- Ted & Debbie (Photographers)
It’s a quiet Halloween night in Santa Monica I think to myself. As my friend Dean and I watch our kids Trick or TreatÂ from the sidewalk I find myself becoming a champion of a Halloween that I had when I was growing up. We set off on on our premeditated raid of Coral Ridge aboard red and blue sting rays. In my world bike helmets and lights weren’t even invented. Light Sticks were being developed somewhere in top secret labs. We are armed with eggs, toilet paper, fireworks and our newest weapon- Super Glue. We are dressed as hippies, devils, ghosts and Indians. Â We live with the fear of having our pillow cases filled with candy laced with LSD and apples laden with rusty razor blades.
Henry and I played hookey and snuck into the the Tim Burton show at LACMA on it’s closing day through the back door.
Driving around and at pick up the idea of costumimg up seems to inject a booster shot of creedance into the arm of the fashion show atmosphere of the day. Reality crumbles and bizarre reigns with a rumble between Captain America, Spiderman, Dorthy and Mario from Donkey Kong. I think that our culture of “we are all winners” is sadly mistaken. I think to myself that taking photos of what I’m seeing is like shooting ducks in a barrel. It’s just not fair.
Back home I look at our 5 boys who are making last minute canges to their costumes. They have the costume basket out and hanging from The Wolfman to Dracula is as easy as just changing a mask. Sam and Henry aren’t sure if they want to go over our friends house for dinner and go Trick Or Treating. Sam has a lot of homework and I can tell that Halloween just isn’t as enchanting as it used to be for him. Next year he’ll be wearing the costume of a college freshman. Henry paints his hair blue and says he’s Flea from The Red Hot Chili Peppers.
At our friends house I mix Bloody Marys and she makes lasagne. Ollie can’t contain himself. He wants to hit the streets in search of candy and frights. Sam decides to walk home by himself and finish his homework. We all make jokes about walking next to the cemetary. Henry disappears after gettingÂ text messages from his friends about his where abouts. Dean and I are down to 5 kids now. We make small talk about Game 6 of the World Series, our kids school and surfing. It’s quiet around Santa Monica tonight. It’s been unseasonably warm. There’s a fog bank perched off the coast waiting to come in any day now but the off shore breezes just wont let it. We can tell when the kids are tired and start running out of steam. My costume of a Canadian Tuxedo is now layered with a ninja mask and a cowboy hat.
Back home the effects of the sugar are winding down. There’s a grisly scene on the living room floor. It seems that The Wolfman and Larry from The Three Stooges have had a battle to the death. Â Simon has fallen asleep in the shower and Theo is having trouble removing his clown make up. Debbie has gone to sleep, Ollie is still counting his haul of candy and Henry is still getting text messages from his friends. Â I go downstairs. Sam is just finishing his homework. I settle in next to him as he turns on an episode of Dexter.
Jeeez, what a week. First the Giants win the World Series and then the republicans take the House. I only hate the Giants because I’m a Dodger fan. As much as I wanted to see the Giants hearts broken with a walk off homer in the 9th of Game 7, they actually have a great bunch of guys and I tip my hat to them. Election day is a little harder to swallow. At least we Californians got Jerry Brown for governor again. That’s a good thing, right? Oh well, Halloween came and went. None of the boys wanted to make their costumes this year. We bought Theo his Wolf man mask and Henry his rainbow afro wig. At this point we have a stock pile of get-ups in a box and the rest just sorted through it and “dressed up.”
The first treat of the evening was given to the boys by the firemen who were out in front giving first aid to a man who fell asleep in his car at a red light in front of our house. He had 18 beers in the back seat and one in the cup holder. He didn’t actually need first aid. He just needed to be woken up. The police arrived after few minutes and really woke him up with a sobriety test which he naturally failed.
Bruce came over on his way to dinner and to see the boys costumes and left with Sam who I guess is getting too old for trick or treating.With no costume anxieties or meltdowns we drove over to Dean and Catriona’s house to have dinner and go trick or treating.
In case you can not guess what their costumes are, I’ll tell you . Theo was The Wolf Man, Simon and Ollie were a vampire skeleton blend, Sam was a guy with a plastic nose, glasses, eyebrows and a silly hat and Henry was a U.C.L.A fan. Without the wig, Henry’s costume resembles his everyday attire.
Fion and Mari were putting final touches on their costumes as we arrived as sat down for a yummy dinner of squash soup, sausages and baked potatoes.
It was a relatively quiet evening as Dean and I escorted our ensemble around the neighborhood while Debbie and Catriona stayed back at the house to dole out candy to the trick or treaters.
Henry took off during the journey to rendezvous with some friends a few blocks away and I sort of lost most of the kids (except for Simon) when Dean stopped in for a beer at another friends house. It was actually nice strolling down the streets with my little vampire skeleton as he walked up to each house and said, “trick or treat” and “thank you” as he walked back to me waiting on the sidewalk.
Halloween has changed since I was a kid. I don’t remember my parents ever chaperoning my brother, my friends and I around the streets of Ft. Lauderdale. There’s a cautious fear in the air. I think every parent nowadays has it. It’s hard to describe and even harder to write or talk about. The fear is unlike the fear of apples loaded up with razor blades or candy laced with LSD. This fear doesn’t go away after Halloween is over. The kids seem to be having a fun time though. That’s all that matters. We all somehow find each other and make our way back to Dean and Catriona’s house bags heavy with candy. Here we regroup and go over ‘the take.” The kids have done good as they go over their candy. They all fight over the Hot Tamales and everyone laughs when Henry finds a pack of raisins in his candy bag.
Someone finds a quarter in their candy bag and Debbie starts to tell everyone that her mom made her Trick or Treat for UNICEF when she was a kid and I start to tell the kids about about how we used to go “egging” on Halloween night.
We have this thing called The Switch Witch. Basically it’s where the kids trade in all their crappy candy for a more sensible gift like a book. I can’t believe our kids fall for this every year!