Tuesday, November 06, 2007


As expected, not a single kid showed up at our house for Halloween. Why? Because we had bought some candy.

And also because we turned our front porch light off.

And because we had no jack o'lantern this year either.

This year, we turned into Halloween scrooges, and decided to do whatever we could to discourage kids from coming to our house. So then why did we buy the candy?

Whenever we buy candy, not a single kid shows up at the door. Not even a large jack o'lantern in a strategic location and lighting up our front porch like Las Vegas seems to do any good.

This is what happened the first time we moved to the neighborhood: Given that our house is located a mere 1/2 block from a large elementary school, we figured that our place would be crawling with kids. And lest we suffer the consequence of having our house egged by angry kids for not having enough candy, we spent a minor fortune and bought bags and bags of candy. Not to mention the large pumpkin we purchased and spent several agonizing hours trying to carve the darn thing.

But come Halloween night, only a handful of kids came. That last kid pretty much hit the jackpot because he got about 80 bars of Snickers. Fun Size, of course.

I was eating left over Halloween candy until... well, pretty much the following Halloween.

So the following year, we still buy a pumpkin and carve it out, place it in that strategic location, light up the front porch, and sit and wait. But that year we only bought a small bag of candy. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice...

But then we got fooled because every kid within a 50 mile radius of our house showed up. Of course we ran out of candy within minutes, and then there we were scrounging around the house looking for things to give out. Old candy, granola bars, breakfast bars, fruit, handfuls of Lucky Charms, scoops of uncooked rice.

It was like facing a band of locusts. We turned off the porch lights, blew out the jack o'lantern, hid in the back of the house, but it just didn't seem to matter. Soon we were giving out handfuls of change and old CD's that I've already uploaded onto my computer. I think once word got out that we were giving away material goods, kids came back for a second shakedown.

So the following year, we were prepared and bought lots of candy. And as you correctly guessed, nobody came. And I was eating left over Halloween candy until just recently.

This year, I've had enough playing this bizarre Halloween mind game. So Nathalie and I decided to withdraw from the whole Halloween thing: No porch light, no jack o'lantern, no nothing. Except a bag of candy, because that's apparently what keeps kids away from our house.

While taking the trash out, I noticed that my next door neighbor, who had always carved out a pumpkin and did the whole Halloween thing, was being scrooge-like as well. No jack o'lantern, no welcoming porch light, just a dark and forboding stoop.

Neighbor: I'm not doing Halloween this year.

Me: Yeah, me neither.

We both stand around alternating at looking at our feet and then off into the distance, slightly uncomfortable, standing in the way you do with a neighbor you seldom talk to but often wave at.

Neighbor: I've lived here 8 years and I can't figure it out.

Yup. Just like life. Unpredictable. Whenever you're ready for something, it'll never happen. It's always when you least expect it, that it happens. Like meeting the girl of your dreams.

I had quit the bar scene, the club scene, and everything else, even the church scene and the pumpkin patch scene. I was tired of the game and all the players. I gave up looking, stopped trying so hard, and started coasting along with life, just liking where I was and how things were. And just as I was getting comfortable with everything, along comes Nathalie to shake up my world.

Happy 2nd anniversary Natbug!