The first Trick-or-Treaters have arrived! I was alerted to their presence on the stoop not by the doorbell, or the taunts and giggles of mischievous children without, but by the low growling of the black Labrador standing watch in the living room.
With great enthusiasm I rushed to the front door, the growling Labrador in tow, and was greeted by witch, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and a well-attired toddling bee, all of whom excitedly cried out, “Trick or treat!”
Taking the giant, over-full plastic cauldron of candy in my hand by the handle, I opened the door.
Two things, then, happened simultaneously, both of which got tonight’s Halloween festivities off to a poor start.
As soon as the door was open, and I was hovering over the stoop with my cauldron of chocolate candy, the dog went for the bee.
I cannot blame the dog entirely. I myself dislike bees and their cousins, hornets and yellow jackets, and I can only assume that Polly was attempting to protect her master, as all good dogs should.
At the same time, the cauldron’s handle, stressed as it was by the enormous weight of the candy within, gave way, and all nineteen pounds of chocolate bars spilled out onto the stoop.
I then attempted, at the same time, to both control the dog and to rescue the grotesque mound candy from a possible rush by the witch and the turtle; the bee, sensing that it was the focus of the 75 pound dog’s inner rage, took flight.
It is 6:30 PM now, by my clock. Things have been more or less restored to normal (I have all but abandoned trying to re-attach the handle to the cauldron) and Polly and I are awaiting our next group of unsuspecting costumed freaks.