Anybody for a Tootsie Pop? (FRL crosspost) : LUSENET : Unk's Troll-free Private Saloon : One Thread

Is the werewolf becoming a lap dog? Has the vampire lost it’s bite? Are the ghouls goners, the ghosts living on borrowed time, the monster from the dark lagoon all washed up?

Where are the kids, the witches and hoboes, goblins and ballerinas? Where are the cries of “trick or treat”, the giggles in the street, the occasional screech of teen aged girls in the dark under the trees?

(I miss Halloween)

Now, when I was a kid, I admit Christmas was the big Kahuna, but Halloween was a close second. I mean, the spook night happened just for us kids, and mostly by us kids. Mom never decorated for Halloween, Dad never hung lights or bought special bags of oranges or that horrible ribbon candy for Halloween. It was all us kids. We found the ragged old clothes and the lump of left-over charcoal to make our perennial hobo costumes. And we set out alone on the dark street to terrorize ourselves and the neighbors (who, of course, didn’t recognize us at all) into giving up treats.

Yeah, treats! Back then, as often as not, we got a home-made popcorn ball or apple, or even, and the thought of it still brings to my memory a bitter smell of cocoa, a small saran-wrapped piece of kitchen fudge with pecans. And we kids got the big paper grocery bags, and rolled the edges down so we could carry them without spilling.

The bigger kids helped the little ones, and no parent ever thought about going along on our street. No one had ever heard of “luminaires” or whatever they call those paper bags with candles in them, and nobody carried flashlights. That was before after-school TV programs and video games. That was back when we played outside, and we kids knew every inch of every yard, the exact height of every clothesline, and every dog and it’s mother by name. After all, we had played football, baseball, cops and robbers, hide and seek and just plain old laid in the grass watching clouds in every neighborhood yard a million times.

And Halloween was ours. We knew the turf and we made the rules. If the front porch light was on, the grown-ups still were willing to play. I remember walking for half an hour, just to get to that last house with a porch light on, and hear that thrilling “thunk” as a single Dum-Dum landed on the pile in the bag.

Sometimes the grown-ups would dress up a little, just to show us kids that they still had “it”, and one year, Mr. Johansen fixed sort of a spook house out of army blankets hung over wires. You had to walk through the darkened tunnel of blankets to get to his door, where he answered wearing fake teeth and a white face with green hair. It was so great, we went over and over again, not even taking any candy.

Halloween was a holiday that didn’t mean anything much to anybody but us kids. It was ours, our one night to howl; scary faces and free candy. What more could a kid wish for?

But tonight, on this Halloween a near-half centruy later, we’ve had six trick-or-treaters. Six. I gave them handfuls of Jujyfruits and Smarties, told them to be careful on the steps and watched them until they disappeared into the darkness, my memory going along one more time, cheeks smudged with charcoal and sweat, cutting across the bushes to save time and get to the next porch light and the next treat. I sat on the porch for a while, petting the cat, and breathing in the Halloween darkness. I ate a Tootsie Pop and finally blew out the jack-o-lantern.

But, I think I’ll leave the light on just a little longer.


-- Lon Frank (, October 31, 2001


Send all your extra candy...

-- hellen back (gone@to.night), October 31, 2001.

That was GREAT, Lon, but you knew that even before you posted it.

I was pretty worried before 7pm. I'd not had ONE trick-or-treater, and my next-door neighbor had told me earlier in the day that she would allow her kids to go only to homes of people she knew. The anthrax scare, ya know. So there I sat with about 200 snickers bars, just about getting ready to research a recipe that included them when I began hearing the knocks at the door.

Between 7 and 8pm the whole neighborhood seemed to come out. The parents were all with the kids [although holding back at the sidewalk while even toddlers stumbled up the walk.] I'd always gone with my kids, as well, dressed up in the garb of the year. I, too, stayed at the sidewalk. Past 8pm, I got one group of 4 kids. I didn't see any adults accompanying them. Past 9pm, I got one lone boy [maybe 11 or 12]. He was also unaccompanied, and I worried enough about him to stand outside and watch him move along. By 9pm even those with lit pumpkins had blown out the candles and turned off the porch lights. I wonder why he got such a late start.

The toddlers were the greatest. They always are. One little boy was dressed as a pirate or ship captain, with the huge black hat, the ruffled shirt, and the black coat with tails. Another little girl was dressed as Raggedy Ann, and mumbled something about monsters as she reached into the bowl of snickers and put one in her bag. Perhaps one thing I didn't like this year was that the littlest people carried a "bag" that included maybe a huge green hand at the top that kept it open, but hung down so low that I feared they'd trip on it.

