Monday, November 1, 2010

Hallowe’en was a last minute affair this year.

On Sunday afternoon I purchased a smaller-than-average pumpkin to go with the three 50-piece boxes of inch-long chocolate bars acquired at the drugstore the day before, a format that included the Caramilk (reduced to two sections), the Wunderbar (note diversity’s German spelling), the Crispy Crunch and the oxymoronic Mr Big.

While last year’s pumpkin featured the Mandarin character for “evil” (well-received by my Chinese neighbours), this year’s face was all of eight cuts: three for each eye and two for the grin.

No sooner had I placed the candle inside, when night fell. Sadly, it was a good hour before my first trick-or-treaters, not that it picked up much after that. Not sure how many times I peeked outside to check on the candle.

At 8:30 PM, an hour after my last caller (a three-year-old Vietnamese princess wrapped in her father’s down jacket), I counted the candy and saw that I had over a hundred pieces left, making this my quietest Hallowe’en, ever. At least for trick-or-treaters.

Things were not so quiet after 9 PM, when I went for my evening stroll. Whereas in past years I heard a firework every three minutes, last night’s action was non-stop. Not quite the beach landing in Saving Private Ryan, but close. Never before have I heard such thunderous explosions. And those whistling things. I found those particularly annoying.

As I awoke this morning the radio was reporting on how out-of-hand things were, with numerous instances of fireworks being shot through schoolhouse mail slots. But the one story that blew my mind was the building fire at the 1400 block of Venables: the same florist/firework shop I mentioned in yesterday’s post!

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