Strix the harbinger
guards the exit gate, quizzing all
Who will pass this night?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Ras and Halloween

I read about how Halloween is a big party time and how adults spend a bazillion dollars every year on costumes. Maybe, but out here in the backwaters, it's just for kids. I think I posted something like this a couple of years ago, but it's a pain to try to dredge it up, so I'll just recall it again.

There was a lot of squealing and yelling in Oakwood, coming from the vicinity of Rasmussen's house. Even though it was Halloween and there were clusters of little goblins, ghosts and ghouls moving about, it still seemed to be an unusual amount of activity and noise. Eventually curiosity got the better of  Lorna and she left me in charge of the Snicker Bar shake down for a while. After ten or fifteen minutes she came back and said, "Go over to Dean and Jesse's. You gotta see this." So I ambled over toward Rasmussen's. Along the I met a little group of neighborhood kids stumbling up the street, half blind by their ever shifting masks. "What's going on over there?" "It's really, really scary. There's a scarecrow. And he's alive!"  Huh?  When I arrived there were two kids standing at the end of the sidewalk in front of Rasmussen's. Jesse was beneath the porch light, standing over a scarecrow sprawled akimbo along with the jack-o'-lanterns on the steps. Beckoning them, "It's alright, you can come up. He won't hurt you. I promise." The kids shook her heads and mumbled a mask muffled "Trick or Treat". The word was out. No way were they going up on Rasmussen's steps. They were firmly planted on the safety of the curb. Eventually Jess gave in and brought the candy out to them.

Dean was dressed in the greatest padded scarecrow getup I've ever seen. He laid there, unmoving. The kids, assuming it was a dummy, would walk up and "Trick or Tre-eat!" the door. Jess would wait a while. Wait for Dean to grab an unsuspecting tricker by the ankles and yell 'Boo!'. Just scare the bejesus out of them. He said the best was an old man, waiting for a carload of his young goblins to make their rounds. He walked up to look the scarecrow over closer. It was chilly and the old guy had his hands in his pockets. Grandpa walked up and leaned over the dummy to get a better look. Whereupon Dean shouted and grabbed him by the shoulders. He said the old boy let out whoop and leaped back, jump dancing in circles. "Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh!"           Never took his hands out of his pockets.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Halloween was one of the few times during the year when my old man, a loveable but serious and somewhat tactiturn sort, would loosen up and have some fun..albeit at the expense of embarrasing the hell out of my sister and I. We lived in an old farmhouse up a long gravel driveway and had hedges all around the front of the house. My old man would lie await behind the hedges dressed in an old 20's-style collegiate racoon coat and a gorilla mask, whereupon he'd leap out and scare the neighborhood kids. Whaddaya gonna do? He wasn't doing it for us, or for the neighborhood kids...it was all for him. Like he always said; "You gotta make your own fun". Now I delight in ocaasionally embarrasing my own two teenagers...so I see where the old man was coming from.

Best,

Rick Moffat

Gunnar Berg said...

Halloween has changed. Growing up in a small town where everyone knew everyone (and any adult might discipline you)Halloween involved all the kids and young adults in town staying out late and running around in the dark. It was sad when a wave of paranoia swept through the land, and trick or treating became an adult accompanied activity. It was even sadder when I read that they started tracing back all the poison, pin, and razor blade stories and NONE of them were true.

Jonny Hamachi said...

My dad did the same thing on our front porch. Looking all stuffed and motionless.
My brother went out and stole like 15 pumpkins from the patch and we carved everyone of them and had them lit all over the roof and porch.
One group of youngsters came up and didn't trust the scarecrow at all and their mom's a bit behind them. The kids came up without taking their eyes off of him. Trick or Treated and got their candy. Once they got their candy they relaxed, and that's when my dad would come to life.
The kids screamed, the moms screamed, the baby started crying. They were not amused.

We were.

Gunnar Berg said...

As was I.

Johann Rissik said...

I laughed at that story until I had tears in my eyes. We're relatively new to this Halloween thing in South Africa, but now I will raise the stakes. Somewhat. Just hope I don't get shot.

Gunnar Berg said...

John,
As I think back, we could get away with things on Halloween that would have us seriously grounded any other time. On Halloween the old guys tended to remember better.

Gunnar Berg said...

"John"? A combination of Jonny and Johann?