-- Anita (, November 01, 2001.

We bought six bags of candy and used up close to five. If you haven't seen it, the "in" gag this year (maybe it was available before too) is a candy bowl with a green hand sticking out. The hand has a light/motion sensor so when you reach for some candy, the hand clamps down and a sinister sounding voice says one of four or five phrases. Or it just laughs. The kids loved it.

-- (what@i.think), November 01, 2001.

Anita, 200 snickers!?? Wanna trade for some licorice jujus?

I agree, the toddlers are great. They're kinda excited and kinda bewildered all at once; you can just see their little wheels turning: "let's see, now, it's really fun to be scared, and if we threaten old Mrs. Murphy, she'll give us free candy. Yeah, that's it".

It's funny, you know how we remember things, but I never remember it raining on Halloween night, and I never remember a parent going with their kids. We had mostly boys in the neighborhood then, and it was a rite of passage, both for the little guy to be out, and for the older one to be trusted not to get them in trouble. Of course, MY older brother demanded a share of the boodle for his "protection services". I always tried to palm off to him those horrible orange tootsie rolls and any unwrapped and sticky rootbeer barrels.

And I saw one of those little bowls with the hand; I thought it was a hoot. I've always wanted to do a little haunted house thing, with spookie noises and a bowl filled with eyeballs and such, but nowadays, I'm thinking nobody might come.


-- Lon Frank (, November 01, 2001.

Send ALL extra candy.

-- helen monster (, November 01, 2001.

OK, OK, helen. I'm sending you a whole snoot-full of those little orange and green tootsie thingies, and several unwrapped rootbeer barrels.

It was Anita that has snickers, and Rob said he didn't have even one trick-or-treater this year, so he's stuck with a couple of tons of godiva chocolate. I enclose a map to his place.



-- Lon Frank (, November 01, 2001.

Wow, that sure brought back memories! Thanks, Lon.

I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm one of those adults who never outgrew the tradition and I still don a costume every Halloween....I wear a long rubber dog snout that I attach to my face with duck tape and I throw my hair into pigtails to simulate floppy dog ears. It's a simple get-up that manages to scare the bejesus out of the really wee ones who burst into tears when I answer the door to dispense with the goodies. I guess the confusion as to whether I'm a person, a dog, or a dog-woman implodes their little brains. LOL. I always make sure they get an extra treat for their troubles.

And you oughta' see the double-takes I get when cruising around town with my REAL dog in the front seat with me! For a minute I even confuse the adults. Such fun! It would be a shame for the rituals of Halloween to fall by the wayside which is why I'll always be wearing that silly-ass dog nose every Oct. 31, telling tales about how great Halloween used to be, with candy in my pockets for anyone who asks, and a hope that all things old someday become new again to enjoy a revival.

-- GrownUp (, November 01, 2001.

Chocolate? Did someone say they had extra chocolate? Pammy loves chocolate. I'll even eat Tootsie Pops to get to the chocolate inside. ;)

-- Pammy (, November 01, 2001.

Back of the line, Pammy!

-- helen first, second, third... (choco@choco.holic), November 01, 2001.


How many licks does it take you to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop?

-- Jack Booted Thug (, November 01, 2001.

Doesn't matter JBT, licking is part of the fun. ;)

-- Pammy (, November 02, 2001.

ugh pammy, who are you trying to impress anyway

-- (keepit@to.yourself), November 02, 2001.

Not trying to impress anyone Smarty Pants, just having fun. This is a saloon isn't it?

-- Pammy (, November 02, 2001.

Actually the answer I was looking for was "three" as determined by wise Mr. Owl in the commercials. However, I like your attitude towards life!

I agree with your response to the anonymous post. This is a password protected "Saloon", not a puritan rest home. If Pammy's response offends you get thee to Unk's nunnery, that is if he has founded one. I can't see that though, maybe a home for wayward girls but not a convent.

-- Jack Booted Thug (, November 03, 2001.

Unk runnin' a nunnery??????

An interesting dynamic but there wouldn't be any nuns left ; )

Hey any cold Bud's back yonder?

-- capnfun (, November 03, 2001.

cap'n, tis a land flowing with beer and honeys. :)

-- Pammy (, November 04, 2001.

Sounds like a great place. Are they hiring???

-- capnfun (, November 04, 2001.

cap'n, when I referred to being a barmaid at this here saloon, I was jokingly referring to "Unk's troll free private saloon." :)

-- Pammy (, November 04, 2001.

I dig hon, I was just tryin' to pull a funny, playing on my loss of employment at the moment.

-- capnfun (, November 04, 2001.


-- Pammy (, November 04, 2001.

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