Hey, little boy … want some candy?
“Who can take a sunrise … sprinkle it with dew?” I sang out loudly in the grocery store aisle while standing with husband-head. “Cover it in chocolate and a miracle or two … the candyman … the candyman can!”Husband-head looked absolutely mortified and walked away, pretending that he didn’t know me.”You’re embarrassing,” he hissed under his breath. “GO someplace else! I can take care of this myself. Don’t you need to look at kitchen sponges or something?”I’ll bet nobody said that to Sammy Davis Jr. when he sang the song.But we were in the Halloween candy section of the store and husband-head was intently concentrating on which treats we were going to offer to the trick-or-treaters.”It has to be the good stuff,” he said earnestly, as he threw a large bag into the cart. “You can’t chintz on Halloween candy or you’re blackballed for life.”And he meant it – which is why we ended up with ten pounds of candy – Nestle Crunch bars, Butterfingers, Baby Ruths, Milk Duds, Sweet Tarts, Bit O’ Honey, Dots and anything else he deemed “acceptable.””You got a deal going on with the local dentist or something?” I said as I eyeballed all the bags. “I’ll bet there’s going to be a bunch of toothless teens and toddlers running around our neighborhood in a few months.”But under the auspices of buying candy for the kids, we lugged it all home. That was, until we started to put it away and I caught him with a his mouth full.”You’ve got Butterfinger breath!” I accused, even though he tried to swallow it all to hide the evidence. “Stay out of the damn candy!”I took the majority of the sweets and put it in a large black plastic caldron that we use for handing out the candy on Halloween night. Then I hid the whole thing on a shelf in the pantry.I put the remaining candy in a smaller black “talking” caldron, which sat on the kitchen counter.Every time someone reaches into the caldron it screams things, followed by an evil laugh.”Have some CAAANNNDDDYY!””Care for some SWEETS?””Oh, you look so SCARY!”But I figured this way, I’d hear every time husband-head dipped into the pot.However, I hadn’t counted on our curious cat dipping her paw into the caldron in the middle of the night.”Ooohhh … pick CAREFULLY!” the caldron screamed, hours after we’d been in bed. “Happy Halloween!””What was that?” husband-head asked, waking up to the noise.”I’m betting it was the cat flicking the candy around in the caldron,” I answered sleepily. “But I’m sure it scared her.”However, the candy was only the tip of the iceberg as far as Halloween preparations.Husband-head had already decorated the entire front yard, which was acting as a magnet for little kids.There was a blow-up pumpkin, bones scattered throughout the dry river bed, orange lights, hanging skeletons and flapping ghosts. And, of course, there was the motion-activated miniature skeleton locked inside what looked like a hanging bird cage.It scared the crap out of me the first time I walked by it.”Open the DOOR!” the skeleton screamed as it shook the bars of the cage. “GET ME OUT OF HERE, NOW! I’m not KIDDING!”Once I recovered from laughing, I kept walking by it to see what else it would say.”OK, joke’s over! HA-HA-HA! Let me OUT!” it yelled.”I’ve got a real EMERGENCY here! This is NOT a drill!”Husband-head had to finally turn it off to get me, and the skeleton, to stop.But I wasn’t the only one.A little kid on our block just couldn’t stay away. He kept coming into the yard and rearranging the skeleton bones in the river bed.”Honey, you can’t do that!” I screamed at him for the fourth time in one day. “Come back on Halloween night. We’ll have some good candy.”That is, if we had any left. Husband-head had since found the hidden caldron and dug into the Dots.Heidi Rice is a staff reporter for the Post Independent. Her column runs every Friday. Visit her Web site at http://www.heidirice.com.
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Editor’s note: The Post Independent, in conjunction with Valley Life For All, continues a monthly series of profiles about people in our community who meet challenge with courage and perseverance.