Here’s our Halloween away team, preparing to gather data on the native custom known as “Trick or Treating”:
We have a pretty able commander in Captain Robin Phillips, backed up by Science Officer Daddy, but I frankly have some suspicions about our Navigator. I don’t think he knows what quadrant he’s in most of the time, let alone how to make warp speed. Maybe it’s not fair to blame him for our technical limitations, as we lack an Engineering division entirely—but nobody wanted to wear the red shirt.
When dusk fell and we set out on our mission, we were at first a bit dismayed to see that our street was oppressively dark and quiet. I left a bowl full of candy on our porch by the jack-o-lantern and we set off to look for houses giving out treats. None of our neighbors had their lights on, but we could hear the sounds of revelry coming from pretty close by; we turned a corner and noticed another group of kids on the sidewalk. There were three or four houses on that block that were lit up and handing out candy, so Robin got to practice saying “Trek or Treat!” (yes, ours is the starship Dorkus Maximus) a few times before we hit the real paydirt, which is apparently a little street called El Camile that runs parallel to ours two blocks up. This street does Halloween like some blocks do Christmas: each house striving to outdo the next, with lots of lights and elaborate decorations. Robin was actually a little bit scared by a “creepy clown” themed driveway, but we just gave that one a wide berth and continued on. He seemed to recover right away so that was good. He certainly figured out the whole “I knock on the door and they give me candy” premise in no time flat—he was very eager to go running up to each new house. He’s not even had a lot of candy in his life, but I guess it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the stuff in the brightly wrapped little packages is desirable. Also, he’s a friendly kid, and I think he may have just enjoyed the chance to say hi to a lot of people, and to mingle with groups of other kids.
When we got home none of our candy had been touched and no trick-or-treaters were evident on our block. I was pretty bummed—but a bit later we had a group of older kids come by. I know it can be annoying when teenagers trick-or-treat, but this group was dressed up pretty adorably: there was a black cat and a ladybug, both age-appropriate (i.e. not a “sexy” ladybug) and a dude in a rubber ghoul mask. I happily gave them fistfuls of candy. I hope next year we get more kids. Maybe if we step up our Halloween game—some fake spiderwebbing, some jokey tombstones—our neighbors will be shamed into leaving their porch lights on and forking over some mini Snickers bars.