I say it every year, but it bears repeating: My street is to Halloween what Bourbon Street is to Mardi Gras. This year I bought 13 bags of Reese’s Cups, Starburst, Skittles and Snickers, and it lasted just a bit longer than 90 minutes. We had the full gamut — adorable toddlers in ladybug costumes to sullen teenagers in no costume at all — plus a few never-before-seen visitors. My favorite: A mother so morbidly obese she could only navigate in an electric scooter. Way to teach good health habits, mom!
But it is my street, and I’m glad of it. Halloween is fun. To repeat: Halloween is fun! Pass it on. Alan took Kate to Defiance (Ohio, his hometown) last night for that city’s Halloween parade. It lasted an hour and 40 minutes, which is no small parade. Bands, floats, the works — she came home exhausted, with her trick-or-treat bucket nearly full. Pawing through it, I found two are-you-saved religious tracts, presented comic-book style for children. I confess: It made me say goddamnit. Alan said they were passed out by parade-goers dressed as the Grim Reaper. If evangelicals disapprove of Halloween, OK, fine. Sit at home watching Pat Robertson while disappointed children ring your doorbell; that’s your choice. But don’t come out to rain on my kid’s parade. To her, and to virtually everybody else in the world except you folks, it’s an excuse to a) get dressed up; b) get a lot of candy; and c) stay out after dark. That’s it. OK? That’s all it is. Jesus wouldn’t approve of people who ruin children’s harmless fun — really, He told me so. “Tell those people to stop being such pills.” His exact words.
He doesn’t just talk to Mel Gibson and Jerry Falwell, you know.
OK, then. We allowed Kate to have a “Halloween party” before trick-or-treat, with restrictions, i.e, six guests tops, and a 60-minute duration. It was a blast. Doughnuts, cider, games, outta here. The highlight was the apple-bobbing, plus the blast out the door to start the trick-or-treating, when everyone ran across the street to the neighbors’, who had their dog out in the yard in her costume: Prison stripes, plus an old-style prison pillbox emblazoned BAD DOG. That’s my neighborhood. We know how to have fun.
(By the way, thanks, Connie, for the tip on the glue-on hem strip. Saved my bacon. NN.C readers are the best. You can see how the dress turned out, more or less. Kate likes the batwings best. So do I.)
My alma mater, the Columbus Dispatch, published their latest presidential poll. They charge for content, so I’ll just give you the gist here:
President Bush and Sen. John Kerry are tied at just less than 50 percent in a new Dispatch Poll. How close is this matchup? Kerry leads by a mere eight votes out of 2,880 ballots returned in the mail survey � the tightest margin ever in a final Dispatch Poll.
Lest you be fooled by the non-New York Times-ishness of this newspaper, don’t be. The poll has a good track record, and was one of the few to predict the enormity of the Reagan landslide in 1980.
As my colleague Bob said the other day, “Who’s ready for a 30-day election night?”
I hope you are — you’re getting one.