Today is Halloween. As a kid it was one of the most eagerly awaited days of the year, a chance to dress up and become someone, or something else, a time to be out in the neighborhood after dark, excitedly walking from house to house. An opportunity to try to scare and puzzle the neighbors, when they opened their door were given the choice: give a “Treat” or expect a “Trick”. My neighborhood buddies and I always talked about soaping the windows of people we didn’t like, but we never did; we were always too busy going from house to house trying maximize the amount of candy that was filling up our bags.
Even as an adult, Halloween was a memorable time. In McBride, someone in our circle of friends would always put on a costume party. I was constantly amazed at the remarkable and imaginative costumes people came up with, considering how limited the little village was for costume making resources.
One Halloween I will always remember occurred half a year after a couple moved into our neighborhood from Belgium. (That’s you, Ingeborg and Wim). Having grown up in Europe, they were not familiar with the North American traditions of Halloween, all the visiting children, and the “Trick or Treat” business. It was fun to explain to them all about what would happen. They listened and were prepared on the big night.
When Halloween arrived, Joan and I hung around our house giving out candy to the few kids that came around. Around 9:00 PM we figured we would get no more trick or treaters, so we decided to dress up and do our own “trick or treating” down at Wim and Ingeborg”s. I don’t remember what costumes we had, but we were wearing masks, so we couldn’t be identified.
We drove down to our neighbor’s place, parking the car our of sight from their windows, and walked up to their door. I suddenly had a thought, and decided to kneel down in front of the door, so that I would appear to be a child.
We knocked on the door and it opened and Wim and Ingeborg looked down on me. In high voices we said, “Trick or Treat” and I thrust my bag out in front of me. Ingeborg was suddenly shocked and taken aback, when she saw that the little kid holding the bag had giant enormous hands. It was great fun to rip off our masks and enjoy the unexpected joke.
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