Halloween got a little too real.
It started out, as most things do, with a scrambling to get something done – in this case, purchasing bags of candy for Trick-or-Treaters. Rite Aid #1, which wears its panhandlers, garbage piles, and parking lot as a shameless middle-finger to the continued crowded gentrification of Fairmount Avenue, had a 40 person line and zero bags of candy. Assuming it was still uncouth to hand out unwrapped Lemonheads to children, I left empty handed.
Bodega #1’s shop-keeper was happily doling out full-sized Snickers to Treaters, which was evidence enough that he did not stock any fun-size bags. I scrambled to Bodega #2, J&K Market, and was met by a wonderfully curt sign:
Sorry. No Trick-or-Treaters.
K’s signage was backed up by his inventory – the only thing he sold individually wrapped was Brillo Pads.
It was starting to rain and I was hustling to Rite Aid #2. All they had left was 1 bag of Hershey Bars, 1 bag of Hershey Kisses, and 1 bag of Tootsie Pops. Scraps, certainly, but they were individually wrapped and would fill a plastic pumpkin. Our fate as a pretty shitty house for Treaters was sealed, and then:
Mother reaches to the top shelf of the seasonal fixture and grabs something wrapped in cellophane
5 year old boy (excitedly): Is it a costume?
Mom (sadly): No…
Lady what the fuck? It’s 6:30 on Halloween and you’re in a Rite Aid for a last ditch effort to ‘stume your kid? You can DIY pretty much any costume with a same-colored sweatshirt sweatpants combination and a construction paper mask! You can hit up the SalVal and get him in a Mr. Monopoly costume for pennies! You’re throwing your hail mary at a god damned Rite Aid looking for a $14.99 “Arachnid Super Person” polyester throw-away?!
Candy purchased and I scrambled back home. The fancy block of Brandwyine was coned off for their Pleasantville Philadelphia private Halloween party. Orange cones were the best investment that neighborhood group ever made…there is no municipal authority backing this street closure, they just put out the cones to ward off vehicles. It’s a complete ruse!
We set up our chairs and filled our pumpkin with our weak candy selection and cracked beers. There were kids everywhere, and consecutive assholes decided to do 45 mph rolling stops down 20th street in defiance of Halloween’s traffic norms.
All over the neighborhood old Corollas and SEPTA busses let out mountains of kids from North Philly in unlicensed ninjas and fairies that lay hidden under coats in stark contrast to the local kids’ Spock or Jack Skellington splurges. The Tootsie Pops were way more popular than the chocolate, which proves that kids really have lost their minds. One delightful kid, who apparently was a novice at this game, traded us a Clementine for a Tootsie Pop. That’s a good trade by him!
We were low on candy in about 25 minutes. A mother approached us and asked for our beers in a way that skewed more towards “hostile beggar” than “adult winkingly referencing how beers make annoying stuff more tolerable.” Her daughter was dressed as Hermione Granger and was delightful.
We were soon down to only Hershey Kisses which were met with mostly disappointed glances or toddlers placing the aluminum wrapped treat directly into their mouths. Happy Halloween, hope you like choking hazards!
At the 40 minute mark, I was regulating individual kisses to each bag, no more doubles for good costumes! And then, the perfect storm. A crush of a group, 11 kids, at least one of which tricked me by coming back in for seconds, put our candy gauge to nearly E. Three Kisses remained, and 5 kids were approaching and the house with shit candy had to turn away a family like we were Chez Fancypants and ran out of duck. Listen, kids, you probably hit up 100 other houses today, you aren’t allowed to dagger me with a look of disappointment. That’s unfair.
Fazed by the depressingly apparent socio-economic divide, we went back inside and watched the best Halloween movie: fucking around on the Internet for 4 hours and going to sleep.Follow @cplannan