Halloween Pumpkins

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Remember when there was a Halloween season? It wasn't just October Thirty First, It was a period where you could expect to be tricked or sometimes even the victim of vandalism. It seemed every year their would-be stories about rowdy Halloweeners causing some low-level mischief. Yes, there was a joke about the hollow Weeners, get it. 

Now whose dad didn't relate this trick to his kids, you place a bag of "dog duty" on your neighbors' porch in a plain brown wrapper, it was also told using Burlap. You light the bag on fire and ring the doorbell. The poor sap comes to the door and stamps out the fire and he is ankle deep in doggy do. Great fun, I've heard this trick discussed for years but have never seen or heard of it being executed. 

Another potential whopper from my dad was waiting for the farmer to get comfortable in his out house and the miscreants lying-in wait and an army of youths push the outhouse over with the old man inside. Yes, it was always an old man, no women or children. Again, I have no confirmation these hilarious hijinks ever happened, but I have heard. 

On first blush you would think my Halloween season was rather violent. A man being forced to dance in dog duty, and another taking a tumble in the Out House while enjoying number 2. These two Hijinks were related with great detail by fathers everywhere, kind of a rite of passage.  

Truth be told, Halloween back in the day was more exciting, but was likely limited to rubbing soap or paraffin on windows commonly referred to as "let's go out and soap windows. For a real rush, let's all hide in the shrubs and ring a doorbell and run. 

Growing up with a soybean field for a backyard, a bean shooter was a handy item to carry in case you ran into a rival gang of tuffs. Watch out for the rich kids with bean shooters, they used Tapioca.

Let's not forget the art of throwing seed cord, that you stole from a farmer's grain wagon, on a tin roof or metal awning. This stunt almost always guaranteed a porch light reaction while you laid low and admired your cleverness. We then moved stealth like to another part of town, maybe this time sticking a cherry bomb wick in a lucky strike, lighting the cig and allowing it to detonate as in a timed explosion while we were blocks away. Only non filtered butts for this trick.

Which brings to mind where our parents were? It was pitch dark and we had the run of the town. Didn't anyone see us slipping behind enemy lines? I guess you can do that when your town has a one-person police department. Yes, we called him Barney, but not to his face. We often waited till he decided to turn in and we had the run of the town. 

Tonight, Halloween, I reflect on my misspent youth. Nothing serious, but behavior that would un-nerve parents today. In review, I think, today's kids are overall better behaved, or they are just too lazy to play a few tricks on Halloween.

Dan Rivers

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