GAME PLAN: Halloween

hallo game plan

I hope you were a child once, otherwise this will make very little sense. Better yet, you could be a child of Trick-or-treating age, and that means this Game Plan will help you big time.

You’re ten years old, and your younger sibling (sister, brother, loyal dog) is about seven. Let’s take you through Halloween day – because contrary to popular belief, Halloween is a 24 hour military operation, not a couple hours at night. You begin at 0500, an hour before you normally wake up…assembling costumes.

0600 – Wake up for school. Eat breakfast. Wear costume to school (which is always terrible until at least 9th grade when it becomes a joke).

1600 – Arrive home from school. Be glad the bus driver will never gawk at you in that again. Imagine whatever costume you want. That’s the joy of reading, after all! I’ll let you go out on a limb here.

1800 – Mom or your older sibling or whoever will force a meal on you. They just don’t get it, do they…Halloween is about candy. Also, you need to stay mobile and alert for tonight’s mission so don’t overeat.

1830 – Sort of dark. Little kids go around with their parents.

1900 – At your mother’s insistence you go out with your sibling. Start at Mr. Bill’s house. Mr. Bill is an excellent human being. He rides his bike to work every day, etc. His excellence is the same on Halloween. His beautiful wife presents you with several great types of candy.

1907 – While Mom chats with Mr. Bill, you wander over to the Reynolds. No one on your street likes the Reynolds Fam, and they know. They’ve left out one of those baskets with the sign that says “Take Two.” Why these people think unsupervised children between the ages of 6 and 21 are going to take only two – especially because they’ve provided some awesome candy – is anyone’s guess.

1923 – Yeugh. The Pretzel Family. Their son didn’t wear a costume at school today. You felt pretty bad for him, but then he told you that “Halloween is silly” and it dawned on you that his parents have gotten to him already. He was soundly flogged with a handful of Twizzlers by the class bully. Ten lashes for such blasphemy.

You go across the street from the Pretzel Family for some actual candy (where the white title is on the diagram) and return after about five houses. There’s no blue arrow. Just work with me here.

2000 – At twenty-hundred hours you and your sidekick are getting antsy. This is it. It’s almost time for the big move. The Scarsdale family are close with your parents. With luck, they’ll be invited inside for the bitter food adults serve to impress each other – nuts, humus and red wine – in an almost nightmarish ritual. If trapped inside, you will be smothered with alcohol-smelling kisses by Mrs. Scarsdale, and miss out on the night’s big haul.

2005 – Negotiations with the maternal unit go surprisingly well. You bolt around behind the Scarsdale home past a weird shed (Boo!) through the darkness, but nothing will scare you now. Halloween is just a big sham – everyone’s trying to scare people away from taking their candy.

2008 – You and your sidekick take a quick run through the spooky path. You’re a kid, this is your neighborhood, and you have a flashlight, so it’s totally fine. You meet up with a friend, as planned, in front of his house.

2010 – Once inside, you gather various rare and delicious candies that have been scrounged from a Middle School party. You barter with Twizzlers for M&Ms, and while it gets heated, the friendship remains intact.

2014 – There’s a cute girl next door to your friend (one of many reasons why you envy him. Connections, location…) As a ten year old, you innocently want to see her costume. It’s some kind of princess thing. If you’re a woman reading this, make it a boy. Or girl. Or boy if you’re a or boy. You know.

2020 – Her older brother lunges at you in the darkness as you leave down the front porch. Frightened and greatly pissed off, you climb the wood-pile behind a nearby garage and climb over the roof. Operation Halloween is never complete without this escape. This is your third year, and the best one yet.

2023 – You meet back up with everyone in front of the New Neighbors’ house. They’re young and hot and your mom seems to be quite taken with them. Luckily they too provide candy.

2100 – You and sidekick are sitting on the floor dividing up candy by color, type, etc. This is a formalized process useful for future bartering operations, conservation efforts, and scientific research.

2140 – And still in bed for school tomorrow.

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