Saturday, October 31, 2009

Hallowe'en Live Blogging

Well, getting set up for the holiday now. I'm about to make a couple of signs to put out... one to cover the "NO SOLICITING" sign, and another to show kids where they are in the housing development (yup, I'm going to put up a map!). I've strung some more lights inside the house to make a backdrop for my gift-giving (because that's what I consider Hallowe'en candy to be) and laid out the bags of candy (over 700 pieces of "fun size" candy) and comic books (around 50 quarter-bin comics my old comic shop gave me when I visited last weekend - THANKS PAIGE!).

Halloween Candy

I've got the space heater aimed at the door, although I'm not entirely sure I'll need it because it's a VERY nice warm day outside, and it looks like enough clouds are moving in that it won't get too cold tonight. It's not likely to rain at all, but we may have some trouble with the wind.

I've set up my computer near the front door so I can blog, but if last year is any indication, I will have precious little time for it. Last year we ran out of candy in two and a half frantic hours, even with Eric taking another trip to the store to get more candy. We know we got over 300 kids, but I lost track early on and kept count by seeing how much candy was left. Which made it really hard when I ran out of candy and only had comics.

Anyway, I'll update this entry as the day progresses into night. I have no idea what will happen this year. It's Saturday, perfect weather, and I hope I'm prepared.

2:00pm - About four hours until dark. I suspect the action will start a little early this year because it's Saturday. I've put up most of the signs, swept off the porch, and got my costume ready (Mad Scientist, same as most years). Just had a rather late lunch. Now I guess I'll read some Agatha Christie and wait.

4:05pm - First two visitors, but they were not trick-or-treaters. I went out to get the mail (avoiding ninja Chuhuahuas*) and when I came back I heard one of them walking along the sidewalk mention to his father that he hadn't even been able to ask for canned food before the lady next door shut the door on him. In my driveway I asked what they were up to, and he said they were collecting canned food (duh on me) so I said I thought I had some and raced inside and found some chicken noodle soup that Eric and I eat really slow. They thanked me, and then I asked if they wanted any Hallowe'en candy. The older boy politely said, "No thank you, we don't celebrate Hallowe'en." So I asked if they wanted some non-specific holiday candy, and he looked befuddled for a moment before again refusing. I thanked them and they went on their way. I wonder what they were collecting for, and if I would have shut the door on them as well if they'd gone through whatever spiel they gave the woman next door?

*Regarding ninja Chuhuahuas: The other day when I went out to get the mail a Chihuahua that lives next to the mailboxes "attacked" me. I've noticed him sizing me up every time I go out, and this time I didn't see him at all until I heard the owner sharply yell for him, at which point I looked down to see he was about to trip me. I'm sure he would've then jumped upon me and torn my throat out. Definitely a ninja Chihuahua.

4:30pm - Group of seven, then two more older girls. Seven were crowding, hard to tell what they were. I have a vague sense of a camo jacket on one of the boys and a little girl with a totally inadequate bag. One of the two older girls was dressed as a devil with a very nice make-up job. Running total is nine.

4:44pm - Four - Pirate and others, including Cookie-Girl from last year. It's about an hour until sundown. Finished Agatha Christie (yeah, she got me again, review tomorrow) and am working on the latest Fortean Times. Appropriate Hallowe'en reading. Running total is lucky thirteen.

5:01pm - Five, including a very little girl who lost her basket and was collecting candy in the hood of her jacket. I gave her one of the really old Sky Captain bags and she was grateful. Running total 18. More coming.

5:04pm - Four. Another very little girl who was so taken by the lights inside my house that she hardly noticed I was giving her candy. She was led by an older girl in an elegant witch dress. Running total 22.

5:13pm - Four more. I thought they'd already hit my house, but they claimed they hadn't. As I sat down to write a solo Spider-Man came by and he got a comic book as well as candy. Running total is 27.

