The Norman Transcript

November 1, 2013

Halloween tales


The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — In case you have the tendency to spend more time in your ivory tower than with other humans, we are well into the Halloween season. As a matter of fact, by the time you read this column, the witchy season will have slipped by and we are sliding at breakneck speed toward the Increase the Girth and Ugly Fowl holiday.

Since we live in the country (and I am not divulging what country or what planet for that matter), the trick or treat goblins bypass us. Well, almost all of them. There are a few cheeky coyotes, well-armored armadillos and country kittens (a.k.a. skunks) that show up to aggravate the dogs. Of course, the country kittens tend to show up year round and add that je ne sais quoi perfume to the area.

Where we live, Halloween decorations are a bust before the idea pops into our fertile little heads because the house is on a hill and the winds blows most of the time. Also, there is good old Spaz. This dog must believe it is his mission in life to seek and destroy any and all decorations.

Imagine a carved pumpkin after it has gone a few rounds with a rambunctious dog that never outgrew the puppy stage. Not an aesthetically pleasing sight. Spaz also is quite persistent in showing his displeasure when we line the driveway or the flowerbeds with pretty solar lights. As quick as you can say “crush and destroy” is about how long it takes that critical dog to demolish the lights. And by demolish, I mean teeth marks sunk deep into broken lights.

Maybe I should dress the dog in a black cape, a mask and tie a sword to his overactive tail. Then he could spend Halloween as Spaz-Zorro.

For the aforementioned reasons, decorations are out of the question and frankly, a 500 foot long, dark driveway is something little witches and goblins are not likely to brave.

However, when we lived in suburbia, the endless stream of children began before the sun went down and lasted until well after nine, when the high school, no-costume urchins showed up. I suppose free candy is free candy at any age.

One of our neighbors was a school teacher and she had a commitment at school on Halloween night. In order to avoid, the toilet paper and other artsy treatments bestowed on homeowners who are absent, she turned on the porch light, placed an enormous bowl filled with candy on the porch steps and left.

What happened next could have been a well-scripted comedy routine. The first little bugger, I mean cute little costumed beggar, came along. He looked around to see if anyone was watching and then proceeded to empty the entire bowl in his sack.

How I wished for a big, puffy cream pie. I wanted to smear it in his little greedy face. Sad to say, I did not have one handy and there was no Halloween miracle to provide me with one either. So, I settled for “Here is your candy. I saw what you did and you should be ashamed. Happy Halloween.” Then I shut the door in the urchin’s stunned little face.

Since my parents were from across the pond, the only door-to-door beggars they had seen were after World War II. People were starving and actually knocked on doors asking for “a piece of bread.”

Although I understand the implied fun and innocent mischief connected to Halloween, but in light of my upbringing I would prefer to watch witches dance a jig on All Hallows Eve. On the surface, there is not much difference between the cute little trick-or-treaters and the real thing.

It would also be highly entertaining to observe the reactions of some thin-lipped and self-avowed upright folks to such a joyous display.

Elizabeth is a freelance writer and author. Her novels “The Dionysus Connection” and “The Marathon Man” are available on amazon.com. Visit her website: www.elizabethcowan.com.