It’s hard to believe that this is only our 2nd Halloween in our house. Last year Josh and I were so excited to finally have trick-or-treaters that we decided to go all out. (You see when you live in an apartment you don’t get trick-or-treaters.) We headed to the local craft store and bought some ornaments to decorate the lawn and house. Then we headed over to the mall to Spencer’s to get some scarier items. We found a noise detector ghost that’s supposed to light up, move and howl whenever it detects noise. It’s really neat too except that you pretty much have to clap your hands to get it to work. We hung it up outside by the door thinking that as trick-or-treaters approached it would go off. No such thing. I don’t think it worked once. The other big thing we bought was a DVD that plays different excerpts of ghouls, ghosts and goblin heads making scary faces and saying scary things. Josh used an old t.v. and set up an elaborate scene in our spare bedroom by our front walkway so the kids would see it as they walked up. He started a couple of weeks before Halloween and spent countless hours working on his scene. He went to the hardware store and found some plexiglass. He hunted outside for sticks and leaves. He rolled an old office chair into the bedroom and found a blanket to use. Long story short, we had a really cool goblin head that looked like it was floating in the room. Josh had also purchased a Michael Myers mask (from the movie “Halloween”) to don when kids came to the door. Do you think any of this scared the kids? Nope. They laughed! We’ve decided that kids are too desensitized today when it comes to horror. Maybe we need to try what my childhood classmate’s family did. Tyler Peterson’s parents always got into Halloween and their house was the “cool” house to go to for treats. Tyler’s mom would dress up like a witch and Tyler’s dad would dress up like a werewolf. They decorated their porch and Tyler’s mom would sit in a rocking chair stirring a black cauldron with dry ice in it. She never broke character and she’d tell you in her best witchy voice to stick your hand in the cauldron to complete her potion. When you’d stick your hand in the cauldron you felt a mushy wet mess that she would then tell you were brains (cooked macaroni noodles). As we left the porch Tyler’s dad would jump out from behind a bush and chase after us. We’d all scream and run away until we were breathless and we’d go back every year…even when we were too old to be scared. I think Josh and I should consider taking this route, although as I sit here and write I can’t help but laugh. Last year we almost ran out of candy and I had to run to the store to buy more. This year I planned ahead and bought candy at Sam’s three weeks in advance. Tonight was chilly and we had far fewer trick-or-treaters than last year. Needless to say the only dent in the 7 lbs of candy I bought is from Josh and me eating it over the last few weeks.

One more thing, where I grew up…Iowa…we had to tell a joke in order to get a treat. That’s why they call it Trick-or-Treat. You have to do a trick (tell a joke) in order to get a treat. By the middle of the night the neighbors answering the doors were finishing your jokes and sometimes would ask you for a different one. You always made sure to have two jokes ready. By the end of the night they were so tired of hearing them they would open the door and all but throw the candy bowl at you. As we got older we got smarter and would wait to trick-or-treat until later. That way we knew everyone would be tired of hearing jokes and would be ready to get rid of their candy. We got a lot of loot that way. I think you would call it power trick-or-treating. Josh made fun of me and said that telling jokes for candy must be some kind of Yankee thing. I told him that explains why people in the north tend to be smarter. We had to work for our candy…

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