So I decided to skip M Street and hand out candy this Halloween. Going out on Halloween is fun, but since I've already dressed up as a filthy pirate whore once this year, I didn't feel the urge to replicate the experience with thousands of drunken college students dressed as Borat, Mark Foley or more filthy pirate whores in Georgetown. I mean, you've seen one grown man in a twelve-foot penis costume, you've seen them all. Am I right?
So instead I poured my mini candy bars in a bowl, lit a bunch of candles and set up the speakers by the windows to blast the Decemberists over my tiny yard. It ain't "Thriller," but the lyrics of "Shankill Butcher" are quite Halloweeny, thank you. Plus I'd just seen The Decemberists the night before and was still in the post-concert mode of listening to everything by the band you just saw (still am; am listening to the NPR recording of the concert as I type this and humming along to "Sons and Daughters").
My walk home should have warned me what was about to happen. If the lighting technicians working on the haunted house on 7th and East Capitol hadn't clued me in, you'd think I would have perhaps gleaned from the house blasting "Thriller" so loudly I could hear it a block away as purple strobe lights flashed all over the front yard that Halloween on the Hill was going to be a BFD this year.
I had thought that two bags of mini Hershey bars would be sufficient for trick-or-treaters. After all, though my neighborhood is decidedly safe and charming, it's still transitioning and is not the kind of place where kids ride their bikes on the street before Mom calls them into dinner.
The trick-or-treaters came. They came in hordes, packs of five and ten little Spidermen, witches, butterflies and basketball players, little feet clopping down my dungeon-like steps to grab at the mini Hershey bars. I was completely out of candy in twenty minutes.
I pulled the drapes shut and blew out the tea candles in the window to discourage more trick-or-treaters until I figured out what to do. It was barely 7:00 at this point, and more kids would be demanding more candy. I didn't want to be that mean lady who gives out apples or toothbrushes, because I always made fun of that lady when I was a kid and more importantly, because her house always got egged, but I had no candy anywhere in my house. Finally I took the brownie cupcakes I'd planned on using for my boss' birthday party tomorrow and started stuffing them in plastic bags to distribute. I didn't really want to give them away, but it was either that or my collection of mini liquor bottles, and hey, the cobbler needs to be paid.
I gave a brownie to the next girl who came by with her parents, and I think she must have a My First Blackberry or something, because suddenly every kid on the Hill seemed to know that the white girl who lives in the basement with the gray cat was handing out brownies. I got mobbed, people. Brownies were gone almost as soon as I finished bagging them up, and not just to kids dressed in costumes-- parents were helping themselves. One dad looked so excited you'd think I'd given him a space cake.
So I'm out of candy, out of brownies and there are some hungry kids at the door. A sane person would have just run to the 7-11 down the street, or perhaps would have just shut the blinds and turned on the TV to ignore Halloween. But we all know I'm not a sane person, and besides, think of the children! Yes, even the boys who have clearly not attempted a costume and are wandering around the Hill in basketball jerseys and mumble "turkurturt" then shove an open backpack at me! I can't turn them away, little rascals!
Seriously the only sugary thing I had left in my kitchen was a half-eaten pint of Haagen Daas Bailey's Ice Cream, and I was fairly sure that most Halloween chaperones would object to both its ingredients and consistency. But- ahha! That giant container of pretzels from Costco that was leftover from Drunk-In-The-Woods! Pretzels keep well, right? Pretzels keep for like, nine months of living on top of a refrigerator, right? Right? And a handful of nine-month old pretzels in a hastily assembled Saran-Wrap bundle is way better than, say, a Hershey bar! Right?
The lesson is, as most lessons are: Buy More Candy Next Time.