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I love Halloween. The mood, the decorations, the macabre. To get in the spirit this year, I listened to two old TAL podcasts - one called "Haunted" about the real things that haunt adults, and one called (I believe) A Very Special Halloween...about things that are supposed to be scary, but really aren't.

I'm not so much into dress up, as I am far too self-conscious (I went as Borat this year, but in the bad grey suit, not the neon man-kini despite the urging of my friends). But I do like decorating the house and being ready for trick or treaters to come to the door.

So, Wednesday night I cut my run short. As I am heading home, just before the start of trick-or-treat at 6:00pm, I see lots of kids out on the front steps, posing for pictures, checking flashlights, and so forth.

It's a beautiful night - maybe mid-60's, a light breeze. We have hundreds of kids in our neighborhood, and it's very pedestrian friendly - no major roads to cross or heavy traffic zones. A perfect night for trick or treating.

When I get home I put the CD player in the sun room out front, light the pumpkin, and I put on some organ music - about as creepy as I can go without getting in to something like, say Nick Cave's "Murder Ballads." Don't want to scare the kids away.

I also make sure we're hanging the "Boo" sign in our door, which indicates we're giving out treats. Lock the dogs in the back room (harmless, but loud...admittedly scary to young kids). Turnout has historically been low, but this year it's gonna be different.

So six o'clock comes...and nothing. Noone. Finally, I get my first trick or treater at about 6:30, a little boy dressed as Spiderman and his little sister as a Princess. They each politely take a piece, and starting to fear I have way too much candy I encourage them to take some more, and some for Dad (their escort).

Alone again. I walk out onto the porch. I see many people walking on the next cross street...maybe they're coming our way next?

Nope. It's about 7:00 until I get the next group, a large group of about 8 little kids and two Moms not from our neighborhood. (I point this out not out of any socio-economic/racial stereotyping, but rather to illustrate that more than half of the people who came for trick-or-treat weren't even from my own neighborhood?) Half way through trick-or-treat...I make sure they get a lot of candy.

About thirty minutes later I got two more, and then one more little boy dressed as Spiderman. Finally, my neighbor brought his son and daughter by. And that was it.

I couldn't help but be disappointed...perhaps it's location - just not on one of the main, child-friendly streets in our neighborhood, so the 1200 block of my street maybe isn't on everyone's list? But it's but a block from an area that was bustling with kids.

It's stupid to be resentful...I mean, more candy for me, right? On the other hand, I locked up my dogs for no real reason, cut my run short to be home on time for trick-or-treat, and blew out the power cord on my laptop when I switched outlets so I could work from the living room so as not to miss any kids....

Anyway...I could have gotten over it....until I went to walk my dogs later and the street was awash with candy wrappers and trash left behind. From far more than 8 kids.

Oh well. Better luck next year.
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