Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Sudie-memories of Halloween

Growing up in rural Iowa was an experience.

I'm not going to say it's good or bad, because it might be misconstrued as a blanket statement and God knows I don't need to deal with THAT right now.

As much as I gripe about it, there were some OK things about it.

Halloween...not exactly one of them.

Let's face it...when you live in the country, chances are that you're not going to HAVE a lot of trick or treaters in the first place. When you're a kid wanting to trick or treat, it gets even MORE challenging.

First of all, unless you live in some kind of a "gentrified" subdivision type thingie (of which there are a few around my hometown), you can't really walk down the street to the neighbors. There's no sidewalk to speak of...just the gravel shoulder of the road. So that means one of the following situations come into play:

1. You don't go out to trick or treat
, resulting in pouting and arguments with parents that this was NOT FAIR, and all the OTHER kids go out to trick or treat, so CALL A REALTOR RIGHT NOW and sell the house! (This method usually guaranteed grounding until Easter of the following year.)

2. Your parents haul your sugar-starved, flame-retardant costume wearing a$$ to town
and take you all over the place so you can "make your pile", candy style. Some get out of the cars and walk the kids to the door at EACH stop, meaning getting in and out of a nice, comfortable car in chilly weather.

In this scenario, the parents are greeted with the "funny" line of, "Oh, what are YOU supposed to be?" when they traipse up to the door with the kids. I guess this is one of the gazillion reasons I'm not a parent. I'd be asking Mommy and Daddy for a grownup beer. Just one can, thanks; by the time I get through the neighborhood, I'll have a twelve-pack and I'm set for the night. I digressing? Oh yeah...let's go on.

3. Your parents drive you around the "country neighborhood" in an effort to scrounge up candy for you. Keep in mind that one or more of the following may be in effect:

  • Harvest...meaning that the probability of your li'l darling being run over by a combine while wearing their Transformers costume increases by 50%
  • Mean dog that has run of the whole farm and no rabies shots since 1996
  • House has parents that took THEIR kids to town for trick or treating
  • Amish houses...not really a trick or treat haven
  • Meth lab - however, if you need some extra Sudafed, they might have some
And let's face in the boonies on a dark, fall night is scary in and of itself.

We've all seen the horror movies, right?

Serial killers in the movies don't attack fully-lighted townhouses...OH NO. They target the woods, the summer camps (abandoned or not) and the FARMS and FARMHOUSES! Shee-it, "Scooby Doo" covers this subject pretty comprehensively and they've been America's source of spookiness for almost 40 years.

So imagine being a the country...on a cold fall night...and your parents won't let you turn on every light in the house just because you think the boogyman lives in the drainage ditch outside your house and sleeps with a butcher knife.

Can you say "overactive imagination"?

And you don't even get any damned Snickers out of it.