Halloweiner 2009

It’s been a great day. I spent a king’s ransom—and then got way too wired—on kombucha. I puttered around the house and worked on my website. This afternoon, my friend Uta called and invited me over for some stöllen. Then, my friend Norine and her dog Mica stopped by.

So why does my day feel incomplete? It doesn’t feel like Halloween. Although Esteban and I watched our traditional Halloween movie this evening, we had only one trick-or-treater: A little girl dressed up as Batman. Sigh.

I suppose I understand why parents might be reluctant to parade their children past strangers with candy. But I worry that a favorite cultural tradition is disappearing because of our collective (exaggerated) fears.

It’s good to acknowledge the spooky imaginary monsters that lurk our minds’ shadows. It’s good practice for dealing with the real monsters that roam the streets. (Like the Taliban suicide bombers who are targeting civilians and women. Monsters!)

Anyway, back to Halloween … I’d planned on writing a creepy ghost story to mark the occasion but I’ve run out of time. So instead, I’ll post the scariest thing I’ve heard today, courtesy of Norine:

Norine shares my distaste for large crowds, so this evening I suggested that we go to the State Fair together next year. “It would be good for us,” I said. “I bet we’d have fun.”

(If you’ve never been to the Minnesota State Fair, you’ll just have to imagine yourself among 200,000 sweaty people in cut-off jeans, all of them eating fried foods on a stick while roaming aimlessly like buffalo on the prairie.)

Norine didn’t look convinced. After I razzed her a bit, she explained that the last time she’d been to the Fair, she’d had a horrible experience. “Barn accident?” I wondered. “Bad ostrich-on-a-stick?”

Nope. Bad company.

One August a few years ago, a softball accident landed her (now ex-) husband in a wheelchair. In spite of Norine’s concerns, he was insistent on going to the Fair. And he wanted his friend Tom to come along, too.

As it happens, Tom is blind. So poor Norine spent her whole day trying to steer a wheelchair through the masses while leading a blind man by the arm.

Now, that’s horrible.

Happy Halloween!

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