On Halloween, people dress up to be something they’re not on any other day of the year. While they wear costumes to hide their true identity, some of them still show their true colors.
In my neighborhood, ‘trunk or treat’ replaced the traditional ‘trick or treat.’ There was no going door-to-door doing tricks so someone would give you a treat. Instead, everybody who wanted to give out or receive candy met at a local hot spot to make the exchange. Sure, it was a little odd standing by my trunk with a bowlful of candy, and yes, I said ‘bowlful,’ offering children a piece while telling them how cute they looked. We spend 364 days of the year telling kids not to take candy from strangers and then we dress them up and parade them around a parking lot so they can walk up to strangers’ trunks and get a treat. It just doesn’t seem right.
It was early in the evening and only a handful, not a bowlful, of trick-or-treaters had visited my trunk. Each of them picked one piece of candy from my bowl, placed it in their plastic pumpkin, and thanked me for the sugar that would keep them up late into the night and eventually, lead to a few hours in the dentist’s chair. Watchful parents spoke up when a feisty Woody from Toy Story and a hungry-hungry hippo tried to take more than one treat or to leave without saying thank you to me for all that I had done for them. It was all very civil, until it wasn’t
As business picked up, I saw a large purple arm reach open-handed into my bowl and grab as many pieces as she could. She kept grabbing and grabbing to get as much as she could in one attempt. It was like the electronic claw crane game that kids play at the arcade so they can win a stinky stuffed animal that later gets sold at a their mom’s garage sale. I swear, if she would have caught my hand in that thing I would’ve been thrown into her large pillowcase along with all the bite-size candy she captured during her pillage. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and better yet, that her parent wasn’t speaking up and telling her that one was enough. As I looked up to see who was more concerned about herself than anyone else, I realized it wasn’t Woody or a hungry hippo. It was an adult woman with one long horn and one big eye right in the middle of her forehead. It was a Purple People Eater. Okay, so she didn’t have a horn and she had two eyes, but she was wearing purple and based on what I saw, she would eat a few people if they got between her and the candy. “One piece, please,” I said as I looked up at her. She looked right into my eyes as she stretched her hand open wider and wider. “Excuse me, but just one piece because they are plenty of children yet to come.” She smirked, pulled her filled claw from the bowl, released it into her pumpkin, and moved on to the next trunk.
The well-behaved child trunk or treaters dressed up to be something they’re not on any other day of the year. The one adult was what she is every other day of the year. She showed her true colors.
Thanks for laughing,