By the time the younger Mudlets and I left the house to go trick or treating this Halloween, it had been dark for just over an hour and yet we had only had one set of callers. This was great news for the girls who were delighted at the prospect of loads of left over sweets, not to mention my marshmallow spiders but not so good for Mud, who wasn’t looking forward to the prospect of hoards of trick or treaters calling after we had left.
“Bring the pumpkins in,” my very own Victor Meldrew grumbled, as we prepared to leave, “And turn the hall light out, I don’t want to be disturb by more callers!”
Pumpkins in and hall light extinguished, the girls and I set off, collecting the very excited little boy from across the way en route. At just 5 years old, this was his first trick or treating and we’d offered to take him with us, so mum could stay in with his baby brother. A few minutes later we met up with my friend Christine and her 10 year old boy and headed off in search of Halloween houses.
We have an unwritten rule that the children only call at houses with pumpkins and/or Halloween decorations on display, taking this as a sign that they are happy to take part in the process but it soon became very clear that very few houses were welcoming callers this year……….
……and as we walked around the village, it also became clear that there were very few trick or treaters out and about either. In fact at the few homes where the four children called, such was the poor showing, they were each encouraged to take handfuls of treats which they were more than happy to do. “Your only our second lot of callers” was almost always the greeting as the little witches and demons in our care filled their Halloween buckets. Christine and I reflected on the probable cause and were saddened to think that the widely publicised stupidity of a few numpties, who thought running around dressed as so-called ‘Killer Clowns’, knocking on peoples windows and then standing stock still waiting for them to peek outside to see who it is, or chasing other unsuspecting individuals down streets, or across car parks wearing evil clown masks and clutching baseball bats, had had such a negative impact on what is supposed to be a fun night for children
Just over an hour later with each child clutching a large, bulging sack of goodies and excitedly chatting away, we headed for home. The 5 year old had the biggest smile on his face and was holding my hand as we turned into our street, his tired foot steps getting shorter and shorter.
Suddenly, Little Mudlet grabbed my other hand:
“I’m scared!” she whispered, staring straight ahead.
Looking ahead my heart sank. Walking down the middle of the road towards us, in a menacing manner, were two strapping great teenage boys, one wearing a ‘Mad Hare’ mask and the other a ‘Killer Clown’. Behind them, their friends were shining torches down the road, into our eyes, effectively blinding us, so we could only see the outlines and the bright white clown mask of the approaching boys. Beside me the little boy held onto my hand a little harder and the other children began to look worried. I have no doubt phones were ready to film the proceedings and I was incensed!
How dare they! How dare they try to ruin what had been a fun, albeit quiet Halloween trick or treating!
Unfortunately, the boys had forgotten to take into account several factors: we live in a small village …….actually that was probably the single most important thing that they should have remembered. Oh and the fact I know their mother!
Even wearing masks, there was no disguising who they were because their swagger gave them away!
“Don’t even think about it boys,” I said sternly, “I’m pretty sure your father won’t be impressed to learn that you we’re trying to scare little children who are out trick or treating! What on earth do you think you’re doing? Acting like buffoons. Trying to be all big and butch in front of your friends. Have you any idea how pathetic you look? How immature you are! Grow up and get a life!!!”
Suffice to say I was boiling mad but I remained calm as I spoke and in a big, loud voice told the children not to be scared by such idiotic and immature numpties and to see them for what they were silly little children with less common sense than the youngest member of our group. With the smile back on the face of the 5 year old I delivered him safely back into the care of his mother. Christine headed for home with her boy and I crossed back over to our side of the street with the Mudlets. Little Mudlet was still very unsure as we approached the teenagers, a couple of who were trying not to look at me, obviously thinking “If I can’t see her she can’t see me.”
“Don’t think I didn’t recognise you [name said], or you [another name said] under those masks boys because I did …… and I’m wondering what your parents would say if they found out what you were doing tonight …..”
And judging by the sheepish look on the faces of a couple of the teenagers, all of a sudden being a ‘Killer Clown’ didn’t seem to be either big or clever!