|"1348 Seneca is passing out crap."|
Do you remember doing that, slurring the words... Twick or Tweet?
Well, we're a long way from running around the neighborhood with paper grocery bags, which were a blast on rainy Halloweens. About halfway through the evening the forces of gravity found little resistance to the ever-increasing load of sugary shapes in the soaked bag and BAM, your cache dumped onto the pavement. "MOM!" She was 65 houses away, so that was a useless cry for help.
I don't know if you had this in your neighborhood, but we had candy thieves. They'd snatch your candy away. "MOM!" Being in another subdivision of the neighborhood made that cry even more fruitless.
Then, I had to contend with Mrs. Plantner. She never had kids, but she loved me. Loved me. Really loved me. She was about 89 years old and her husband, Frank, had a spinal disorder related to aging and he walked around facing the ground all day. Mrs. Plantner, however, was always finding things for me to do around her house. I mowed the lawn, raked leaves, hauled two tons of dirt into their backyard. She was always good for $10 - a huge sum back then - a couple sandwiches and several bottles of Orange Crush.
As nice as she was the other 364 days a year, Halloween was a literal nightmare for me when I got to her house. She lived about 10 houses down the slowly bending street. They had a large pie-shaped lot with a stately brick ranch home on it. I had one strategy when it was time to hit Mrs. Plantner's house, I had to go alone.
I'd bolt down my driveway and turn right, running from house to house. I'd ditch my younger sister and brother, just so I could get to Mrs. Plantner's house a long time before they did. And if I saw one of my friends on the street, I told them I was running to put out a fire on the next block. They couldn't come with me.
When I made the mad dash up Mrs. Plantner's driveway, I could see her standing in the doorway, with her swollen ankles and bowed legs. Her husband was in the living room window, talking to the carpet.
I'd get to the door and she'd start screeching, "Roger, Roger, Roger..." Crap.
Most kids got a candy bar or a sucker. If you were well-known and had a good reputation in the neighborhood, you were in for a double dip. Not me. No. I didn't get one, two or even three candy bars. I got a twelve pound FRUIT BASKET.
It didn't fit in my paper grocery bag. My coat was too small to hide it. I'd have to take that giant thing with the crinkly plastic wrap and high-tail it through the back yards to get safely back to my house. "MOM! Look what she gave me." My mother was thrilled. I wanted a damn Milky Way bar like everyone else.
Now, back to the point of this story. Today, with kids texting and tweeting on Twitter all day long. I'd be dead meat on today's Halloween.
All I needed to do was to be spotted with that giant fruit basket and there would be pics and videos of me running for cover, all over the Internet. I'd go viral. I know I would. "Ha, ha, ha, ha, look at Blazic and his bushel of fruit."
Now, with all the technology kids have, they can rat out the lousy houses. They can text to their group, "SKIP 1348 Seneca. Bums are giving out stale Smarties from last year." And the people at 1348 would have to pack those Smarties away until next year and wonder why no one showed up.
When I was a kid, we had nutcases who had weird ideas of what should be given out on Halloween. One house gave out hot cider. What kid wants that? Then there was the old couple who gave out nickles. Great. While I'm eating unwrapped candy, I could accidentally choke down a nickel. They're dead now, and we're all better off for their passing. They'd have been tweeted out of existence the first year they pulled that nickel crap on today's kids.
Times have changed. A lot. This Halloween it really is Trick or Tweet.
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