Imagine getting to dress up, collect as much free candy as you can, AND blow things up. It was definitely the best night of the year, by far. For a costume, I had two go to’s: hobo or hippy. Simple, easy, and, other than a little soot from the fire for a beard, no make up. Nothing restricting. Nothing flammable.
Firecrackers were banned pretty early on in my Halloween career, which just made them all the more cool. There were rumours they could still be bought in Chinatown. I’d go down there with my friends. We’d pretend we were looking at paper fans and the tiny ceramic buddhas, then quietly ask the clerk if they had any. I’m not sure if it was the gang of six twelve year olds gathered together in the store that did it or what, but we’d always leave empty handed, or having only bought one of those paper lanterns or wooden snakes.
We were tireless filling our pillow sacks. Apples, homemade stuff, and those molasses things never made the cut. We could out last the folks at the door. Long after it was reasonable, we’d still be ringing doorbells. By then they were just happy to get rid of what they had left. It was an annoying, but winning strategy.
It was total freedom, out in the dark, with too much sugar, and matches. It’s a wonder we still have eyes and all our fingers. But, that’s what made it awesome, the not-so-safe danger.
I’m kind of past that now. I don’t dress up, and we don’t even carve a pumpkin. Our house is too far for trick or treaters to bother. But, if you happen to know where a guy could score some atoms or mighty mites I’d be most obliged….Happy Halloween.