i ain't no dave barry

i love halloween. it is quite possibly my favorite holiday because it gives a person the chance to be someone/thing they aren’t for the day. it’s also the culmination of my favorite season. oh, and there’s the whole mysterious druid background. i like that too.

growing up in the country was difficult for halloween. there was the year i was 5; i was raggedy ann and my cousin took me to the mall (which was the motherload of candy handouts), but other than that year, candy pickings were rather sparse. there were people across the street and down the road, but nothing like urban neighborhoods.

so every year there would be pumpkin carving, and you can tell a wallace pumpkin carving from a mile away. my dad pulled out the huge, blackened knife that he used for slicing meat to do the carving of the pumpkin meat. first the hole in the top, with one awkward side to make sure it stayed put, then pulled out the innards. after all the stringy, goopy insides were safely in an ice cream bucket, face carving commenced. triangles for eyes, a triangle for a nose, and the toothy grin with 2 teeth on the top and 3 on the bottom. classic.

the pumpkins went down on the fenceposts at the end of our long driveway to let the 5 trick-or-treaters who came to our house know that we were, in fact, handing out candy and to make the long trek to the top.

after supper, we donned our costumes and set out, parentless, to the surrounding houses. there were always the petersons, the other petersons, the rushes (?), and a lot of other people. some neighbors invited us into their homes and gave us whole sacks of candy because there were only 10 kids or so who would trick or treat.

we trudged home in our costumes with our bounty, trick-or-treated one last time at our house to see if mom recognized us, and dumped out the candy and traded.

but the best was yet to come.

dad pulled out his dusty donald duck comicbook collection from the back corner of the hutch. the box was old, it smelled of must, but the comicbooks in there i’m sure are today worth thousands.

and he always pulled out the halloween special comic about donald, his nephews, and how they tricked witch hazel (yes, she was a witch and her name was hazel) and her crafty broom into leaving their candy alone. disney also made a cartoon of this comic, and it had a catchy little tune – trick-or-treat…trick-or-treat…trick-or-treat for halloween – which they always showedon tv on halloween along with the legend of ichabob crane and the scary night on bald mountain from fantasia (is it just me, or are there less and less holiday cartoons on these days?).

but halloween was not complete without the donald duck comic, read craftily by our dad, which was then carefully placed back in the box to be kept there until the next halloween, after pumpkin carving and trick-or-treating, when we would once again sing: trick-or-treat…trick-or-treat…trick-or-treat for halloween!