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Halloween makes me think of a new plan to stimulate the economy that doesn’t include bailing any big shots out. On October 31, all adults will dress in a ghost or goblin outfit to go trick or treating. However, instead of carrying a bag to collect candy, they will carry a bagful of their monthly bills. After ringing their neighbor’s doorbells, yelling “trick or treat” (in a high voice, of course—so they sound like kids), they’ll deposit one of their unpaid bills in the mailbox and steal away into the darkness. When all the bills are gone, they get to go home and have a margarita—or sinful beverage of choice. Only past due bills will qualify.
Of course I realize the flaw in my plan. No one will likely pay someone else’s bills (unless they’re less than theirs). But think of the interesting conversations generated by your neighbor knowing who and what you owe. “Harold, do you know the Spencer’s owe there months back payments on Laura’s braces? No wonder the poor child was here Saturday trying to sell her Science exam to David.”
At the very least you would lose your bills long enough to have a legitimate excuse for not paying them this month, and the diversion could be more entertaining than the latest reality TV show. This, my friends, is real reality.
Halloween is, of course, one of our favorite holidays. Surveys tell us (I sound like a TV game host) that next to Christmas, Halloween is children’s favorite holiday. Personally, I prefer Arbor Day, but since I’m no longer a child, I don’t count.
There is something magical for me in this holiday called Halloween. When I was a kid, I spent many hours dreaming up a beautiful, custom-made princess costume with a wand of gold and a long, flowing blonde wig. I was equally thrilled when my mom brought home a Superman costume on special at Walmart.
In those days most of us went trick or treating in the afternoon, right after school. I lived in a neighborhood with roughly eleven thousand children (baby boom era), so it was no small feat to return home with a full bag of candy. But we managed every year.
After dinner on that sacred day, my folks would pile all of us in the car, take a head count—throw out the extras—and to grandmother’s house we’d go. This was probably the best time. Grandma always saved the most favored candy for us, as well as special cookies or cupcakes. In fact, the day was not considered a success unless at least one of us had to throw up on the way home.
My youngest is now a college student of twenty-one, and still celebrates the holiday. She and her friend dress up and terrorize kids who ring the doorbell before they give them candy. She picks out (and buys, bless her heart), her own costume. I wanted to be beautiful as a child, she wants to look as gross as possible. Times change.
I’ll be busy Halloween night. While hubby hands out candy, I’ll be loading my bills into a wheelbarrow.
Now where did I leave the gorilla mask I got on sale at Walmart?