Monday, October 31, 2011

Not quite Live-Blogging Hallowe'en

So, the first Trick-or-Treaters arrived at 5:40 pm. We were ready, and had the decorations up. We just hadn't turned on lights yet. So we did that as the first four kids were still walking away after saying "Thank you!"

Eric had bought six large bags of candy at Costco. He thought each one had 150 pieces in it, making 900 pieces. Based on our rough counts from the first three Hallowe'ens we've lived here, I thought we might make it through the night with those six bags, but I wasn't sure. As it turned out, Math teacher Eric made a critical error that made sure we'd get through the night.

The density of T-or-T'ers was the usual, tons coming in waves, stumbling over each other, falling down in the yard as they tried to wander to the next house in their masks. I saw a few repeaters as well, and when I could I called them on it. I don't think they were daunted.

I tried to count, at least through the first hour. From 5:40 to 6:30 we got 193 T-or-T'ers, give or take a couple. The first bag, which we thought would only have 150 pieces in it, instead lasted for well over 200 pieces. I checked the bag after and realized it never had a count, just "varies" for the number of pieces in the bag.

We had three of one type of bag, and three of another. I looked at the types of candy in each of the bags and decided that we would use up "Type 1" first, and it was Type 1 that had more than 200 pieces per bag, maybe as many as 250 per. The "Type 2" bags had a count of 150 on them... so instead of 900 pieces, we had over 1050! Eric had thought both types of bags said 150, his critical error, so about halfway through the second bag I stopped worrying about running out.

I lost my count of kids somewhere around 275 when a run of about 50 kids happened. I am not kidding. 50 kids. All at once. Lining up and pushing their way to the door. I lost count because a girl leaving the porch stepped into the yard and fell over a pipe-thing that's been in the yard since we moved here and is probably some plumbing thing, but the poor girl didn't see it and tripped, and I was busy asking some boys who had just finished to help her and make sure she was ok. All the while, I was handing out more candy to kids crowding the door. When the rush stopped I realized I had no idea how many kids that was. All I know for sure is that the kids kept coming.

We started the fourth bag about 2 hours after the first T-or-T'ers had arrived. Guessing that the first three bags had over 200 pieces each, we got at least 600 kids in the first two hours, probably a bit more. But right about the time we opened the fourth bag, the crowds eased up. It is a school night, after all.

It's now almost 9 pm, and we have gotten a few sporadic clumps of kids out late. It's definitely too late to be out, as a lot of people have already turned off their lights and locked the doors. Seems to me that prime T-or-Ting time is 5:30 to 7:30. If this is how it "normally" is, I think we'll be able to handle it in the future. I'd gotten all depressed and pretty much given up on Hallowe'en because I hated closing the door early. It's much better this year with some candy left over!

Ok, summary of costumes. Lots of superheroes. Mostly Batman, a scattering of Superman and Green Lantern, a number of Batgirls. Some Marvel heroes, mostly Iron Man. There was a Hulk and a Wolverine without claws. We saw some Oz costumes, 3 Dorothys, one Wicked Witch and one Glinda. A number of M&Ms. Lots of ninjas, but thankfully not as many Scream masks this year. I grew to hate them last year. There was one clever Scream mask, a scarecrow scream. If I'd seen more than one I would have gotten annoyed at it, but I only saw the one.

A lot of kids recognized Eric as a teacher this year. Last year at this time he'd only been teaching in the district for a few weeks. This year he's been at it a full year and was familiar to a lot more students. Eric had to remind a few kids that the Hallowe'en 'magic words' are not "Hey, Mister Gjovaag!" but "Trick or Treat!"

Every once in awhile when a kid said "Trick or Treat" we'd ask them for a trick. This stumped most of them, and amused me to no end. After all, Hallowe'en has become a sanitized version of its former self thanks to the candy aspect, and today's kids don't even know why the saying is "Trick or Treat" or what kind of a threat it is.

More than a few teenagers, and some younger, showed up at the door without a costume. We'd have them come up with a costume on the spot. I suggested that one was a lawyer, and he took it up immediately. Another one I suggested librarian, and she reluctantly decided that was ok. I'll just say I was amused.

A number of the little kids had difficulty navigating the step up to the door. Eric suggested we build a ramp. I suggested we build a ramp and have a hand reaching out from the side of it to match our "monster under the house" sign. It would be funny, but a lot of work to make sure it was safe. Probably won't happen.

Well, it's 9 pm. We made it for the first time. We could even leave the lights on longer if we wanted. A little boy just arrived right after 9, one of the late ones for sure. I don't think most kids are going to be out this late now. I'm feeling pretty happy.

I'm going to estimate close to 800 kids. Based on the amount of candy we have left... hrm... possibly a bit more than 800. If those first three bags had as much candy as I suspect they had, maybe as much as 900. But not much more than that.


Roger Owen Green said...

we ran out of candy! My wife was giving out two pieces, rather than one - I was with the Daughter - and we just ran out as the Daughter and I got home. Then some kids followed us to the porch, and those kids we gave my daughter's cache of peanut-containing candies (she's alergic). Then we turned out the lights.

Michael Jones said...

800-900! That's magnificent. When I hear stories of households getting less than 10 kids, it makes me sad. You've cheered me up immensely.

Roger Owen Green said...

Apropos of candy - Halloween Candy Statistics. I got this from my Google Alert (different Roger Green).