NOTE: This is from my book “Daddies: An Endangered Species”. It was written way back in 1996. Wally and Beaver are now grown, and the references are way past their use-by date. But I hope it is still fun to read.
Tonight is Halloween, that special annual evening when neighborhoods across America are overrun by millions of little ghosts and goblins. They appear on our front porches, ring our doorbells, and demand that we give them candy.
Yes, each year on the last night in October, every kid in America under the age of 18 is given enough cavity-filled treats to support every dentist in America for an entire year.
I will be personally responsible for two of the little goblins who will landing on your front porch tonight.
For the past few weeks, my sons Wally and Beaver Haltom, have been preparing for Halloween in much the same manner as Marines prepare for an amphibious landing. The boys have charted a course through our neighborhood designed to maximize the recovery of Snickers, Milky Ways, Milk Dud and GooGoo Glusters.
Based on past Halloween expeditions and sophisticated intelligence operations, the boys know exactly which neighbors pass out what sort of treats on Halloween night. For example, they know that Mrs. Nichols around the corner is a health nut who enjoys a holistic multi-grain vegetarian lifestyle. Consequently on Halloween night she passes out carrots and tofu bars.
On the other hand, the boys know that Dr. Jones up the street is a chain-smoking retired physician who has a cholesterol count of over 400. He will be passing out Snickers covered in egg yolk. If we don’t watch him carefully, he may also pass out cigarettes.
The boys have spent several hours selecting their costumes. They both want to dress in the most frightening costumes possible. After giving the matter careful consideration, they decided to dress as F. Lee Bailey and Johnnie Cochran.
My wife and I vetoed these costumes since we did not want to create a wholesale panic in our neighborhood.
The boys then suggested they go trick-or-treating as Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich. Once again, my wife and I had to tell our boys that it is one thing to dress up in scary outfits, but it is another to cause our neighbors to have heart attacks.
Finally the boys decided to go trick or treating dressed as Ross Perot. It will still be a scary sight, but at least their ears will be funny.
I am thinking about joining the boys tonight for a little trick or treating myself. I’d love to snarf down a couple of GooGoo Glusters, and I’ve already picked out a scary costume of my own. I am going to go dressed as an auditor for the Internal Revenue Service.