In Other News
Note to greedy kids: Trick or treating at the mall is the way to do it.
I have a dim recollection of making this same observation last year, but I'm going to do it again anyway. I grew up in rural areas, where each house was surrounded by at least five acres of property. That meant quite a hike between houses, which tends to cut down on the take. Even if we started early, which we usually did, you really couldn't hit that many houses before quitting time because they were just too far apart. But this mall business... Man, lemme tell ya, it's a gold mine!
Figure a conservative 50 stores in the mall. You go around once, you've gotten 50 pieces of candy, minimum. And it's a Hemingwayesque clean, well lighted place, it's on level ground, each door is only steps from the next. It's built for speed. This is efficient trick or treating at its finest! You can make the entire circuit in just 20 minutes! And the place is so crowded that you can probably get away with going around again, and maybe even a third time before they start to get wise. If you play your cards right you could rake in a good 150 pieces, easy.
You youngsters nowadays have it too easy. Why, when I was a kid we trick or treated in the snow, we walked uphill both ways, we didn't have these newfangled malls...
Saturday - October 31, 1998
Halloween, of course. Just as we did last year, we took Zoe to the mall to do her trick or treating. Last year she was a mouse, this year she was a cat. Maybe a dog next year?
She was too young to know what was going on last year; all she knew was there were a lot of scary monsters looming over her and Mom and Dad kept making her accept candy from strangers. She was a little more on top of it this time around, but still a bit hesitant. But, trouper that she is, she carried on and started to get the hang of it towards the end. You could still hardly hear her "Trick or treat" and she usually forgot the equally inaudible "Thank you," but she was all over sticking that bag out for candy. She even cut to the front of the line at a few stores, and don't think she was happy when we took her candy away for later.
But it was when we got home that she really began to shine, back home where the tricksters came to us. Each time the doorbell rang I'd have her help me deal out the candy. I'd open the door and she'd hang back a second, a little scared at whatever costumes were there, then she'd smile and come forward. After a few of those she was raring to go, racing for the door when the doorbell rang. I'd hold the tray of candy and she put it in the kids' bags, never looking down at the bags once, staring instead at their masks and makeup. She was so taken with one kid's costume -- a vampire, I think -- that she dropped piece after piece of candy for him...all on the floor, since she wasn't looking at his bag.
We had a few more tricksters after we put her to bed at 8:00, and she was extremely upset that she wasn't allowed to get out of bed to serve them. "I want to help you, Daddy! Please!!!" I finally had to blow out the jack-o-lanterns and turn off the porch light to stop the visitors so we could get her to sleep.