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Trick or Treat

My father didn't like Halloween. What I mean is I think he actually hated Halloween. He couldn't help it. On his father's side were generations of no-nonsense Germans  who regularly whipped their children. On his mother's side were the Puritans. His aversion was pre-destined.

Be that as it may, he somehow ended up with the job of taking my sister and me trick-or-treating. We fantasized for weeks about the pillow cases, but with my father in charge, no way. We each settled for a modest lunch-size paper bag. His attention span on these annual excursions lasted long enough to get us around one city block.

We started with our next door neighbors, the Beadles; next came the Gillilands. Two more houses got us to the corner. There were two houses on that street, and then another corner where resided the mean old bag with the blackberry bushes. (She had reason to hate us.) A couple more house and we reached the Hambys. There were eleven of them. We gave away more candy just to the Hamby family than we ever got when went trick-or-treating with our father.

Two more houses, then around the final corner...the Schenkenbergers. It was pretty boring.

When I got older, Halloween was more fun. A succession of roommates was given to throwing wild Halloween parties. One year I dressed up as Mae West. Nurses and doctors ran through the rooms drinking out of catheters. Cars got tipped over. People even ended up with other people's mates. I am not recommending this type of behavior, but after going trick or treat with my father, it did give a different perspective on Halloween.

Then I got married.

We had children, and I could hardly wait to take them out to trick or treat. Unfortunately I married a man who hated Halloween. I think there was something German going on in his family of origin, along with some Puritan and a lot of Southern Baptist. He saw no fun whatever in trick-or-treating. In fact, he informed me it was "begging".

One Halloween I was too sick to take the kids out. Trick-or-treat with their father lasted about as long as it had with my father. The following Halloween my husband got a vasectomy. "I know you did this so you wouldn't have to go trick-or-treat with the kids," I told him on my way out the door, leaving him to his ice bag.

We're divorced now.

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