5:24pm - Five. Two babies in incredibly cute outfits being carried by parents. The oldest of the children noticed my sign that says the monster under the house likes Trick-or-Treaters dipped in chocolate. Running total up to 32.

5:30pm - Seven, including a convict in a prison outfit that was rather amusing. I asked him where he escaped from, but he didn't say. One last one popped up as I was writing, which makes eight. That's a running total of 40, total of 40 in the first hour.

5:39pm - Two, a clown and policeman. Very little. I gave them comics too, mostly for daddy who seemed interested. We're at 42 now.

5:42pm - Three more, and I think one of them was a doubler despite my attempts to keep them from coming back twice. They like me. Six more... coming in droves... six more including Dorothy (gotta tell Eric). That's... counting... 15? So I think I'm at 57 as a running total? Here comes another Dorothy! And Snow White. 11 more in a wave... that's... breathe... 70?

5:50pm - Sun has set, and that first bag of 100 candies had more than 100 in it because I've got 35 left and I KNOW I've had at least 70 kids visit.

5:52pm - Two more, including a kid "dressed as a high school student" (which is shorthand for "didn't bother to make a costume").

5:53pm - Three. Cleopatra, pirate, and pirate zombie. Then three more, two "scream" masks and a little red devil. That's a running total of 78 (plus or minus two).

6:00pm - Six more including Superman and Batman. And the second time tonight I've been accidentally threatened by a toy machete. And... five more... whew. That's 11 in this one. 89 total.

6:02pm - Seven, three, another ... 11? I ran out of the first bag of candy, opened the second. I'll say I'm at 112 now. Guesstimate. I could be off by a few. They come so fast and I want to talk to them!

6:06pm - Four. Whew. Waves of them out on the street. The neighborhood is ACTIVE. I haven't seen this many people on our streets since... well, last Hallowe'en. Running total is 116 now.

6:09pm - Four more. Captain America got an Avengers comic book. 120.

6:11pm - Five. Cars are bringing kids to specific houses now. 125.

6:13pm - I... have no idea. I lost track at 17... and there are more coming up the walk. HELP!

6:16pm - another "High School Student", notable because she was alone and I was able to take a breath. Four more after her. Then two more, including a little one who just yelled, "CANDY!"

6:19pm - AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! At least 20.

6:21pm - Ran out of second bag of 100. More coming. Send help.

6:23pm - Three. Only three? There must be more... yup, here they come. Only four more with hover-parents. I have no idea how many have come by. Lost track at 200-something. Kids are pausing to stare in wonder at my light bedecked room. It's not THAT impressive, I thought. I guess coming from the dark it looks more impressive. In any case, it's full dark now and I can see the moon outside. Beautiful night here.

6:28pm - Another wave. Included an AWESOME Michael Jackson. Lost track around 15 or so.

6:33pm - Four more. Seems to be slowing a little. Spoke too soon... ack! ... another wave. 10? I think? There's a traffic jam outside my house. Literally, cars backed up and trying to get around cars stopped to let kids off to visit... more coming... No idea how many. Not quite through the third bag of 100 yet.

6:37pm - Four more. They seem to come in fours.

6:41pm - Huge wave. Just opened bag number 4. That means I've had at least 300 so far. Still going.

6:47pm - Another huge wave. Fourth bag nearly gone already. Police are cruising the neighborhood with their lights on now. Was somebody hurt?

6:55pm - Wave after wave after wave. Ran out of fourth bag in the middle of a rush. That's over 400. Fifth bag is a 150 candy special. Nobody hurt, the police car just got caught in the traffic jam. I asked some kids about it.

7:01pm - A solo, followed by a HUGE wave. The solo had clearly never done this before, and was confused. His dad helped out. Then there was a shy one who absolutely refused to come up the one step to take candy from me.

7:08pm - I might get through the fifth bag at this rate. TONS more. Lots of clowns in the last couple of batches. I've been giving comics to any kids dressed as superheroes.

