The opposite side of trick-or-treating

As a kid, I didn’t think there was any better activity than trick-or-treating on Halloween.  I could have been wrong. Since my recently purchased home came with a door and a doorbell, I had my first experience on the other side of trick-or-treating this Halloween.  The evening had a demeanor of a comedy show… right on the doorstep!

The first comers were a bit shy. The little tiger hardly squeaked out a “trick-or-treat” as she looked down at the ground. Leonardo the turtle didn’t know his own name, but looked to his dad for backup. A young boy wearing a Vikings jersey was embarrassed to report that his team had lost (again!) that week. Giving him a larger candy bar, I expressed some sympathy.

“Sorry your team is so terrible this year. That’s why you should be a Steelers fan,” I said. As he walked toward his mother, also clad in Vikings apparel, he turned around to defend himself, expressing he was actually a Colts fan, he just didn’t have a jersey yet. That makes sense… Vikes jerseys probably come with a hefty discount these days.

But nothing topped the last group who visited that night. I heard the doorbell ring and quickly discovered I didn’t even need to answer the door. One giraffe, a cowboy and three princesses were on their way into my home and they were getting candy. NOW!

As soon as they saw my candy dish – containing both king size and bite size candy – the princess made a quick grab at a big bar. Looks like the princess is used to getting whatever she wants. Big surprise.

A few bite-sized treats were dropped in their bags.  At this point, it’s routine for children to utter a quick “thanks” and run on to the next house.  However, they all simultaneously stood at attention gazing at the bowl of candy.

Finally, the brave cowboy in the back (sans the southern accent) spoke up.  “So are those big bars just a trick?” What’s the deal lady?

“I’ll give you one if you can do a trick,” I responded. Challenge extended.

“Ok! OK! OK!!” Cowboy responded. “I’ll do a trick!” Challenge accepted.

I’ve never seen a kid so excited in his life.  This used to be me!

The giraffe and the princesses turned around to observe their western friend making a fool out of himself.  The little cowboy was noticeably nervous and quickly attempting to conjure up a trick worthy of a full candy bar. He slowly placed his bucket of candy on the ground and grabbed a bite-size Twix.  Hoping his profits would quadruple, he held the Twix in his hand so everyone could see. 

“I’ll make this disappear,” he said with cowboy confidence.

“Ok,” I said. Draw!

“One… two…”  He began waving his hands over the Twix bar, like David Copperfield doing a show in the wild west.  Though he tried to come off confident, his eyes indicated he had no clue as to where his Twix was going to “disappear.”

The princesses and Giraffe stood quietly waiting, intrigued by their friend’s secret talent for making candy disappear.

“Three!” he said, tossing the Twix to the side. Audibly hitting the walkway, the Twix had sure enough disappeared from the cowboy’s hand. Mission accomplished.

The giraffe and princesses awaited my reaction, curious to see whether I had caught that the trick really wasn’t a trick at all.

“WOW!” I feigned enthusiasm. It was a valiant effort. I had to at least pretend to be impressed.

I reached for the large Baby Ruth and the cowboy’s friends immediately began protesting.

“He dropped it! He dropped it!!!” Didn’t you see it you idiot?

I ignored them. “How did you do that?”

A huge smile spread across the cowboy’s face.  He ripped the candy bar out of my hand and jetted off. The giraffe and princesses stayed.

“He dropped it…” the giraffe said, disappointed and walked away with two princesses.

The third princess, again proving her lady-like attitude glared at me. 

“He dropped it,” she firmly snapped and stomped off my front steps.

Closing the door, I shook my head and laughed.  I used to think the joke was on the homeowners. They had to stay home and give away all their candy.  That night I learned having trick-or-treaters count on you to make their Halloween a success was equally as entertaining.

But the next morning I noticed some poor kid must have dropped one of the Twix candies I gave them…

Shootin’ the Wit is a column about everyday life that should never, ever be taken too seriously.

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