Last night there was a rather urgent knocking on our door. Now this has happened perhaps just once in the time that I have lived here, so it was quite a momentous occasion. In keeping with the pitch blackness outside and the rapidly-gathering cold, it was a monster who'd come calling.
Covered in coarse grayish fur with red glowing eyes and an impressive tail, the monster breathed heavily through a large black snout. "Trick or treat?" he then pronounced, somewhat anti-climactic in his tentativeness.
And we were not even prepared, oh how inexcusable of us. Still I managed to rustle up some dark chocolate in a fancy bowl, of which the beast timidly took just one. Go on, I urged, have more, have it all! "I can have it all?" he squealed, again belying the ferocity of his appearance. If only his father, watching from beneath the staircase, hadn't urged him not to be greedy, the poor creature would have had a good-ish supply of fine dark chocolate flavored with heavenly raspberry. Still, he trotted off quite contentedly.
This year we simply stayed home in our pajamas. (Next year I really need to come up with a costume.) Last year J and I set out to get ourselves some. And, overcome by the profusion of cheap colorful goods in the store, for no particular reason purchased a couple of frizzy purple wigs and set off for the Carnaval downtown. Only on the bus, crammed between dozens of wizards, ghouls, Incredible Hulks, pumpkins, serial killers, mermaids and jedis, did we begin to realize the shallowness of our planning when asked what we were going as. Finally, a plump, good-natured vampire christened us Thing 1 and Thing 2 and we gratefully latched on to our given identities when we disembarked, in the midst of the half-million strong crowd.
Maybe we should start planning right away. There may not be a vampire next year to rescue us and we will have to bear the ridicule of all the monsters in the universe. Or in all of L.A. county, at least.