Friday, October 31, 2008

Live-Blogging Hallowe'en

It's the most wonderful time of the year! I love Hallowe'en. I love seeing kids come up with creative costumes, I love seeing people go from house to house. I love giving stuff away!

I try to blog Hallowe'en each year. In 2002 we went to Eric's parents' house and gave out tons of comics. In 2003 we had a good turnout on a Friday. 2004 was the year of The Amazing Loot Bag and another great turnout. 2005 got us a great compliment. 2006 was another good year for Bothell. But 2007 was our lowest turnout ever.

This is the first year in a new town which has an obviously enthusiastic number of people celebrating Hallowe'en, from the yard decorations I can see just in our neighborhood. There are also a LOT of children in this neighborhood. Tons. Way more than in Bothell. So we expect and have prepared for a large turnout.

This year we're doing our standard handouts. I've got 90 full-size candy bars, plus some backups in the pantry that are meant for our usual snacking, but will work if we get a ridiculous number of kids. We've got mini-comics from past years, I didn't buy the new ones this year because of the move, and full-size comics to go with them. I also dug out the Sky Captain bags and posters from a few years back to see if I can't get rid of them.


3:30pm - Just had a visit from "Cookie-Girl". She walks her little sister home from school every day, and goes past my house. One day while I was out trying to do some yardwork, she and her sister walked by and started giggling madly. Turns out that the older girl had accidentally dropped a cookie on the sidewalk, and the younger girl had kicked it into the weeds of my yard. Then they had started a little fantasy of me replacing the cookie, which they told me when I checked to see if they were ok (they looked mildly hysterical for a moment). I told them to come back on Hallowe'en and they would get cookies from me. She stopped by on her way to pick up her sister today to make sure I was still here, and I showed her the loot. She was... speechless. She'll be back later, in costume, I'm sure.

In the meantime, I've got this year's very wimpy decorations done, and set up our keyboard and set it on "Church Organ" to supply suitably creepy music. The front window shades are pulled up so I can see anyone approaching the door. The candy bars are still safely packed, but I'll be opening them soon enough. The comics are stacked by age-appropriateness. Everything is ready. Bring on the night.

4:30pm - Hubby-Eric is home, along with some "Fun-Size" candy left over from his classes today. My Mad Scientist costume is as ready as it's going to get (I'm not going to be able to find the goggles tonight). Now I'm just waiting impatiently for it to get dark enough for kids to start the T&Ting here in Churchville.

5:07pm - Four ToTers: Dorothy, Witch, and a couple Fairies. Little girls didn't want the "boy stuff".

5:15pm - One: Transformer

5:16pm - Three: Vampire Princess, Cat, and someone in a version of the "Scream" mask that pumped blood (it was cool!).

5:17pm - Seven: Someone in scarlet and black, two cats, a clone trooper, a Goth angel, a mother getting stuff for a kid at home, and Batgirl (we gave her a "Batman" comic). We already beat last year with this group alone.

5:27pm - Two: A clown and a princess. (The clown, however, was holding a "Disney Princess" trick-or-treat bucket...)

5:32pm - Two: A vampire and a ninja (now a single vampire-ninja, THAT would be cool!)

5:33pm - Four: A pumpkin, a witch, a fairy princess, and a kid with no costume who looked a bit like Barack Obama (something about the ears), so that's what we talked him into calling himself

5:35pm - Four: A judoka, a doggie, a skeleton, and costume of the night (so far), a shaker of salt. Most of the "Sky Captain" stuff is already gone, and we're rationing the mini-comics

5:37pm - Three: Goth fairy princess, a Power Ranger, and Batgirl #2

5:38pm - Two: A skeleton and a maharani (from India)

5:44pm - All of the mini-comics are in piles. They're going to all disappear soon.

5:47pm - Okay, we've now lost count. But among that last batch were two Spider-Men, Mike and Sully from "Monsters, Inc." and two boys with no costumes.

5:48pm - Three: Another vampire, another Spider-Man, and another skeleton. The mini-comics are ALL gone now.

5:50pm - We've crunched the numbers: Forty-three so far, and it hasn't even been an hour! Woo-hoo!

5:54pm - Two: A ladybug and another princess

5:55pm - Too many to count! Including Spider-Man, Venom (!), a zombie, a strongman... Aargh! More coming!

5:56pm - We're almost out! Help! And here come more! (Including Hannah Montana!)

6:00pm - Latest number crunch: Seventy-five! We're going to have to dip into the deep candy reserves...

6:03pm - One: 'Nother ninja.

6:07pm - Three: Cowboy, cat, and another "Scream" mask

6:08pm - Three: Non-costumed treaters who we dubbed "army drill sergeant," "princess," and "college student."

6:10pm - Number crunch time: Eighty-two, which means only eight left of our original ninety full-size candy bars. We need to buy a lot more candy next year! And acquire more comic books...

6:12pm - Five: The night's first Iron Man, clown, and three others who we weren't really paying attention to, sorry...

6:15pm - Two: Still yet another Spider-Man, and someone in black with a hockey mask.

6:16pm - Another huge wave, including a dinosaur, Elmo, another Batgirl...

6:17pm - The regular candy is gone, and we're now into our reserves of Rice Krispie Treats. Eek!

6:18pm - Four, including at least one who had already been here! Batman, Supergirl, Superman, and someone else

6:20pm - Two: Duku girl (did I say that right?) and zombie.

6:24pm - Seven or Eight: lots of different costumes. One girl called out "I love comics!" when she realized what we'd put in her bag.

6:25pm - Another Six: I'm into the second box of comic books. I had two short boxes when I started. Yikes! Hubby-Eric is on a candy run, because it looks like we might run out.

6:28pm - Three: witch, and two pirates. One of the pirates yelled, "She gave me BATMAN!" to his watching parents.

6:30pm - Seven, not including one trying to come back again. More Scream bloody masks, and princesses. We are now out of Rice Crispie Treats.

6:32pm - Ten. We're into the "Fun Size" candy.

6:34pm - Another seven. We're rapidly running out of "Fun Size" candy.

6:35pm - Two more. I don't know if I can hold out until Eric gets back!

6:37pm - Four more. They were delighted to get books, and one yelled "I got a book!" to his friends, who all had got one as well. I think I made his day, anyhow.

6:41pm - A BIG run. I'm completely out of candy.

6:43pm - Big run of a lot of kids. Didn't seem overly disappointed that they were only getting comic books. Oh, here comes another group!

6:45pm - Another big run. Still no upset that they are only getting comic books, as far as I can tell.

6:47pm - Eric is back, and just in time for more kids! He got four bags of candy. I think we may need them all.

6:55pm - Unending stream of children... I think I'm going to run out of comics...

6:58pm - Will... the... crowds... ever... stop... ?

7:04pm - Almost out of comic books. That was over two full short boxes of comics. Most of them not bagged. We're almost out. Wow.

7:08pm - Out of comics.

7:11pm - I wonder if the candy will last.

7:12pm - Kids are getting twisted up in the development and going to houses twice. Either that or they are trying to get more candy.

7:20pm - Almost out of candy again. Getting ready to close up the show. My only concern is that Cookie girl and her sister still haven't shown up. I've held out a cookie for each of them, but either they haven't come by, or I didn't recognize them when they did.

7:30pm - Only 8 more pieces of candy left. We're going to have to close up for the night very soon.

7:34pm - Closed up. Wow. Guessimate over 300 children.