Monday, November 1, 2010

Giant Inflatable Santas Already?

Well, we're in November now. Halloween is officially behind us. I can safely say this because as I blog, my neighbours down the street are attempting to blow up an rather enormous inflatable Santa Claus.

This is not new. I just looked back on last year's blogs and saw that the same neighbour had been almost as early last year with his Decking of the Halls. This year, he's two days earlier. I should be getting used to it by now. I suppose they're trying to be the first to inspire the neighbourhood to get into the holiday spirit. I live in that type of neighbourhood. I've noticed as I walk the pups that where there's one house that's decorated for Halloween, you'll find the neighbours on either side, for several houses down, also bedecked for the holiday. Then there will be a gap where there will be undecorated houses. Then there'll be another pocket of houses, all festooned with decorations.

Christmas is the same way. If one house has lights and inflatables, the houses around him will also have holiday decor. It may not be inflatable but it's giving it a pretty good challenge for glitz and sparkle.

Still, right now, Mr. Giant Inflatable Santa Claus is alone in his attempts to decorate for Christmas. I can't help but think that might last for at least another couple of weeks until people physically start craving Thanksgiving turkey and, as a penance for the calories they WILL consume, they put all their energy into decorating early. Right before Thanksgiving, it's forgiveable. I mean, what's a few more days before the start of the Offical Deck The Halls Holiday Season?

Nevertheless, as much as I adore Chrismas and the holiday season, I haven't forgotten that it was just Halloween yesterday. At times, I was besieged by trick or treaters and yet, at the end of the two hour candy-giving-out period, I still managed to have some candy left over. Granted, I had deliberately picked out every single blue raspberry flavoured Tootsie Roll pop from the Costco sized bulk package I'd bought but even without my small little crime, I still had plenty of sugary treats left.

I'm quite glad about that. If I'd have run out this year, I think I might have had to hide next year. I don't think there were quite as many kids coming through. I was slightly disappointed in the lack of costume-efforts in some of the cases. I don't mind high schoolers trick or treating, even though some people think they're a little old. However, if they can't be bothered to even attempt to dress up and come around with their plastic grocery bag and ask for candy, they're not going to get much from me. To me, Halloween is about creativity and having fun with the spirit of the holiday. If you're just in it for the free sugar, then I'm not going to reward you the way I do the other kids who do make an effort.

I did have some cute kids come through. There were a lot of parents trick or treating for their young 'uns this year. They'd wheel the tiny kids up my driveway in their strollers. The little kids were adorable but clearly not used to people just handing them candy for the sake of it. I tried to make sure I gave the really little kids soft treats like Gummi Life Savers or, at worst, Twizzlers. Jolly Ranchers were reserved for the lazy high schoolers who were really just out begging. I gave the cute toddlers Skittles and a Tootsie pop. I let the elementary kids/middle schoolers choose from my bowl if they were dressed appropriately. I think my favourite costume went to the four-year-old Frankenstein who was green from head to toe and complete with bolts and square head. He was also smiling like a fiend. Any kid that can go that far to dress up and still be enjoying himself earns himself four pieces of my sugar-filled snacks.

What I also enjoyed was the fact that since I live down the street from the police station, the patrol cars were not only out, checking on the unchaperoned kids and keeping an eye on their safety but they were also giving out their own Halloween candy. It's nice to see them being so responsible yet also getting into the spirit.

What I didn't enjoy was seeing this rather creepy person riding around on his bicycle with a Michael Meyers hockey mask and stopping in the middle of the street to just stare at the kids. As an adult, I thought this was a little creepy. I don't mean in the horror-film-I'm-going-to-axe-you-sort-of-creepy, I mean in the "I'm a creepy neighbourhood weirdo and I might just "Lovely Bones" you in my basement sort of creepy. I thought, initially, it was one of those high school boys I see from time to time in the neighbourhood who are the stereotypical geeks. They slink around with a few other high schoolers, clearly too cool to do much but not cool enough to do anything.

Well, I was wrong there. Mr. Michael Meyers Hockey Mask Face turned out to be, you guessed it, Larry the Potential Serial Killer.

Yes. Instead of giving out candy to kids like a normal nice neighbour, Larry the Potential Serial Killer was riding around on a borrowed bicycle, trying to scare the crap out of kids.

I know that the bicycle was borrowed because he came up my driveway to my front door in an attempt to scare me. Since I'm not a complete moron, I had figured out who it was ahead of time. Larry proceeded to tell me all about his adventures as the Weirdo in the Mask on the Bicycle. It turns out that someone had seen him riding around on his borrowed bike and called the police. Larry, in turn, had defended himself to the police who, apparently, know him and are his 'buddies.' He had told them that yes, he could understand people being scared of him but it was 'the nature of the costume,' that people were scared.

Me, personally...well, I wasn't scared by the Michael Meyers mask as much as I was alarmed that a forty-something-year-old man felt like that was the best thing to do on Halloween night in a neighbourhood full of little children. What's wrong with a fog machine and a scary Halloween CD playing?

After Larry had told me his sad tale of being 'warned by the police to stop his creepy behaviour' (my paraphrasing), he tried to get me to invite him in. In turn, I thrust my candy bowl at him and said, "Have a lollipop." He didn't want one. It didn't stop me from saying, "Oh, hey, look, more kids!" and ignoring him in favour of the cute moppets who were marching up my driveway for their Skittles.

This was my Halloween night. The candy held up. The puppies had a bit of a yip but actually were pretty good considering the strangeness of the evening to them. I'm sure being gated in the kitchen while fairies, Yodas, Spidermen and monsters rang the doorbell for their candy was a strange occurance in the life of the pup.

Of course, they haven't seen the giant Santa Claus in the neighbours yard yet. They haven't even begun to see strange. I'm personally a little worried about the Christmas tree and their love of biting pretty, shiny, swinging things.

Still, though my neighbours with the giant inflatable Santa might disagree, that's a few weeks off yet.

Happy Tuesday!

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