Tricks and Treats
Posted on October 29th, 2007
I spent some time working on the virtual machine today, though everything I did had to be undone later. No real progress today, but I have better idea of how to tackle that problem. I also didn't "zone out" today at all.

This evening was largely spent passing out candy to tired trick or treaters. The trick or treat event covered the entire grounds (two five-story buildings and a few two-story buildings), so many of the trick or treaters were rather worn down by the end of the event. Some were masochistic enough to use the stairs instead of either elevator.

Some highlights of the event include:

• Because we didn't want to panic the cats, we setup a chair in the hall in front of the door. We also setup the boom box with the CD of spooky sounds out there (sitting behind the chair) and had it playing for a bit. Ultimately we turned it off because it wasn't loud enough to be heard over everybody else.

• Very few people passed out candy; roughly one person per hallway. On a city street with would be roughly 1 person passing out candy per 4 houses.

• We figured that since there were roughly 500 apartments total we should be prepared. Thus we bought 400 dum dums (suckers, lollipops, whatever you call them) to pass out, one per person. Since not all suckers are created equal, I tried to pass out the good flavors.

• There were 94 trick or treaters total. Thus we are left with 306 lollipops -- enough raw sugar to kill just about any member of the animal kingdom.

• Surprisingly, nobody dressed as a witch, KKK clansman ghost, Frankenstein, werewolf, Freddy, Jason, skeleton, mummy or zombie. Does anybody respect the classics anymore?

• Also surprisingly, nobody dressed as a Transformer, Incredible or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.

• One family's kids all dressed as Superman. If this persists, their kids will need therapy.

• Two of the kids wore the exact same costume, but were from different groups and were about 11 years apart in age. The costume was Disney's off-the-rack Snow White.

• One kid dressed as a gangsta; he wore a bulky coat (pulled up so the collar obscured his face), a dark colored yarn hat (pulled down to just above the eyes), sunglasses and carried a toy gun. All he was missing was the bling.

• The unique costumes (ie, costumes only one person was wearing) were: vampire, generic princess, Spiderman, Buzz Lightyear, a clown and there was one catgirl.

• The most popular costumes were a variant of the murderer from Scream (only one kid had the mask; most of them had knives) and generic pirates.

• One of the people passing out candy on the floor had some fun with the holiday. He'd removed the bulbs from the hall lights near his door so it was dark. When people knocked, he flung the door open and lunged forward with a sinister "MuHaHaha!". You could hear both him and the terrified screams of the little kids from where I sat.

• Midway through the event I discovered that two of the suckers in the bowl had been torn open. Since it's both bad etiquette and they'd just get thrown away by whomever got them I just quickly pocketed them and threw them away after the event.

• Two families had their children in a stroller. The first one pulled up and the daddy said "Say 'trick or treat'!" in a cheerful voice. There was no reply, so he repeated himself. There was no reply from the stroller again, so he stepped aside and peeked inside. His baby was fast asleep. I just dropped the candy in the basket on the side of the stroller and daddy turned to mommy and quietly said "well, that was our last stop." and they went home. The other family's youngsters were wide awake.

• Toward the end of the event one mother came down the nearby hall looking to see if anyone was passing out candy. When she reached our hall she turned away from me. Seeing no pumpkin signs, she turned around. When she saw me she screamed and started back. Like I've said before, I don't really need a costume.

• During the event a rather tall and strong black man came down the hall muttering into a walkie-talkie. He came in to our hall, looked around and entered the storage closet, muttering about having been given too much work today. He was banging around in there for a while; a few trick or treaters came and went while he fussed. After he'd done what he needed to do he came out of the storage area, walked into the nearby hall and then stopped. A second later he lunged towards me, arms up and saying "BOO!". As I got down off the ceiling, he plucked a sucker and then left laughing and calling "Thanks mister!" in a silly high-pitched voice.

• About two thirds of the trick or treaters were white and the other third were black. Exactly one trick or treater was Hispanic. When I gave him his candy, he said "muchas gracias!" and a few steps away realized that he'd used the wrong language. He turned, a little embarrassed, and said "Have a nice day!".

And that was Halloween for us.

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