Austin, Texas is really in to Halloween and frankly it's one of the biggest holidays because we do take the moniker "Keep Austin Weird" very seriously! I have lived in the Lost Creek Neighborhood here in Austin for almost sixteen years and we are no different. Situated in the Eanes School District we have a large population of children of all ages so there is usually a good crowd of "Trick or Treaters" of all ages out haunting the night beginning around dusk and continuing to the wee hours or whenever the candy finally runs out! Halloween is a fun and silly time but it's always good to be careful and here is a site with some excellent tips
When our children were younger, my wife and I would take turns accompanying the kids around the neighborhood or staying at home to dish out the candy to the assorted goblins, ghouls, super heroes, tinker bells etc. For many years a neighbor who lived a few houses down installed a stuffed scare crow in a rocking chair with a large bowl of candy and other goodies. Bathed in a dim and spooky light, it was innocent but still a bit scary. The first year we approached the porch with some trepidation and my children carefully reached in to the bowl and scooped up some treats. Walking away to the next house, we passed a group of older kids heading up to the porch and just as we were about to knock at the house next door, we heard the group of teens all scream in unison. Puzzled...yes, but we were on a candy gathering mission so we moved on and thought nothing of it.
A year goes by and for some reason I get Trick or Treat patrol duty again so we head out together in the early evening to begin the annual romp through Lost Creek. Once again, we approach the house with the scare crow but this year both of my children are hesitant and stand at the edge of the porch carefully eyeing the bowl of candy. I finally tell them we need to get a move on because we still have a number of houses to haunt. Neither of them budge. Exasperated, I step on to the porch and reach into the bowl. All of a sudden, the scare crow grabs my hand and I am so startled that I want to scream. Here is the worst part, have you ever been scared and when your mouth opens to shriek, the only thing that comes out is a pathetic squeal? Well, that was me..and my children also screamed and then began howling with laughter. The scare crow also started cackling and eventually I did too.
A few years ago, this mischievous neighbor moved out of the area so I decided to take up the challenge. Last year I dug around in our garage and found the all time creepiest mask ever, some very large clothes, pillows for stuffing, gloves and a large sombrero. I did an excellent job of looking like an inanimate object(for those who know me, this was a herculean task). I planted myself in a lawn chair and strung some colored lights around and waited. The outfit was so creepy that I had to badger convince my daughter to join me in a chair and read a book posing as someone who was there to make sure everyone got a fair share of the candy. The outfit was so creepy that EVERYONE who walked up did so with caution! I have to say that I was very responsible and did not move a muscle when the little ones accompanied by parents approached.
Each and every group of visitors asked, "Is that real, is someone in there?" My daughter was a pro and said nothing but would also whisper the status of the groups so that I would know whether to stay perfectly still or if I could, at the right moment, scare our guests. Towards the end of the evening it got to be a lot of fun because by then it was mostly teens. My daughter knew many of them and I have to tell you took great pleasure in watching then scream as I would suddenly come to life and scare the beejeebers out of them!
This week, my wife asked me if we were going to be doing the stuffed sombrero routine again and I said yes! After all, there are some new kids on the block and there are some that were too young to scare last year so it will be their turn now. And of course, there are all of those parents I let slide, who will see the scary candy clown and still think I am just a stuffed prop! She just laughed and told me that she will be taking her place beside me as the innocent candy monitor this year. We might even set up a video camera for some interesting clips. Whatever you do this year, please remember to:
HAVE A SAFE AND HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
It's the day AFTER Halloween and at the Lewis house, the Scary Clown is bummed and starting to grouse! Yes, due to any number of circumstances we sadly only had three groups of "trick-o-treaters" (and all too young to frighten) Soooooo....it's back to the garage with our frightening friend and another year before I will have to sit still again! I guess we will have to eat all the candy ourselves...
It's the day AFTER Halloween and at the Lewis house, the Scary Clown is bummed and starting to grouse!
Yes, due to any number of circumstances we sadly only had three groups of "trick-o-treaters" (and all too young to frighten) Soooooo....it's back to the garage with our frightening friend and another year before I will have to sit still again! I guess we will have to eat all the candy ourselves...