and were putting skeletons into a blue car that asked,
"How do you know
your next Uber driver won't be a zombie?"
We prepared on Palmetto Avenue as well. Francesca put out our pumpkin,
I hung Mr. Bones,
and placed the palm tree from Hell next to the gate.
Our cat did her part adding a
dead mouse to the mix.
As twilight faded we took seats next to our candy table and waited.
Kids are rare on our two-block street. We were the only house of 28 celebrating the holiday. The rest were locked up and dark.
Finally, around 7:30, we saw our first customers, a mother pushed a wheelchair up Palmetto Hill (our street has a slight incline). Her son sat dressed in a hospital gown. The kid's legs must have been tucked inside the seat somehow. His lower legs were bloody stumps.
When I asked cheerfully, "What happened to you?" he replied, "Diabetes. Too much sugar. They had to amputate my feet".
I gave him an entire bag of Snickers hoping he would quickly go away.
Ten minutes later a couple stopped by with their young gothic princess. Francesca inquired, "And which Disney character are you?"
We we taken aback when the little girl began to speak. Her teeth were black,rotten stumps. With a heavy lisp she told us she was a future Tim Burton movie character that will strike terror into the heart of Big Sugar.
When we offered her candy she sneered, "Don't feed me that crap. There are perfect teeth behind my fake ones. I aim to keep them that way".
We gave her the apples we had been saving for ourselves.
As the angry princess left the Fat Family approached in stretch golf cart. The five of them began singing the holiday refrain, "Oh give us some figgy pudding!". They did it three times before adding, "but chocolate will do!".
Each wore placards that read things like, "Running up health costs like there's no tomorrow!", "Keeping doctors busy" and "Michelle Obama's worst nightmare". We poured all of our remaining Hershey's kisses into their bulging bags as they accelerated off.
We were ready to bail when we saw another group approaching. Three teenagers were pushing a young, unconscious man lying on a gurney. Assuming he was in a diabetic coma we yelled, "We're outta here!", jumped inside our locked gate, and ran.
Halloween is too scary for us now. Next year we're going to be like our neighbors. We will chain the gate, turn out the lights and watch TV in the back bedroom. If kids egg our house, fine, at least they'll be getting some exercise.
The scenario above is true or a least, somewhat true. I kept it real up to the part about the amputee .
Francesca and I miss the kids' holiday that was stolen by parents, big business and belief in urban mythology.
Still, we try to orchestrate our own simple version. We put out decorations then
fill a bowl with things that do not cause diabetes, obesity. or tooth decay. This year it was jack'o'lantern tangerines and sunflower seeds.
A dozen costumed kids came by. Most were nice enough but others, like the rude young Batman, looked at our offerings and asked,
"So where's the candy?" .
It was like talking to a pumpkin.