Thursday, November 1, 2007


Last night our friends Carey and Brant joined us for a brief round of neighborhood trick-or-treating. We decided to walk the first piece of the route we take on our daily walks to the park, since we wave at those neighbors all the time. Most of the houses were dark, not open for trick-or-treaters. At every fifth house or so the jackolanterns would be lit, the porch lights would be on, and often the host of the home would be out on the porch welcoming us up – as if they too were yearning to keep neighborhood trick-or-treating alive. Around here anyway, more and more parents just stick with a Church “trunk or treat” party or drive their kids around to homes they know, and more and more home-owners are reluctant to open their door for strangers.

So while Owen was riding in the front pack oblivious to the fact that he
was masquerading as a dalmation (yes, I came to the conclusion since Monday’s post, with some help from Rob, that it was a dalmation costume, not a cow one, that I had purchased second-hand for Owen) and while Will the Tiger was concentrating on swinging his plastic jackolantern, the adults in our group were lamenting the demise of those carefree days of our childhood when you could go out and canvass whole the town for candy without worrying about pedophiles or poisoned Tootsie Pops.

We rounded the corner and headed back for home, only to witness a sort of bizarre low-speed cop chase. One man was trying to flee in his sputtering car and three police cars were on his tail. Somehow they
attempted to block the driver off and some of the cops stepped out of their cars. The whole scene was a blur a half-block behind us but I was pretty certain I saw one of the cops pull a gun, which although it was pointed at the offender was also aiming in our general but distant direction. I was the only one who saw the gun – so I led the pack as we ran with the boys around the side of a house and recollected ourselves.

Soon the fleeing driver had made his escape, with cops on his tail, and the neighborhood was quiet again. Will didn’t seem to process what had happened and we wound up stopping at one more house for trick-or-treating before we made it home. But I was feeling shaky about having dragged my little boys out into the scary night – even if it was just 7 p.m. And I’m thinking next year we may just drive around to a few friends’ houses and call it a trick-or-treat.

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