15 October 2008

Monster mash

Oh JOY!

We finally got BOO-ed last night.

No, not booed, as in we put on a performance and they booed us offstage. We were BOO-ed.

Here in the 'hood, every Halloween, someone starts with the BOO-ing. They give two of the neighbors treats anonymously, along with a big sign that says BOO! and instructions to BOO the next recipient. It's cute and fun, and it's nice to see the BOO signs proliferating on people's doors (you put your BOO sign out to indicate that you've received your treat).

Every year, the daughter sits in a state of nervous anticipation, waiting for the night when someone bangs on our door.

(I sit in resigned anticipation because I'm the one who has to put the next two BOO baskets together. The rules are you have to do yours the next night. Here's an example of the game. Ours is a bit different, but you get the idea.)

Last night, someone pounded on the door. The daughter ran down the hall, fairly quivering in her PJs.

False alarm. UPS.

An hour later, BANGBANGBANG!

The daughter, who was studying for her pre-algebra quiz, quivered again.

LO!

BEHOLD!

A plastic pumpkin sat on our doormat.

"Thank you!" I yelled out into the darkness.

Everyone does things a little differently, every year. Last night, we received a bag of homemade cookies, some packages of candy, a package of spider web decoration (I guess that's a hint that I'm behind on decorating the yard), and some light sticks.

Today, I baked cupcakes (German chocolate cake) to be distributed in our BOO baskets, along with candy and some Halloween tchotchkes. We live in the kind of neighborhood where you bake cookies and cupcakes for your neighbors.

Tonight after dinner, the daughter and I collected up the baskets and set out in the dark to see who didn't have a sign on the door. The moon was hanging low in the sky, nearly full. We were hit really early this year, so there were still plenty of houses where we could leave our goodies. We dropped our first basket off at the next door neighbor. I stood behind a clump of bushes while the daughter crept up to the door and banged on it, thundering away before it was opened. Once the coast was clear again, we set out down the street once more.

Mostly, we try to make sure that the houses that have younger kids get treats first. A lot of them already did, so the daughter left the second basket at our across-the-street neighbor.

As the daughter pounded down the street toward me, she hissed, "I think they saw me!"

"Yeah," I replied, "but they probably couldn't tell who you were in the dark."

"Probably," she considered.

We walked in silence for a moment.

"You know, Mommy," she said, in a voice filled with satisfaction, "I love doing that."

Go listen to some good music: "Monster Mash" from the album The Original Monster Mash by Bobby "Boris" Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers.

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