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Halloween? Not This Year

Acting is like a Halloween mask that you put on.  ~River Phoenix
Matt, me, Kim & Glen. What a crew! c.1996

This was the scariest of all Halloweens, combined!  Something happened that actually took my breath away and caused my heart to skip a few beats.  It was truly horrible!

What was my Halloween nightmare?   Kyle didn’t want to dress up!  The horror of it all!  He didn’t even want to go trick-or-treating!  What kid doesn’t want free candy?  I don’t even know an adult who wouldn’t pass up candy.  Granted, I know Kyle is in the seventh grade, and he is twelve years old, but to not participate in Halloween?  I am saddened.

It started a few months ago when I asked Kyle what he wanted to be for Halloween, not thinking he didn’t want to be apart of it.  He just shrugged his shoulders and said, “Umm I don’t know.”  Basically, Kyle was blowing me off.  After all these years of Halloween planning and sewing and gluing and painting.  It’s over!

I knew the day would eventually come, but I didn’t mentally prepare myself.  If I was really smart and caught onto his procrastination and avoiding the topic when I mentioned Halloween costumes, I wouldn’t have been faced with my fear.  At the very least it wouldn’t have blindsided me.  Kyle is growing up and fast!  Actually, I had a backup plan for this occasion, but this scenario took me completely by surprise, I didn’t have time to react.  And now Halloween is upon us.

Cara Mia as Prince, Mike Howell as Charlie Brown & Melissa Lincoln as a nurse at Mr. Toads in Greensburg c. 1997

I guess there is always next year.  I did get to watch Sleepy Hallow, the one with Johnny Depp.  Out of all the Halloween characters and stories told from old to young, I love the story of the headless horseman the best.  My favorite!  Ever since I was a little girl, I loved any cartoon or show that involved Ichabod Crane and the headless horseman.

Anyway, what was my mystery plan?  Bagging, of course!  What is bagging you may ask?  It’s as simple as corning!  You know when you get field corn and throw it at passing cars and houses.  I know I’ve mentioned corning a time or two before, but I’ll reiterate.  Bagging is done usually by kids or young adults who want to participate in trick-or-treating but are frowned upon because they are too old.  Hence, bagging!  Really a genius way to keep the Halloween spirit for the older in number, yet young at heart.

To participate in said activity, one must get a brown paper bag, you know the kind they used to give out at grocery stores.  Then, one must decorate the bag and be clever with their Halloween message.  Example: Please feed the hungry ghosts.  or  Place all candy inside the bag. or  I’m a monster who’s afraid of the dark, feed me! and so on and so forth.  What doesn’t get you the candy is ‘I’ll kill you if you don’t give me your candy.’  That might land you a night in jail instead of an evening sorting candy and falling into chocolate bliss.  And profanity is never an appropriate option.  So yes, decorate your bag tastefully but have fun with the project.

Now what?  First, one must dress in ninja form.  Yes, all black to blend in with the shadows.  Wearing a stylish yet functional black beret can be an option, as well as black combat boots to handle the terrain and to avoid sprains.  Nothings worse than a injured bagger.  It holds up the entire group and does not make for an enjoyable Halloween experience.

How do you get candy in said bag?  Sneak up on porch with a light on, indicating they are armed with candy and place decorated brown paper bag in front of the door.  Be sure to take into account the swing of the door so your bag is not knocked over, yet make it easy enough for the gatekeeper of the candy to pass along their sugary gold.  Then, the part that causes the most excitement.  The moment of the adrenaline rush.  The moment you’ve been waiting for, ring the door bell and run!

Matt, me, Kim & Glen… what a bunch of freaks! But we had a blast! c. 1996

Run?  Really?  O YES!  Hide in the local bushes so you can monitor your carefully decorated bag.  This is where the professionals stand out from the amateurs.  A good bagger already has their hiding place mapped out prior to ringing the doorbell.   Tip number one, scout out the area before moving in.

Do you always get candy?  Well, no not really.  There have been times I’ve received toothpaste, scotch tape, fruit (which I’m fine with) and sometimes nothing at all.  There have been times the worst happens, they take your bag!  But again, if you are a professional, you would have come with a spare.  Tip number two, bring back up bags.

As you move along through the night, you might want to protect the treasures you have already collected.  After all, one house could result in total loss of booty.  Tip number three, bring a bag to place all goods in before bagging a house.  The most efficient would be a book bag, keeping your arms free and your treasures zipped in tight to your back.  One should always bag a house with an empty bag, in case of a capture, as previously stated above.

Holding a bag hostage or just plain stolen is a very real concern!  Think it won’t happen to you?  Guess again!  Never under estimate the old lady or perfect little family down the street.  They all have the ability to throw a monkey wrench in your Halloween candy collecting fun.  For all you know, behind that perfectly inviting front door could be a stack of confiscated bags from baggers of all walks of life.

Me as a geek for Halloween! I pulled it off pretty good! c. 1996

Another concern, that has happened a time or two.  The people in the house may chase you!  Yes, there have been times when bagging has cause high speed pursuit throughout the shadows of the night.  Tip number four, always have a meeting place in case of separation due to a crazed tracker.

Yes, this year I should have planned better and Kyle and I could have gone bagging.  The only problem, I’ve only ever heard of bagging in the Latrobe area, and that was years ago in my bagging days.  No one else will know what we were doing or what to do.  Maybe we should start up the tradition in surrounding locations.  We could place specific instructions on the bag until everyone became accustomed to the idea.  Or even better, I could create a direct mail campaign alerting the neighborhoods of the activity and how to appropriately address the bag left on the doorstep.  The wheels are turning!

Everyone should keep the spirit of Halloween alive and try bagging!  It really is a lot of fun!

Happy Halloween!

Published inCommon SenseEducation & LearningFamilyMilestoneObservation & ImaginationPatienceReminiscing

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