7:11pm - Apparently my height is VERY daunting to the little ones. I've been getting down on one knee to not scare them. My knee REALLY hurts. Another wave. Help. I wish hubby-Eric was here.

7:17pm - Another huge wave, with a few that really looked confused. More than one stared into the house, and at least one said, "I like your house!" The lights are a hit. More coming... Just one child with two hover-parents.

7:20pm - A small wave. There's a full moon. I'm at over 500 kids, based purely on the amount of candy I've given away.

7:23pm - Another small wave, including a Wonder Woman who got a Wonder Woman comic. Then another wave after that just as I sat to write this.

7:26pm - Just cut open one of the bags of 75, but there are still four pieces of candy in the bowl from bag 5 of candy. Many of the other houses on the street have turned off the lights.

7:28pm - Ok, into bag 6 now. Another wave coming.

7:35pm - Another small wave, including child in stroller. It's really slowing down now. (Famous last words?)

7:37pm - Yup, famous last words. Another wave came, another coming.

7:40pm - Catch my breath... ok, at least 550+ Trick-or-Treaters tonight, based on the candy I've given out. Some were doublers, but not a lot to my surprise. And, frankly, if they went home and put on another costume they deserve more candy. Whoops, another wave, hang on... another seven kids, including three superheroes.

7:42pm - Five more. No superheroes. What superheroes I've gotten have been mostly Spider-Man and Batman. A few Wonder Woman and Iron Man. ... Another group of four. Definitely winding down.

7:48pm - Another huge wave!!!! Into bag seven now (75 count). More cars coming into neighborhood. I think some event just let out. If my math is right, I've had at least 625 kids tonight.

7:55pm - HUGE wave. I may run out of candy. I cannot believe this. I MAY RUN OUT OF CANDY AND WE GOT OVER 700 PIECES!!!!!!!!!!!! Two adults dressed as superheroes stopped by and said, "we heard you were giving comic books to people dressed as superheroes!" I gave them comics, but no candy.

8:00pm - A long enough break to call hubby-Eric and whimper at him for a moment.

8:04pm - Another wave. Will go on until I'm either out of candy or haven't had a visitor for an hour. Dinner will be late tonight.

8:10pm - Three more. First to arrive in the last five minutes. Wearing heavy coats, as it's getting cold out there now.

8:13pm - Four more. I had to open one of the emergency bags.

8:14pm - Two more. I only have two small bags left, with about 18 pieces each, and I just opened one of those.

8:16pm - Five more. Hyper kids. I wonder if they've already started on their stashes? I'm glad I haven't eaten any of the candy myself.

8:17pm - One very shy boy. Bright smile when the "Trick-or-Treat" worked.

8:24pm - One. That's only two in the last... eight minutes.

8:27pm - Two more. Girl in cat mask, girl in witches hat.

8:30pm - Seven. The first of the small bags is gone. I have one more small bag, about 18 bars if the nutrition box is to be believed. Will I make it? Or will I run out of candy and have to shut the door?

8:34pm - Three more. There were nineteen in that bag. Now I have 16 left... no, three more, I have lucky 13 left.

8:38pm - One. Solo girl in green dress with green eye makeup.

8:39pm - One more, Iron Man. Gave him a comic with his candy bar.

8:41pm - Eight more. I have three pieces of candy left. Should I turn off the lights or not?

8:45pm - Turned off the lights. Don't want to risk another crowd of five or more, though I suppose I could just give them comics. No, lights are out, and I'm hiding now. Going PURELY by the number of candy bars that were supposed to be in the packages we bought, we had 733 Trick-or-Treaters. However, I know that the first bag had more than 100, and the last bag had 19 instead of 18. I found one half-candy bar in the bowl, apparently damaged at the factory. I can hear party music down the street. It's time for my dinner, then maybe some scary TV until I fall asleep. Goodnight everybody!