Lots and lots of Halloween

Is it over yet?
On Saturday night, Buzz Lightyear, Woody and Snow White came to our door. So did a lot of their friends.

It seemed like it was Halloween for a week.
Thankfully, we were prepared. A couple of months ago, one of our neighbors asked if anyone had described to us what happens on Halloween in our neighborhood. He then told us that more than 700 trick-or-treaters had come to their house last year. People drive in from all over the county so their kids can trick-or-treat here, he said.
Could that be right?
Jenny asked another neighbor about it. That neighbor hadn’t kept count, but she did say that she had had to turn out the porch light after running out of candy early in the evening.
So I went out and bought enough candy for 850 treats. By the time it was over, we had given away most of it. (Jenny wants me to mention that she actually gave out most of the candy while I was glued to the TV, watching football.)
It was very different than Halloween at our house in recent years. Jenny loves Halloween; it’s one of her favorite holidays. Every year she buys several bags of candy, hoping to see lots of little ghosts and goblins.
But in Alabama we lived in a neighborhood filled mostly with retirees, and Halloween was a big disappointment to her. Several of our neighbors didn’t even turn on their porch lights, and there weren’t many children in the neighborhood.
We thought we had had a successful Halloween if 25 trick-or-treaters came to the door.
This year 25 trick-or-treaters came to our door before it even got dark. The streets were lined with cars and trucks, filled with parents unwilling or unable to make the walk with their children.
There were cute costumes, and not-so-cute costumes (I’m not much into camouflage and flak jackets on children). One of the best was a little girl dressed up as a popcorn box and wearing a cap covered in popcorn. Among the purchased costumes, we liked a little boy all decked out as Thomas the Tank Engine.
But my favorite wasn’t a child at all. It was a wiener dog covered in a big bun costume, complete with mustard, ketchup and relish on top. We should have given the dog a Beggin’ Strip, but we didn’t think of it at the time.
Anyhow, we got through the weekend. Fortunately, in 2011 Halloween is on Monday, so we won’t have the confusion about what night children ought to be out trick-or-treating.
And Jenny’s already thinking about how to handle such a large crowd better, something about sitting out on the driveway so kids won’t have to come up the walk to the door.
It wouldn’t be my best thing. I wouldn’t be able to see the TV from there.
I wonder if that’s why she suggested it? Hmm.

T. Wayne Mitchell, publisher of the Gazette, can be reached by phone at 662-534-6321 or by e-mail at publisher@newalbanygazette.com.