, and she looked at me, and the realization that the competitive balance was just before being overturned in our little world , and life as we had known it would be no more ...

    She could barely reach around this sack, but she managed to struggle to the center of the room, and turned that bag over, and even though I had carried the majority of those treats, I had no idea, at the magnitude of the prize. When the gumballs and jawbreakers and whatever else finally came to a still, she looked right at him ... and for the first time that evening smiled ... and she said. "Look what we have." We all took a cumualtive deep breath and Trudy and I looked at each other and did not know whether to laugh or cry, so we did neither ... we just understood. Crisis averted.

    I was just a bit overcome, not really proper for a Dad, so I just quietly backed out of the room, as they were now choosing favorites on that living room floor, and swapping tales of the evening, and just as I was steppng into the hallway, I looked over in the corner, and there was baby Caitlan, looking back at me ... and smiling ... that same smile as when we were walking out the door earlier. How could she have known?

    Posted by DJ Myke

    Feel free to visit DJ Myke at MySpace and subscribe to his blog.


    Post a Comment

    << Home