November 07, 2007
Halloween has gotten scary. I'm a firm believer in the supernatural but ghosts and evil spirits are nothing compared to a bunch of sugar-crazed kids. I admit it is cowardly but I lock up my house and turn off the lights and leave before it gets dark. I live in one of those neighborhoods on Halloween which get busloads of imports and during my first few years got eaten out of house and home, resorting to rationing out pieces of Dentyne when the candy ran out and I had no one to hold the fort while I ran to 7-Eleven.
A friend of mine in East Hampton Village gave up the ghost when her candy bill topped $300. One year I just put out a big bowl with a sign "Please take one." The second group of children let out a war cry and emptied the entire bowl. Is it the candy thing or the free thing which creates the frenzy? Would adults in costumes swarm the sidewalks of Main Street if each establishment was giving out little airplane-size bottles of tequila?
I spoke to one merchant in town whose store is not on Main Street and he was quietly enjoying the afternoon. "It's crazy out there," I said, "You're lucky you're off the beaten path." He laughed and we mused about these families' sanity in about four hours when the kids' sugar buzz would crash and what sort of medication might be available to the parents. On my way out he called, "Be sure to take a piece of candy."
People fall into one of two camps: the buying the kind of candy you don't like because you're afraid you'll eat all the leftovers or buying the kind of candy you do like because you're afraid you'll eat all the leftovers.
Well, at the end of the afternoon if it wasn't exactly healthy it was at least good clean fun. Not so once it turned dark. I was over at my friend's house in East Hampton in the woods. Not a big treating neighborhood but apparently a big tricking neighborhood. After a lovely ritual of banishing negativity and encouraging positive energy we were in a good mood and headed out to dinner. I was driving ahead of her and had the living daylights scared out of me when something hit my windshield and splattered everywhere. Oh my god, I thought, some kids just egged me. Who still does that? Don't they know eggs are expensive?
My friend who was driving behind me was not so lucky since she had her side window down, and the hooligans actually hit her right in the face, pretty much blinding her left eye. She managed to call me on her cell phone and we spent the rest of the night in Southampton Hospital. OK, actually that's not true. She did roll up her window at the last minute but the point of impact was one that if she hadn't she truly would have been hurt. When we both arrived at the restaurant we looked at each other with disbelief and said, "I just got egged!" then set out to see what repair we could do with a few facial tissues.
We both felt rather shocked and violated and wondered about these criminals with expensive weapons of mass destruction. Unless these are the children of auto painters where is the upside? When they grow up and have to make car payments they'll think twice about throwing something which will take the finish off your 4Runner faster than you can say boo.
It's really just about being mean. Well, to you eggers, there is a rule in Halloween that whatever you put out there comes back to you threefold so while the rest of the population will be inundated with sweets you will be covered with slimy muck, which others will hurl at you with disdain. Hmm, sounds like you might end up as politicians.
You can find more of my writing at HamptonsHeather.com or drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.