LAURA SYNDER: Cowboys and Ninjas and Clowns, Oh My!
It's time for witches and goblins and superheroes and fairy-princesses again. If you had a chance to invite them all to a dinner party, there would be a lot of awkward silences because, of course, these characters would have absolutely nothing in common. But on Halloween, they all appear on the same streets and cavort in maniacal glee as they liberate us from our Snickers bars.
The costumes are, for the most part, predictable. If a character comes to my door, I can usually tell what they are. My son, however, makes choosing a costume into a game called "Stump the Homeowner." Then, even if he got a treat, he could still trick them if they couldn't guess what he was.
Because he is a Star Wars fan, his costumes are sometimes thus inspired. For example, last year he wore a Vader helmet topped with a black Stetson and carried a guitar. He called himself "Garth Vader." He considered it a victorious night when nobody could guess what he was.
This year he has decided to go as Mannequin Skywalker. I can't wait to see how he pulls this one off.
My daughter uses Halloween as an excuse to dress like the princess she should have been. There is no other event during the year where a tiara and a ball gown are appropriate attire. The candy she receives while wearing this ensemble is just a bonus. While the boys want to knock on as many doors as possible for the loot, my daughter simply wants as many people to see her in her finery as possible.
My youngest thinks that the idea is to be as many different things as you can -- all at the same time. We have two big boxes full of costumes we have collected over the years. Trying to decide what one costume he would like to wear is apparently too stressful for his adventurous soul. So he endeavors to don them all.
I guess he's trying to minimize the loss of potential candy. His logic is the better the costume the more candy he'll get. However, everybody has different tastes, so if he wears a caboodle of costumes at the same time, one of them is likely to please the candy distributor, right?
He's been known to be an alien-clown-dragon, a cowboy-pirate-ninja and a wizard-pizza-bumblebee. All very inventive, I must say.
Some of the people in our neighborhood just can't be bothered with the frivolous holiday, so they leave their lights off and hibernate until it's over. They're the Ebenezer Scrooges of Halloween.
"Trick or Treat? Bah, humbug! The little monsters aren't making me buy them candy!"
Those are the people who are trying to figure out how to get damp toilet paper out of their trees the next morning.
It is unlikely, but even if I grow into a grouchy old lady who hates the sight of costumed children on Halloween, I would like to think I would be smart enough to light up my house like Grand Central Station that night. The real monsters hate lights.
Whispering Pines writer Laura Snyder is a nationally syndicated columnist, author and speaker. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her Web site www.lauraonlife.com.
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