Monday, November 2, 2009

That house looks promising

5:38PM, Saturday, October 31.
"Dad, can we leave now?"
"Not yet, Lauryn. It's still too light outside. In fact, here's the new rule for when to leave: If you still see the mailman driving around, it's too early."
I'm sure we all remember that feeling, that wired, ready-to-jump-out-of-your-skin excitement as you wait endlessly for your stodgy old dad to give the go-ahead.
This Halloween was no different. Lauryn and I have a tradition of trick-or-treating with some friends in their neighborhood. Our gang consists of a four-year-old boy, a nine-year-old boy, their dad, Lauryn and me.
We arrived at our friends' house fully prepared for the night. Since Lauryn's persona for the evening was that of a zombie princess, and since I've earned my makeup credentials painting faces at school carnivals, and since I drew the faces of every member of KISS  on every Pee-Chee I owned between 1975 and 1978, I felt fully qualified to be the hair and makeup boy for this character. After a quickly-applied white base, I painted on some Gene Simmons-inspired, black, spiky eyes and black lipstick. After slipping on a Gothic, scarlet gown, she looked like a groupie trying to decide between Stevie Nicks and Alice Cooper.
While waiting for dusk to fall, the other dad and I killed time with a couple of adult beverages until finally, the moment had arrived.
We methodically traversed each street, never backtracking, never sacrificing efficiency during these prime, golden hours. The four-year-old boy didn't, however, concern himself with energy conservation. He only ran or jogged. He sprinted past houses and back to them, up stairs and back down and back up. If I had that kind of stamina, I'd more closely resemble Iggy Pop than that singer in Blues Traveler.
Lauryn made a note of every living room at which she peered as the backdrop to each candy distributor.
"Dad, that house smells like old soup."
"Dad, her house was really messy."
"Dad, that guy was kind of creepy and his house smelled like hot dog water."
Living in West Seattle, there's always the chance that the kids will get something else in lieu of candy, like some salted wood chips, or a donation toward a spa visit for a needy Seattle dog. But in the end, they made a great haul. And if you ever get a chance, try the new Hershey's Pumpkin Pie Kiss—fantastic.

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