A Chicago Trick or a Autumn Treat

 

How do I spend my Halloween? With Autumn (name changed to protect the guilty), my good friend and all-but-adopted little sister. She is married and an RN, but she likes to joke about being “perpetually 11.” Autumn is what happens when a tomboy stays a tomboy without crazy parents or society interfering. She likes fireworks, amateur bartending (I always get a gin and tonic when there), heavy metal, and talking about politics. Lest you think anything untoward is going on, she is a conservative Catholic married to a conservative Catholic convert with an ample firearms collection. (We were in College Republicans together.) Autumn is affectionate with all her friends, which is awesome, and also loves to dress up for Halloween.

Visiting Autumn’s old place for Halloween is an experience in and of itself. Her parents have a house that is already partway to haunted, and the decorations make the ancient bungalow look positively spooky. Her Mom is a blast and an awesome host, and Autumn is an incredible extrovert and organizer, so the party is always fun, with all kinds of guests. Autumn’s Dad, well, he makes Archie Bunker look like a woke hipster. Getting into politics with him can be either amusing or result in a barrage of invective. The guests are from all over the social/political spectrum – Autumn has maxed-out charisma – so the party would be fun regardless of what we did.

The real fun is in the game of scaring the children. Kids of a certain age enjoy a good scare and show, so we do a few haunted house tricks, have a guy in a mask pretending to be part of the scenery, etc. It’s all in good fun, and every year we have a different theme. I have been a yeti for several years, and a mad scientist for more. (They say to write what you know – it also goes for costumes.) It’s a recurring tradition, and kids come back year after year. Usually, after the kids stop coming, Autumn goes trick or treating herself.

Please remember, this is in a middle-class bungalow region in Chicago, not far from some housing projects. There’s still enough community spirit and trust for kids to go trick or treat, and we don’t have creepy weirdos show up. It’s still a treat, and not a trick.

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  1. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Sounds like a great time.

    • #1
  2. Juliana Member
    Juliana
    @Juliana

    OmegaPaladin:

    The real fun is in the game of scaring the children. Kids of a certain age enjoy a good scare and show, so we do a few haunted house tricks, have a guy in a mask pretending to be part of the scenery, etc. It’s all in good fun, and every year we have a different theme. I have been a yeti for several years, and a mad scientist for more. (They say to write what you know – it also goes for costumes) It’s a recurring tradition, and kids come back year after year. Usually, after the kids stop coming, Autumn goes trick or treating herself.

    So are you telling us you are a real-live yeti? Things that make you go hmmm.

     

    • #2
  3. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    That reminds me of when I was in the Boy Scouts (okay, the Cub Scouts) and our troop somehow got assigned the task (badge worthy?) of dressing up for Halloween and leaping out of the trees along a park trail to scare eager victims. 

    But my best scare was undoubtedly the surprise I gave my sister whose friend had vividly recounted every horror film she had seen, including Child’s Play and It. I tied a small clown doll to a ceiling fan blade and set the fan to turn on with the light. So the first thing my sister saw when she flipped the switch was a clown lunging at her.

    • #3
  4. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Well done!  I did not need to roll out bears or outhouses as part of October’s theme: “Trick or Treat!” Thanks for doing your part to keep it that way! 

    Everyone is welcome to post their own Halloween traditions, and I’ll try to collect them in a list, possibly as bonus theme posts.

    November’s theme is “Service.”

    • #4
  5. OmegaPaladin Moderator
    OmegaPaladin
    @OmegaPaladin

    Juliana (View Comment):

    OmegaPaladin:

    The real fun is in the game of scaring the children. Kids of a certain age enjoy a good scare and show, so we do a few haunted house tricks, have a guy in a mask pretending to be part of the scenery, etc. It’s all in good fun, and every year we have a different theme. I have been a yeti for several years, and a mad scientist for more. (They say to write what you know – it also goes for costumes) It’s a recurring tradition, and kids come back year after year. Usually, after the kids stop coming, Autumn goes trick or treating herself.

    So are you telling us you are a real-live yeti? Things that make you go hmmm.

     

    I am actually a yeti, but I identify as human.

    • #5
  6. Katie Koppelman Coolidge
    Katie Koppelman
    @KatieKoppelman

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):

    Juliana (View Comment):

    OmegaPaladin:

    The real fun is in the game of scaring the children. Kids of a certain age enjoy a good scare and show, so we do a few haunted house tricks, have a guy in a mask pretending to be part of the scenery, etc. It’s all in good fun, and every year we have a different theme. I have been a yeti for several years, and a mad scientist for more. (They say to write what you know – it also goes for costumes) It’s a recurring tradition, and kids come back year after year. Usually, after the kids stop coming, Autumn goes trick or treating herself.

    So are you telling us you are a real-live yeti? Things that make you go hmmm.

     

    I am actually a yeti, but I identify as human.

    Burl Ives and Billie Mae Richards in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)

    • #6

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