Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Halloween Ain't Happening Here

Halloween is a total bust in Astoria. I had enough candy to feed a squadron of rug-rats, and I will become diabetic once I finish it all off.

I was napping around 5:30 when the doorbell rang for the first time. I had been up all night the night before with my large oaf of a dog, who has decided he is afraid of high winds. 120 lbs. of quivering cowardice. After I went upstairs to bed the night before Halloween, he jumped the gate at the bottom of the stairs, and charged upstairs several times to pant and scratch at the bedroom door. I finally had to go downstairs and sleep on the couch to keep him company. But despite all my efforts, he paced frantically around the couch, which sounded like a buffalo stampede on the wood floors, and slurped me every third turn around the couch to make sure I was really there. I dosed him with doggie tranquilizers around 2 AM, which reduced him from pacing, to walking, in circles, and a slobbering every 5th tour around the couch. I had to get up at 6 AM to give my partner a ride, so by afternoon, I was semi-conscious.

Anyway, when the doorbell rang at 5:30, I suddenly realized that I didn't have the candy ready. I yelled, "Hold on!" and frantically ran to the kitchen to pour some candy into a bowl, tripping over the waddling cocker spaniel, who couldn't decide if he should be barking at the front door or seeing if I was heading for food, and was all over the place under my feet. Couldn't find the damn scissors, so I ripped open the candy bag with my teeth, and galloped to the front door ... only to find my partner there, who had forgotten his keys, and needed an umbrella more than candy.

Once he got inside, I went back to my "collapse chair" and left him to handle the trick-or-treaters. All three of them.

In L.A., Halloween is a very big deal. I decorated my windows with all sorts of nauseating and grisly little tableaus weeks beforehand, packed in the goodies, and waited for the onslaught. A slow Halloween would produce about 100 trick-or-treaters, but last year I had close to 200.

Last year was strange, anyway. My grandbaby was born at 5AM last Halloween morning, so by the time dusk arrived, I was somewhere between giddy and demented. A few of my pals came over, and we sat out on the porch with our drinks and mammoth piles of candy to greet the little buggers. The festivities actually went fairly well except when my girlfriend's boyfriend mixed her drink with lamp oil instead of water. We won't get into how that happened, because even I don't really understand it, but it made for an interesting evening.

Anyway, Halloween in Astoria is not very exciting. To my total dismay.

Astoria Photografpix

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