Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Tally 2011

89 trick-or-treaters. No idea on the tonnage of candy moved.  That number is little more than half of the 170 kids I had last time I gave out candy, back in 2009.

I wasn't expecting to be able to do this tonight. I was scheduled to work tonight, but the busy season seems to be winding down, and as a temp I'm among the first to get laid off. So I had the day free, and found myself without candy. Target came through - they've been my primary candy source for the past few years, great selection of quality stuff at reasonable prices.  Reviewing my 2009 post I see I passed out animal crackers to the infants, which would have been a good idea this time. We all know that the parents get their candy anyway, so may as well provide something for the babies. I'll have to remember that for next year.

I got to my house a little after 6:00 and the streets were already full of kids. I think I probably missed a few dozen between 5:30 and 6:00. I set myself up on my rocking bench with a punchbowl full of candy, another punchbowl-full in reserve, my tally counter, a phone, and a pseudo-Snuggie to wear on top of my coat.

Damn, it was cold. Most of the snow from this Saturday's storm has already melted, but temperatures certainly dropped after sundown. I don't know if the kids noticed it, since they were dressed up and moving. But sitting on my porch, I sure felt it.

There were only two other houses on my block that I could tell were passing out candy, and one of them seemed to be having a party - a lot of the kids who went there, stayed there. As the evening wore on I remembered that I hadn't eaten anything since lunch and started to dip into the punchbowl for the occasional Snickers, Twix, Mr. Goodbar, Almond Joy, or Starburst.  By 7:30 traffic had dwindled to the point that I decided that I would shut things down at 8:00. A few more kids and their parents showed up at 7:45, but by 7:55, with 74 kids having come and gone and the night getting colder, I couldn't stand it anymore. I dumped the remaining candy into a bag, carried the punchbowl, tally counter, phone, and fake Snuggie into the house, reset my alarm, and prepared to leave.

I immediately realized as I closed and locked the door that I had forgotten to turn my porch light off. Then I saw more groups of kids approaching like hungry zombies. I passed out candy quickly to ten more kids, then dashed inside to get my tally counter. A final group of teenagers arrived at  the end, including one buxom brunette wearing an ill-fitting blonde wig and a barely-fitting replica of Marilyn Monroe's halter-top dress from "The Seven Year Itch" - one false move or quick turn and she would have been having a Coming Out Party. She was #89 for the night.

By 8:05 the streets were vacant again, so I re-opened the house, disabled the alarm, shut out the light, re-activated the alarm, locked up the house again, and headed out to the car. On the drive back across town - where I saw dozens of kids still on the streets - I realized I had left a bag containing all the empty bags from candy slung over the back of my rocking bench. So I drove back across town to retrieve it. Several groups of kids looked my way hopefully, but I just grabbed the bag-of-bags and headed back to the car.

I had two Luigis for the night, but no Marios or Warios. One of the most popular outfits for girls seemed to be "slightly older teenagers." Two girls showed up in wigs (I think they were wigs) with heavy makeup and lip rings. "Are those real piercings?" I asked. "No!" they responded, seemingly aghast at the thought.

Only one group of kids showed unbridled greed - I was trying to pass out three pieces of candy to each kid, figuring if I had 500 pieces total and got 170 kids like last time that would be just about enough. Some little kids got extras, or wanted to pick their own. One mixed group of kids ranging from about two to seven years old came up. I gave candy to the older kids first, but the youngest one wanted to take his own, and I let him - which the older kids took as a signal to take their own, too. After one kid grabbed half a dozen pieces I suggested he might want to leave some for the other kids.

I suppose if it had been a bit warmer, more kids might have been out. Maybe if I had gotten an earlier start, or had stayed out later, or had more neighbors passing out candy, I would have gotten more kids. Whatever. I guess I'll just have to eat the leftovers!


Vin said...

kind of sad. i've noticed there weren't as many kids trick or treating compare to last year. we still have 3 bags full, un-opened candy. last year we had to close secondary to not having enough candy LOL! thanks for posting, i enjoyed reading them :)

belated happy hallowweeeennn!!!

hedera said...

The leftovers, of course, are why we don't give out candy. We give out hot chocolate - packets of Swiss Miss mix. Anything we don't give out, Jim takes backpacking next time he goes.

We went through 5 1/2 boxes this time, at 8 packets per box, but the first 3 kids were our immediate neighbors so they got 2 each. The weather here in CA was lovely, just crisp; there were a lot of family groups out, including groups of families with 5 or 6 adults.

Two of the kids commented on the hot chocolate, which is always popular - one said only one other house in the neighborhood did that, and the other (about 10 or 11) looked down at her 3 year old sister and said she'd been coming to our house for hot chocolate "since I was her age"! Awww.