Thursday, November 3, 2005

Fielder’s Choice
By Barry Burleson


It’s Halloween night - perfect weather for ghosts and goblins to roam around town.

As I drove from the office about 7 p.m., Chulahoma Avenue was somewhat crowded with cars and dressed-up youngsters.

I just got home from work in time to pass out candy myself to a few trick-or-treaters visiting the neighborhood.

Erin, our 3-year-old, is actually having more fun handing out candy than she did trick-or-treating herself. And of course, most of all, she prefers eating it.

The children coming to our door are actually young children, the age when they’re supposed to be trick-or-treating, and they’re all in costume.

One of the things I don’t like about turning the lights on for trick-or-treating is seeing the older children, too old for trick-or-treating, jokingly stop by and not in costume.

Halloween night is supposed to be somewhat of a frightening night. But there are many real fears involved with trick-or-treating that weren’t there when I was a child - both for those doing the trick-or-treating and those at home deciding whether or not to open their doors to those ringing the bell.

It’s a shame - that the good times and community spirit involved in what should be a fun night for everyone has diminished over the years.

We all need to do what we can to keep Halloween enjoyable and safe, and I know our law enforcement officials are assisting in that effort.

I admit, I rolled a few yards in my younger days.

I think we only got caught once, which is a pretty good track record.

Rolling yards is more dangerous these days, too.

Our yard was rolled twice this year - once Friday night and once tonight before I got home.

Friday night’s culprits used a routine I’d never seen before. They stuck plastic forks in our front yard. Does that mean this year there was a rush for not just toilet paper but plastic forks at our stores in town?

I will say I appreciate the almost full rolls of toilet paper left behind by both groups. A household can always use toilet paper.

In my college years I helped with a haunted house, sponsored by a civic club. I was usually the one playing the dead man in the casket and then rising up to scare folks. We all had a great time and raised money to buy Christmas gifts for those children who would otherwise not have anything under the tree.

There aren’t as many haunted houses as there once were either. I heard there was an excellent haunted forest at Hickory Flat this year. Sorry, I didn’t have the chance to go, but lot of people from Holly Springs had a spooky, good time.

We had trick-or-treating for the children and lots of fun games at our church Sunday night.

There was the pumpkin seed spitting contest - the only one I competed in. I should have watched from the sideline. Son Andy spit it further than me.

Daughter Emma did well in the apple rolling competition (from your knees and with your nose), despite suffering a slip-up and slight injury as she reached the finish line.

But to the biggest applause of the night, she did even better in the “Fear Factor” competition - seeing who could eat vienna sausage, a piece of caramel candy, potted meat, two grapes and liver cheese the fastest. She did it in just over a minute. I was impressed.

There was a team competition, too – which group could wrap the mummy the fastest with toilet paper.

Halloween isn’t what it used to be.

But it’s still loads of fun - at least for the Burleson household.

Now if I can keep from eating all of this leftover candy.

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