Imagine a bucket big enough to ice down a dozen bottles of champagne. Now remove the champagne, toss out the ice, and fill the bucket with Halloween candy until the candy overflows the rim. Then set the bucket outside your front door and post a sign reading, “Please don’t knock. Recovering from surgery. Take a couple pieces of candy, but don’t overdo it. Leave some for the next trick-or-treater. Happy Halloween!”
We usually don’t do this, of course. We love Halloween, and love seeing the costumes, especially on the little tykes who’ve been stuffed into costumes not of their choosing and photographed for posterity and, perhaps, later blackmail. But Ruth had just had rotator cuff surgery and was unable to answer the door. I could, of course, but then I’d have to deal with two yappy dogs trying to attack the bite-sized “monsters” at the door. So we decided to set the candy outside and hope for the best.
All this played out last night, with predictable results: well before night’s end, the bucket was empty. Oh, everyone obeyed the rules, at least for a time. The first group of trick-or-treaters, in fact, was very vocal in staying strictly within the rules. “Just take a couple,” I heard one of them say, admonishing someone who had taken more. But then another one whispered, “Yeah, okay, but we should come back.”
And come back they did, returning two hours later in a candy-taking frenzy, the bucket dumped on the front porch as they scrambled for the remaining candy and disappeared in a chorus of giggles on their way to a caloric orgy and a candy high.
Well, at least they didn’t take the bucket. Now where’s that champagne?