Really, a miserable, wet and cold morning in Central Oregon, soon to be followed by a possibly fridged and dismal evening.
It must be Halloween, the weather has turned to crap and the stores have been covered in candy for three weeks.
Remember when a treat would mean homemade popcorn balls, maybe a caramel apple, fresh baked cookies or sometimes a whole nickel.
We’d wander door to door, steamed up glasses under some goofy ill fitting mask, stumbling over sidewalks, spilling the pillowcase of treats over someone’s lawn and searching the wet grass for that last morsel.
Hiding from the groups of prowling big kids; pretending oncoming car in the night were actually guard tower searchlights, scanning the streets for us escapees from the ordinary life.
Now, the doorbell rings, the hounds bark and bolt for the door, crowding the screen for a peek, Dexter Dog will bury his head in the nearest offered sack like a horse to a feed bag, kind of a reverse “Trick or Treat”, coming away with some goodie, trotting back to his big red chair carrying his prize, awaiting his next victim and leaving some befuddled child weeping on the step.
We parents will freeze to the walk huddling together in tribal communion, passing the flask, illuminated by the campfire glow of cigarettes and passing headlights.
Automobiles purr at the curb, exhaust clouds turning to ice, only to fall, shattering to the curb;
Hijacked Jack O’Lanterns lie crushed in the street as empty candy wrappers swirl by their vacant, one toothed smiles.
Our sleepy neighborhood of elderly, go to bed earlies, has been infested with Holiday aficionados; ghostly music permeates the night from rooftop loudspeakers, giant blowup black cats weave in the chilly wind and bed sheet ghosts wave from the trees.
Cobwebs abound and ghoulish figurines stand by the door, our new neighbors await, dressed as aliens, cowboys or zombie doctors, with bowls of sugar treats doling them out like manna to the masses.
Really, I’ve heard that some cultures actually use the day to honor and remember passed loved ones , bringing small gifts of food or tokens to the memorial site.
Not us, it’s another “drive the consumer into a frenzy” holiday, jack the world up on sugar and spin away into the even greater heights of excess on the horizon.
But then, why not?
It’s been awhile since there was money left over, folks had a job and the bank wasn’t trying to thow us out on our collective arse.
Sure, there’s Ebola and ISIL, there always has been. Wasn’t it the Plague and Attila the Hun before this.
So why not a little sugar and a kiss on the lips, you only get one spin on the Merry go Round, after all.