Me: You've had the poops all afternoon. You have to have a bath.
Son: Can't I just put my bum in the washing machine?
Halloween is one of those days where all the things you've learned as a parent seem to go out the window. Everyone looks like a stranger (well - strange, at least). And you waltz about in the dark close to bedtime knocking on strangers doors asking if they have anything to give your kids. I considered ramming the oddness home by dressing as Gary Glitter or Jimmy Saville, but figured that a) that was wildly inappropriate, and b) no bugger around here would know who I was dressed as so instead I'd get paranoid that I was in some way dressing up as some sort of homage to despicable British nonces. Obviously it's up to you as a parent to not just let your kids guzzle everything down to the point of vomiting. But considering that willpower is suspended under the guise that you've bought that bag of Mounds (quite the interesting return in Google Images for that one) "for the kids" and yet they will never see a single one of them, says it all. Add considering my daughter sat in school all day long chowing down various lollipops and chewy things at her desk - a complete diversion from the norm - I should have noted that her candy intake had already exceeded 300% of it's usual weekly intake well before Trick or Treating actually got underway. Tucked in amongst that candy, by the way, were some of those God-awful Halloween Peeps things. I don't know for sure if anything in them is actually a food. I'm fairly confident if the UN chemical weapons inspectors somehow took a wildly, ridiculous wrong-turn in Syria and ended up in my daughter's classroom that those things would be the first proof that Weapons Of Mass Destruction are so commonplace in US culture that six year old children actually eat them.
Nevertheless I made the silly error of popping out to the store early to buy some ring doughnuts. I don't think that at any Halloween so far that my kids have attempted to bite them off string. They know about it (from a Curious George book principally - but also from some cartoons) but I can't recall ever doing it. Incidentally I should point out that whilst checking out at the cash register the young lady there rung up my bill and then asked, "can I interest you in a flu shot today?" At what point did that become an impulse buy? I realize that the entire front entrance of pretty much every grocery store is littered with massive signs advertising the bloody things (it honestly looks like a protest rally) but I didn't assume a flue shot would be offered up in quite such a manner. And you can tell it isn't some socialist, welfare concern for the common health of the populace either - because clearly then it'd be tests for hypoglycemia and free BMI info judging by the massive quantities of Monster and doughnuts hoovered down around here.
Having said that I did just buy three doughnuts (no Monster though - I'm not an idiot). But after I'd arrived with my snotty son to find my daughter fading fast (her turn for the shitty cold) in her classroom - plump with weird-colored candy-wrappers strewn all over the place - I figured I'd skip the whole doughnut thing. Especially as they would clearly get an entire bag of chocolate and cnady from our street alone once they went out Trick or Treating. No bobbing for apples either. Could just do that for a laugh next week though...
And obviously part of my responsibility for the evening was to be the giver of candy if anyone dares show up at my door. The past few years I had absolutely nobody for three Halloweens, and then an absolute avalanche of two (might have been three - but frankly I was dizzy with counting so high) separate visitors!! This year I got one visit. They buggered off with a handful of Milk Duds (good luck with the emergency dentist visit tomorrow...) and Heath Bars (gack). No Mounds though. Don't know where they all went. Cough.
Anyhoo - my costume this year was an homage to last year's impressive Captain Cheesestick outfit. and by that I mean I wore my normal clothes and just the mask. Then wandered around the yard in the dark so I could see if anyone was coming down the road. It might have been a reason no-one showed up. It does have a strong-air of The Gentleman Rapist about it (a title still firmly held by Jimmy Carr). Still, it kept the dog quiet so I was happy about that.
And just to tie this whole thing together here's an obligatory shot of the kid's Jack-o'-lanterns.