Seems every year after Halloween I write about how things used to be. You know, less people are giving out candy than when I was young or how I would go out trick or treating by myself and now that's just not possible. So am I doing that this year? Well a little and then I'll pass on a story from when I was young. This year I noticed that if three or four houses close together were giving out candy my son referred to it as a jackpot. When I was his age almost every house was giving out candy. You could walk down one side of a street for several blocks and then come back on the other side and your bag would be bulging.
My complaint (as always) is that if you have your garage light on and your porch light on AND you have house lights on but you do not answer your door because you are not participating then you are a jerk. If you don't treat and meet the already mentioned qualities then you deserve a trick. It made me wish I had some rotten tomatoes to throw. But I didn't so I couldn't, not that I really would. What kind of message would I be imparting on my son if I did that? I just don't get why people do that on this one day of the year. It's cruel and unjust I tell you.
On to my promised story. Towards the end of my trick or treating career perhaps around twelve years of age (I can't remember exactly when, hey, I'm old) I had a near incident. I'd been out with a friend but he'd already departed for home while I had chosen to continue on to an area I'd never been to before. It was further out from my normal "territory" than I was used to and it was getting late. The lure of more candy was great however and I pushed on.
My luck was not great. Maybe because people had already given out their candy, maybe people in that area weren't participating that much that year, it's hard to say. With my prospects dimming and very few houses having their lights on I turned and started making my way home. Not long after that I heard a car pull up and a kid I didn't recognize got out. If you're thinking he was also trick or treating late like me then you'd be wrong. He called out to me "hey kid" and started walking towards me.
At this point every fiber of my being screamed out that this was wrong, something bad was about to happen. I kept walking and he kept calling out to me progressively getting louder. The car he had materialized from was pacing him down the street. Suddenly, before he could get too close to me, I decided to make a run for a house that still had it's porch light on close by and started knocking on the door loudly. His cries of "hey kid" changed as he flung epithet after epithet at me before jumping back in the car as the front door of the house opened.
The car peeled out and raced off and I was safe. I don't recall if I even got candy from that house, my mind was consumed with frantic thoughts of how close I had been to getting beaten up and having my bag of candy stolen. Clearly it was time to go home, it would have been most unwise to ignore this omen. My head was on a swivel as I warily walked the rest of the way home. The slightest noise had me spooked that the car was returning and the kid was going to finish the job he had started. None of that came to be thankfully and I made it home safely with my candy intact.
Personally while I believe the kid who wanted to assault me and steal my candy was a scumbag but really I feel that the person driving the car was an even bigger scumbag. It's one thing to go out intending to steal but the person (brother, cousin, neighbor?) was old enough to drive and still took him out knowing what he wanted to do. Hell, maybe it was his idea in the first place. What a role model. There you have it, my story of what almost was. I hope that kid didn't get anybody else that year or any other but even moreso I hope that at some point if he didn't feel some remorse for his actions then he at least eventually got his karmic comeuppance.
Hopefully my son will never have something like this happen to him but if he does perhaps I can teach him to be prepared and ready to defend himself. Of course it doesn't hurt that he's a big kid, much bigger than I was at that age. Unless of course I'm still taking him around when he's twelve or thirteen years old which I probably will be doing. I don't think a thief would have the guts to do it with an adult around. Here's hoping we never have to find out.
Written and Published by Don Leach.
May not be used without permission from the author.