News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Mike Lunsford

October 31, 2011

MIKE LUNSFORD: The lizard wore long johns, and other Halloween tales

We stocked our house with a supply of Halloween candy last week; Joanie and I stopped into the new dollar store in town and filled a grocery cart with Butterfingers and Baby Ruths and Three Musketeers bars. Every aromatic bit of it has been calling to me from the orange-and-black baskets we keep on a living room trunk ever since.

As she went for a gallon of milk and a bag of pretzels, she told me to pick out what our visitors might like, and, by coincidence, I figured the little ghouls shared a taste for chocolate and caramel and peanuts with me, and if they don’t, I imagine I can find a home for it all. I tossed a bag of Tootsie Pops into the mix, too, quietly hoping that no one but me would like them. As a matter of fact, that bag of goodies hasn’t gotten off my desk yet and, unfortunately, it developed a nasty tear that allowed my favorite flavors — cherry and orange — to spill out.

Halloween has become a quieter affair for us over the past few years. My kids aren’t kids anymore, at least in a physical sense, so we’re no longer loading them into the car and hauling them around in the dark to extort treats from neighbors and friends and family. No Batman capes hanging on the closet door knobs, no Teenage Mutant Turtle masks or face paint to buy anymore, either. We just flip on a porch light and wait for our great nephews and nieces to show up at the door, all still young enough to be holding their parents’ hands in silence. I’m sure they’ll get the hang of it soon.

I recently read that Americans spend more money celebrating Halloween than any other occasion except Christmas and possibly Super Bowl Sunday.

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