Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloweens Past with The Hillbilly

I just recently put up a posting to do with Halloween and superstitions and got to thinking about some of my own Halloween experiences.  Being from the country, if I recall correctly, I only went trick or treating two times.  Both times were over my protests.

The first time, I was eleven and felt too old to be going.  However, my sister’s boyfriend (now my brother-in-law), having found out that I had never been trick or treating, insisted that I go.  In fact, he and my sister, loaded me up in his car, (a slick black 1963 Chevy Impala), and started taking me on the rounds.  Now, I don’t know how it is in the big city, but in the smaller towns, much of the adventure can be had while you are in the car.  Such things as dodging eggs or hedge apples, (Osage oranges).  For you who don’t know, hedge apples, are green, sticky balls that are about the size of a softball, but much heavier.  Within In the first 15 minutes, we took a hedge apple to the windshield.  I think the only thing that kept it from shattering was that it hit the curved edge where the windshield was the strongest.  Yeah!  This was a good idea!  At any rate, we finished up without too much damage.
An Osage Orange. Who knew?

The next year, we went to my aunt’s house.  She was wealthy and lived in a neighborhood that was quite popular for trick-or-treaters.  We went there to help hand out candy and watch the kids come through.  However, I got sucked into going trick or treating with my 10 year old cousin.  I was large for my age, he was huge for his, so we were close to the same size.  He eventually wound up growing to be about 7’4”.  I thought we both looked way too large to be out doing this.  Of course, since we were in his neighborhood, everyone knew him and had to find out who I was ---as if I wasn’t embarrassed enough!  During this, we stopped at a house and a pretty girl of about 16 answered the door and invited us in.  Hey, things are looking up – not!  I might have been 12 and not sensitive to a lot of things, but even I could feel the tension and knew that something was wrong.  As it turned out, there were 4 boys that looked to be about 15 – 18 years of age.  They had pushed their way into the house.  The girl was by herself, and for good reason was quite frightened.  My cousin and I weren't a whole lot smaller than these older boys, but we were 10 and 12 years of age.  My first thought was that we might all be in trouble here.  Fortunately, with us coming in, they soon left.  The girl started talking nervously and thanked us over and over again for coming in and staying until they left.  Hmm!  Maybe we should have asked for all the candy as a reward.

 Then there was the Halloween night that I went out in my freshly washed, waxed, and slicked up car.  Having had the earlier Halloween experiences, you would have thought that I would have learned.  But hey, there were girls out there.  Of course I didn’t find them.

They had either already learned from their past Halloween experiences  or possibly, they  thought that the hillbilly would be the only guy dumb enough to be out and about looking for them and they decided to stay home.  Since there were no girls, my heart turned to food.  So I stopped at a burger and ice cream shop and got a chocolate shake.  Okay, not as good as girls but still good.  While I was there, a mob of about 150 people who apparently had purchased every egg in the county, came walking by in what I can only call a traveling egg fight.  The police were staying at a distance and watching them to make sure that there was no major damage and also to keep from getting egged.  But yup, I got egged.  It is not that they were throwing at my car, it was just that I was in the vicinity and got hit.  I was thinking, stupid, stupid, stupid!  Look what girls got you into again!  Okay, they didn’t get me into it, but it was their fault that I was stupid enough to be out there, so close enough!

Years later, my wife and I were taking our 9 year old daughter and 5 year old son trick or treating.   It is a rite of passage for parents you know.   I explained the rules to them.  Rules such as, take your time, be cautious for cars, etc.  I thought the discussion of the rules went really well.  Next thing I knew, they would have left the road runner in the dust!  In fact my son, was going so fast that he fell, slid about 6 feet, hopped up and never even let it slow him down.  It was the Daytona of trick or treating.  He who gets the most candy takes the victory lap and wins the cup, etc.

 I can’t say that it wasn’t fun, but I can tell you that it wasn’t for sissies, grandparents, or anyone who was old or slow.  So having finally learned from Halloweens past, I am letting the grandkids know right now,  I am not taking you trick or treating!  Your parents, who put me through the various trick or treating nightmares will now have their own rite of passage.  Yes!  It is payback time!!  Ya ha ha!

From the Hillbilly’s Corner!

Halloween was certainly different when I was a kid. We went out in big packs and left the grownups at home! I don't remember ever being accompanied by a parent. How has Halloween changed since you were little?