Trick-or-Treating in California.

One of the great joys of every October is my trick-or-treat duty on Halloween night. Time for an evening with a young leopard and a go-go girl from the eighties. This year, as kids ran across front lawns to their next victims, they stumbled across campaign posters for Obama, Romney, and a myriad of other office seekers and propositions — thank goodness for the flashlight app on my iPhone 5.

Last year, I went out as a hedge fund manager, but that went over like a lead balloon. So this year, I went as a cowboy. I have these cool Justin cowboy boots which I bought in Fort Worth, TX during my wildcatting days, but I can’t believe how much they have shrunk. I donned my Stetson was out the door. If anyone asks why a kid my size is trick-or-treating, I just tell them I’m the bodyguard.

Those of us who live in the mountains of the California coast pour out into the flat lands to trick-or-treat, looking for well-lit streets with lots of cul de sacs. As a result, these neighborhoods get flooded with thousands of kids. Up to 25 zombies, ninjas, mutant ninja turtles, skeletons, witches, Spidermen, and Buzz Light Years mob the front doors … hands outward for candy. When you get a bunch of small kids together, it’s amazing how fast they turn feral.

Some homeowners really get into it and build full scale haunted houses. One home had this cool ’56 Chevy crashed into a tree with dead bodies hanging out the windows and doors. This year, many hosts presented bowls with a green hand that grabbed you when you reached for candy. I can’t believe how many adults dress up for this. The mom wearing the naughty school girl outfit was especially appreciated.

It was all a reminder for us to give thanks for our good fortune. I’m not digging out a home wrecked by Hurricane Sandy, or desperately seeking food and water for a starving family, waiting for the power to come back on. Past Halloweens haven’t been as fun for me either (I really could have done without 1968) — life is good … let’s keep it that way.


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