My Fresh Hell
Life in Scribbletown.

Charles Manson, I Presume?


Our jack-o-lantern is nothing more than a slumping mass of squash pulp. Tis a sad, sad spectacle. On Sunday morning, I opened the front door to get the paper and found that...some thing had eaten the face out of the j-o-l. Where before there had been a cute, grinning, though perhaps slightly moldering, face, there was now just a big gaping hole. And, the lid was missing again. Something was hungry and apparently desperate.

Since then, the pumpkin has caved in on itself and Red comments on every time we pass it. “Eeewwww!” she says as if it’s the first time we’ve ever seen it in such bad shape. I think it’s time to toss it in the compost.

Team FreshHell had a marvelous trick-or-treating evening. It was warm – I swear it was almost 70 degrees last night! We drove down into the city to a neighborhood that goes all out. Halloween appears to be THE holiday on these ten or so blocks. Some folks even built a creepy castle around their front (postage stamp-sized) yard. I’m talking 15 foot board walls painted to look like castle towers.

Almost every house was decorated, spooky music played, spiders and spider webs and ghosties floated in the trees, from porches and shrubs. We met some friends in front of the school and went house to house. Dusty and her tiger friend Nina ran ahead of us and Dusty was brave this year. She did not need either parent to usher her up the steps to porches. No! She was right in there pushing her way into the candy lines.

Red, of course, had a marvelous time and enjoyed the Voodoo Zombie creature who strolled the streets back and forth in his tribal mask and grass skirt. There were pirates and bears and many fairy princesses. There was also an old guy wearing boxes of cereal (those small assorted ones that come packaged together) with knives run through them. Never could figure out what he was and his wife kept saying to people, “Think about it! Cereal! Think about it!” Lady, why don’t you just TELL ME! Later, in the car, my husband said, “How ‘bout that serial/cereal killer guy?”

D’oh! (And also: Duh!)

Red’s bunniness was oohed and aahed over. Because she is naturally adorable but ensconced in a bunny suit! Well, the adora-meter just went off the scale with the needle sproinging from the end of the spring. She also quickly figured out how the trick-or-treating racket worked and was soon boldly running up steps and sticking her hand out for treats.

Problem was, whenever she got something in her hand, she immediately stuck it in her mouth – in the wrapper – and began to chomp. I had to keep pace with her and stick out her bag so that most of the candy went in there and not in her mouth. Perfectly good Baby Ruth bars and peanut butter cups ruined by Red’s gaping maw. To put it in Dusty’s terms, those candies ended up very da nasty!

After awhile, and a few “Mine! Mine!” spats so that she wouldn’t inhale plastic wrappers, I cut Red off and just steered her through the crowded sidewalks. We probably covered two miles. Eventually, the fairy and the tiger pooped out and we headed home. Dusty still had some homework to do.

And to continue my track record as Stupidest Dimwit, I brought the wrong camera with me. I have two identical disposable cameras: one is used up and needs to be developed. The other is brand new BOUGHT EXPRESSLY FOR THIS OCCASION. So, guess which one I took to work and which one I took for trick-or-treating? You are correct! So, my attempt to also take a picture of Dusty sitting in front of our bowl of candy – the result of two separate trick-or-treating nights – did not happen. I have now switched the cameras and will attempt to recreate it tonight. Dusty even arranged the candy just so with the sole chocolate coin balanced delicately on top, like a cherry on a sundae.

So, another successful candy-filled holiday has come and gone! As we changed the calendars this morning, Dusty was pleased to see her birthday circled down near the bottom. Oy – something else to plan for. Guess it’s time to buy that guitar.


9:38 a.m. ::
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