This is about young children trick 'r treating. It is not about those godawful things that we did as teenagers back in Clarks Grove. It would take too much time to write it all down and even if the statute of limitations has long run out, some of our victims are probably still alive, lurking in their retirement homes - still pissed and still capable of nasty senior revenge. (I just reread this and it struck me that at the age of 70 I have outlived virtually all the adults of my childhood. I am a decade or so from being the last link in the chain. I won.)
Halloween isn't what it used to be here in Oakwood. There are no roaming bands of teenagers bent on destruction and because of the bogus poison candy scares of years ago, the number of young children making the trick 'r treating rounds has fallen off drastically. Oakwood is a round peninsula, a picnic/play park in the middle with 42 homes laid out on two ring streets - only one road in. Because it is so contained it is (or was) a trick 'r treat destination for rural parents whose young children didn't have many Halloween options. I believe the local mall has a Halloween party for the young children and the kids who do show up here are usually escorted by a parent. This makes me a little sad; part of the fun of Halloween when I was a kid was being out after dark AWAY from adults.
Years ago when there really were large numbers of the little goblins about, some adults did their part to scare the bejeezus out of the kids and make them earn their candy. One year I could hear the goblins up the street screaming in fun terror - first one group, then another. I walked over to see what was causing so much yelling. At Rasmussen's three young girls were standing at the end of the sidewalk refusing to approach Jesse standing on the stoop with candy in her outstretched hand, "Come get your candy, I promise the scarecrow won't hurt you." They steadfastly refused and she eventually took the candy out to them. The scarecrow in question was Ras in costume. When the little nippers, peering through misfitted mask eyeholes, would stumble up to the door to get their treats, "Trick Or Treat!" waiting for the door to open. But Ras would let out a yelp and grab them by their little goblin ankles. A bit unnerving for certain.
Ras got settled back into his scarecrow pose on the steps when a car pulled up and released two or three kids to make the rounds. The driver was just killing time, walking around, leaning on his car. After a while he asked Jesse if he could take a look at her terrific scarecrow. As he leaned over to get a better look, Ras grabbed him by the shoulders and let out a yell. The old boy leaped back onto the lawn yelling, "Wow! Boy! Jeez! Wow! Ya really got me." - jumping up and down, dancing in circles. Eventually he caught his breathe and stumbled back to his car to recover.
Ras said, "Did you notice, with all that yelling and dancing he never even took his hands out of his pockets."