Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trick or Treat

Is is just Queen Anne? The Northwest? 2009? The joy of door-to-door neighborhood trick-or-treating has disappeared from our lives.

This neighborhood has a lot of fun in our 'suburban downtown' community event. People bring their kids (and decked-out dogs) to the shops and restaurants where they can collect candy and small toys. They really get into the occasion-- a tradition Dominic passionately describes as: "the most wholesome thing I've ever been a part of."

We were invited into the heart of the upper-Queen Anne neighborhood to celebrate a friend's birthday and Halloween together. The house was fully prepared with costumed party-goers, decorations, finger-foods and, of course, plenty of candy to pass out to the trick-or-treaters...except they were few and far between. I'll admit, around 7 p.m. we got one or two kids and then closer to 9 p.m. some middle-schoolers came with their pillowcases opened wide, but the crowds certainly weren't storming the streets. What is the excuse for the poor showing? I thought it was well-known that poisoned candy is an urban myth.

In discussing the low turnout, someone at the party mentioned that where she's from in Oregon everyone goes to their churches for trick-or-treat. In the parking lots parents create a big circle with their cars where kids can run around and collect candy in a safe environment. Something like this only with car trunks (which makes sense in Oregon):I boasted that the Midwest still understands true trick-or-treating-- the kind where kids scope out the streets with the biggest, nicest houses (you know, where they give you the full-sized Hershey bar). Or where you run around as fast as possible praying you'll be the first to the unattended bowl of candy on the front porch labeled "please take one". I like to believe we are holding down American tradition in the heartland... but then again, I haven't been there in years. Is my memory accurate today?

Here are some of my favorite dog costumes. Oh Seattle...