Beau had great fun helping me greeting all the little ghosts and goblins last night. I was dressed as a witch, Manheim Steamroller's Halloween disk was on the CD player, and Beau was my canine familiar. He stayed right by my side the whole evening as I sat in the entryway waiting for the kids. He's predominantly white in color, so the children probably thought he was a haunted hound dog. They were pretty spooked by our Halloween display, anyway. Our house has always been one of those houses like the one you remember from your childhood where you were afraid to go on Halloween. It was the house on the block that looked different, and spookier, than all the other houses on the block. If a middle-aged woman came to the door in a witch costume, that was the last time you never darkened Witch Hazel's doorstep again for fear you'd be baked in her oven. I think that's how the Salem witch trials started, wasn't it?
Beau was really into the whole Halloween scene this year, just like our first basset, Butterscotch used to be. She always greeted the kids at the door when they came knocking for treats. Kids don't say "Trick or Treat" any more but "Happy Halloween." I guess it's not considered appropriate to threaten mischief to residents if treats are not forthcoming. What have they done to Halloween? What's October 31 without a little innocent mischief? Unlike the letter I read in the Bee today from a Curtis Park resident who complained about rudeness and other behavior problems on Halloween, our little neighborhood T&Ters were all extremely polite.
We only got about 25 Trick-or-Treaters last night. I guess everyone was lurching through the streets in the Fab 40s, where kids are shipped in from foreign countries just to see the fabulous displays and where residents give out full-sized candy bars or maybe even gold bars, for all I know. I think next year we'll just dress up the dogs and take them down there, too. From the size of some of the "kids" who came to our door last night, we could probably get some treats, too. Halloween seems like it's been highjacked by nostalgic Boo-mers these days, anyway. It's been spoiled for the real kids by all the urban legends of hot pennies and apples with razor blades and other actual dangers to youngsters.
One rather buxom woman wearing a low-cut blouse came to our door holding her toddler in her arms. I reached out the door to find the child's treat bag to drop the candy inside. I couldn't see very well in the dark and accidentally dropped the candy down her blouse! My author friend, Gail MacMillan in Canada said her new Nova Scotia Duck Toller Retriever puppy ran out the front door to greet some kids. Her husband nabbed Fancy and held her in his arms for the kids to pet. One little boy held out his treat sack and said, "Put puppy inside." He bawled his eyes out when he found out Gail was not handing out puppies for Halloween. Beau got hold of a miniature Three Musketeers bar that missed a treat bag last night. I heard him smacking his lips on something chewy and wondered what it could be until I saw the ripped silver Musketeers wrapper on the sidewalk. I have to really watch that sneaky guy like a hawk. He can snarf up treats (and far less appetizing tidbits) quicker than a bullfrog at a bug banquet, but our omnivorous Patience basset still holds the record for speed eating.