Halloween is past, but the memories linger.
As a boy I knew why Halloween was a good holiday. It wasn’t the costumes; it was the candy. I still feel that way.
Patti Jo retains her Halloween spirit too, but hers is a little less, well, greedy, I suppose.
Saturday she wore her big fake Halloween teeth while handing out treats at our door. The teeth are alarming because they look both horrible and semi-authentic. Kids notice them, but they never comment; they’re either too polite or too shocked.
Finally, this year, one brave, wide-eyed little girl asked, “Do you have scary teeth?”
She meant Halloween teeth and was clearly hoping the answer would be yes, because if they were real she was prepared to run. Patti Jo assured her they were indeed scary teeth.
We gave out packages of candy from a big bowl. I kept back four Nestle’s Crunch Crisps for myself. Crunch Crisps are a fairly rare new product and worth mass production in my opinion. It’s nice to know the candy people are still figuring out ways to make me momentarily happy.
I like crispy chocolate. When I was 7, my ambition was to have a Scrooge McDuck vault room filled with Kit Kat bars. I later gave up the idea because it was a slippery slope. You get a roomful of Kit Kat bars, pretty soon you need to balance the sugar with a roomful of peanuts. Next thing you know you’ve got a closet full of Girl Scout mints and popcorn in your attic.
But I do love the stuff, and Saturday I was afraid I’d have to sacrifice my four Crunch Crisps. The smaller kids only took one or two items apiece, but the teens stuck their mitts in the bowl and came away with fistfuls. They acted like they never heard that line about a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips.
It was a grim situation. It wasn’t like I could get more down the hill; they didn’t have any at Ralphs.
I could have taken down our tuxedoed plastic skeleton and turned off all the house lights, but it was only 9 p.m. and I didn’t want Patti Jo to think I was crazy — well, I guess she already does, but I didn’t want to underline it.
I stood inside the door, with the bowl down to its bottom layer of Skittles, listening for sounds from outside. People who say Halloween isn’t really scary just don’t know.
SHERWOOD KIRALY is a Laguna Beach resident. He has written four novels, three of which were critically acclaimed. His novel, “Diminished Capacity,” is now available in bookstores, and the film version is available on DVD.