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Thursday, October 25, 2012

You Might Be Too Old to Tricker Treat if....

Years ago, when I was a mere youngster...I loved Halloween. Decked out in homemade costumes and with paper grocery sacks to hold our friends and I raced door to door along the darkened sidewalks, for Halloween treats. Our bounty consisted mostly of crappy hard candy, pieces of candy corn, rotten apples, worthless pennies and the occasional razor blade. For the record, I loathe candy corn. Every once in a while we hit pay dirt at one of the "good" houses and were rewarded with a decent sized chocolate bar.

We always knew where the "good" houses were and we paid them multi visits. Back then, Halloween was a night of frightful, frivolous, innocent fun with my rambunctious young pals and usually nobody got hurt. Even more amazing...nobody got texted, sexted, Ipodded, emailed, cell phoned or tweeted. Somehow we all survived.

Today, Halloween is the most popular and most lucrative commercial holiday next to Christmas! Billions...with a B...spent on costumes, candy and party paraphanalia. You never know what kind of freaks, crazies and weirdos will be prowling your neighborhood disguised as Lady Gaga, Spiderman, Angry Birds, vampires, pirates and Obama or Romney clones. Like we need more of those guys. There are giant stores dedicated solely to the sale of Halloween costumes. If you can't find a costume in a store, you can order one online...often priced at well over $100 each. What happened to going "toga" in a household sheet? 

A few years ago, we lived in a lovely burb of Atlanta that was a very family oriented community. Nearly every single family in this town owns at least one golf cart...whether they play golf or not. On Halloween night, thousands and I do mean thousands of young tricker-treaters are chauffered door to door on golf carts driven by their parents or by themselves. None of the kids walk. They all hitch a ride on the family golf cart to collect their Halloween goodies. Even better, they all use GPSs and cell phones to alert friends to the "good" houses. And they can speed there twice as fast on a golf cart. Why oh why, did I have to grow up in the dark ages!

These days, Halloween is as much a huge hoopla for adults as it is for children. BUT we all know there are a few folks out there who simply should not be out on neighborhood streets trolling for treats on Halloween or any time of year. If you're not sure if this applies to you, read further....

  • You think chocolate is over-rated. But a nice bottle of vodka would be appreciated.                                                                                                                                                                                                      
  • You like to run over kids on your Hoverround. 
  • You only eat high fiber candy.                                                                                                 
  • Kids point at you and scream, "Yikes, scary witch mask"...and you're not wearing one.                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
  • On the doorstep you yell: "Tricker...." and forget the rest of it.                     
  • You're the only tricker treater in the group with a hip replacement.                                                                                          
  • You consider it a good night if your Depends don't leak and you don't drop the battery to your hearing aid.                                                                                                                    
  • You're confident you can fight off candy thieves with your oxygen tank.                                                                                                         
  • You're the only Power Ranger in the neighborhood using a walker.              
  • Little kids run away from you screaming...and you just stepped out to get the mail.
  • After the 4th house, you realize you'd rather be back home watching Antiques Roadshow.                                                                              
All in jest, of course, dear readers. But hey, forget the lousy candy. Instead, drop by my house on Halloween for flaming dacquiries and pumpkin vodka shots. Bring your golf carts but don't run over the mailbox.

Peace, love, Happy Halloween, man. Ya that's vodka in my water bottle. Far Out.

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Outside My Autumn Window

This morning, as I do every morning...I fling open the kitchen curtains and glance out across our front yard. It's Fall here in Michigan and most of the leaves on the trees have dropped off, rendering the bare, brown branches into eerie skeletal formations...just in time for Halloween. One stately maple tree defiantly hangs on to its brilliant coat of fiery crimson-red leaves, glimmering in the morning rays of sun like thousands of dazzling rubies. Through the window, I cast a quick look at our colorful, little garden patch by the front door to see how many flowers the rabbits and deer munched down during the night. Our autumn garden is ablaze with cheery yellow, deep purple and lush gold mums. A veritable midnight buffet for the deer and rabbits that inhabit the woods behind our house. So far, not too much damage done by the woodsy critters.

Our green front lawn is encrusted in a smattering of fallen leaves that literally sparkle with a resplendant sheen as shafts of sunlight bounce off the dew-moist foliage. My eyes drift across the street toward our community pond. I have an unfettered view now that most of the leaves have fallen. The periwinkle blue water shimmers in the morning light. A low ridge of ripples float across the tranquil water as a family of ducks paddles silently about. From the short distance of my kitchen window, I can see mirrored in the calm pond water...the perfectly clear reflections of the sky, puffy white clouds and neighboring homes. It's as if they've resettled in the pond. Our gentle little pond exudes a blissful untroubled beauty and thought-provoking serenity.

In the brief few minutes that I've taken to explore the morning from my front window, I am once again mesmerized and inspired by the simple grace and majestic dignity of nature. It's going to be a beautiful autumn day.

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