DSC_0013 by mediaslave
Despite our best efforts, it’s hard to pick a favorite time of year. Some say it’s the spring when the weather starts warming up and the cherry blossoms burst onto the scene. Not long after we’re given an 80 degree day and are drinking margaritas on a patio which could easily contend for my favorite time of the year. Yet somewhere deep down in my twisted psyche, the month of October will always hold a special place.
Perhaps it’s my memory of wearing vampire teeth with fake blood on them and running door to door with my friends to fill our pillowcases full of candy. After a few years of practice, we knew which houses gave out caramel apples, which gave out toothbrushes, and which geriatric neighbors had the ability to scare the crap out of us regardless of what they were giving out. As Seinfeld once said, the main objective of a kid is to, “Get candy, get candy, get candy,” and get candy we did. Unfortunately, most houses gave out miniature versions of the real thing, from boxes of Nerds, to Dots, to Snickers. It brought us great joy when our rich neighbors down the street plopped full size candy bars into our bags. The weight of them as they hit the bottoms of our bags caused our tiny little arms to strain, but brought big smiles to our faces. We then scurried off through the crisp October air, or snow as Denver would often have, to the next lit doorway in our sweaty little costumes. We were on an important mission, a mission to get candy.
My family grew our own pumpkins in preparation for the brutal carving ritual that we all came to enjoy every Halloween. First the crackling of newspaper as it was spread out on the floor, followed by ripping the crown off of our prized gourds with Mom’s paring knife and feeling orange guts squish between our fingers. We started out by carving the typical three triangle, jagged mouth design into our jack-o-lanterns, but as we grew older we progressed into more intricate creations such as the Def Leppard logo. Yet as much fun as pumpkin slaughtering was, this holiday was about one thing, and one thing only: getting candy.
Of course as the years went on the mission to get candy became less of a priority, to be replaced by skateboarding and kissing girls. Soon some kid on the other side of the country found a razor blade in their candy bar, which meant that all kids across the land had to get their candy x-rayed, just in case there happened to be a psychopath living in their quaint little neighborhood. It all came to an end when we were fifteen and the neighbors started asking, “Aren’t you a little old to be doing this?” Just shut up and give us the candy.
Those were some of the best days of my childhood — of the my life — cavities and all.