I made sure we got the bags of candy that included Skittles in case, you know, there’s leftover candy. I’m glad I siphoned off a few for my own continued research purposes because this was the first Hallowe’en since, like, forever, that we ran out of candy.
My oldest was dressed in a cat costume, complete with pink makeup on her nose and drawn-on whiskers, while my youngest was a self-made fairy. Her costume morphed with each warm-up party during the week, but she was adorable with the headpiece and clip-on fairy wings.
Before sending them off with their mom, we did a practice run so the youngest would assert herself and say the magic phrase that pays followed by a “thank you.” They learned quickly. I held down the fort while they canvassed the neighborhood.
This year, the kids came in waves. The first time the doorbell rang, there were no fewer than a dozen “people of shortness” jockeying for position. Their enthusiasm crescendoed to a soccer-game frenzy when I started doling out candy. A few had surged into my house as if they thought I was holding out on the Wonka bars. I said something and their parents, who had been standing on the sidewalk gabbing, snapped to attention and reigned them in. It is encouraging that parents are reminding their kids to use good manners.
The second through fifth waves were smaller, but I was soon running out of candy. I rationed it down to two pieces, finding it was better if I chose what to hand them than the other way around. My kids returned for another practice run, eliciting a mock “You kids, again?!” in front of a woman who seemed initially horrified until she realized I was kidding with my own kids.
The kids wanted to reap the reward of their efforts. I inspected candy, removing any jawbreakers or Hot Tamales (which I’m quite fond of, but they’d hate). The kids hung around the door, eagerly doling out candy to whomever came in. They made the classic mistake of letting the other kids reach into the bowl and select what they wanted. With only a dozen pieces left and no visible hordes of kids, we shut things down at 7:45 p.m.
The grand total was at least 50 kids dressed in conventional ways:
cartoon characters, witches, ghosts, faeries, cheerleaders and animals. Thankfully, none were dressed up as the political candidates. I’m also glad our subdivision prohibits political signs of any kind because the election’s become so contentious.
Speaking of the election, the Votemaster
revealed his identity today and it’s noneother than Andrew Tanenbaum.
Dr. Tanenbaum is a well-reknowned researcher in the fields of distributed systems and parallel computing — even back in the dark ages when I was in college. His Operating Systems books were required reading for computer engineering students. One of his other claims to fame was writing Minux, a free, well-documented UNIX clone with source code. I ran this on my Amiga 1000 Frankenbox (hacked to have 1,024k internal memory and a SCSI hard disk — w00t).