Halloween – 2015Posted: November 1, 2015
We got to take Olivia and Morgan trick or treating. The real treat was that we were able to do it. When Amber, our 13-year-old granddaughter was growing up we lived out of state and were never able to be here with her. Last year Jamie and Ryan were in Iowa visiting Jamie’s folks over Halloween and the girls dressed up and went begging there. So this year we finally got our chance.
Bill insisted we each dress up for the occasion so, when Mom went down for her afternoon nap, we wandered over to a local party store on the 30th to buy our costumes. Naturally the store was packed, but they had an extremely efficient way of handling the swarm of customers who, like us, had waited until the last minute to make their purchase. An entire wall was divided into age groups – Child, Teen, Women, and Men – and each section was covered with pictures of all of the available inventory for that group along with a price and a corresponding stock number. Once you decided which outfit you wanted, you walked over to a clerk who was manning a kiosk a few feet from the wall, gave her your number, which she fed into a terminal, and the availability or unavailability status popped up on the screen. If you were lucky enough to have your costume in-stock, you followed neon-green monster footprints on the floor back to the pick-up window, then proceeded to the cashier to pay for the purchase.
I think the Halloween gods were looking out for us because, as we waited in the queue to give the clerk the corresponding numbers, all we heard her say to the half-a-dozen people ahead of us is, “Sorry, that’s out of stock. Sorry, that size is gone. Sorry, the last one was just picked up. Sorry, sorry, sorry.”
We didn’t have very high hopes when it was our turn. Bill gave her the numbers for our two choices and we held our breath. After a few moments, the terminal spewed out a couple of receipts and we were instructed to follow the feet to costume pick-up. We high-fived each other amongst glares from the milling crowd and happily proceeded to the pick-up window.
Arriving home, we unwrapped our costumes, slipped them on and stood together looking at ourselves in the full-length mirror on our bedroom wall.
“Awesome!” Bill exclaimed.
“Pretty cute,” I concurred.
“What the heck are you two supposed to be?” came the sudden comment from the peanut gallery in the doorway.
“Hi Mom,” I said with a smile. “We’re going to wear these when we take the kids trick or treating tomorrow night.”
“So what are you?” she asked, squinting up at me. “You look like a pencil. Or maybe a crayon.”
“No, I’m a squeeze…”
“Or maybe a marker,” she continued. “You know like the ones that don’t cover up words, just make them brighter.”
“A highlighter?” I asked.
“No, a marker,” she said. “And what’s Bill?” she continued. “He looks like a penis in a pillow. You can’t go out in public looking like a penis!” she exclaimed, turning left and motoring down the hall. “Especially around children.”
“I’m a wiener,” he called after her.
“That’s true,” she yelled back. “But you still can’t go out looking like that!”