October 31, 2009

Pumpkins carved by children are the best.

DSC05016

ADDED: I swapped in a slightly different pic. I think I'll live-blog Halloween. I hope we get some kids! This is my first year doing Halloween with Meade, and we're going to do some special scary things to amuse the kids.

6:13: So far, we've had a mummy, a cowboy, a ladybug.... I answer the door and give out the candy, and Meade — growling, in a cyclops mask and big werewolf gloves — sneaks up behind me and grabs me. So far, it has not gotten that much of a reaction, perhaps because the little kids around here are very polite. I'm theorizing that they've been taught to treat people who are "different" as they would treat anybody else. Either that or we need to crank up the scariness.

7:16: We've been honing our act, and we finally got 4 little girls to laugh. Then, we actually scared a little boy. Not too much I hope! We gave him extra candy and Meade took off the mask and acted especially friendly. 

50 comments:

edutcher said...

They carve 'em like they see 'em.

chickenlittle said...

Couldn't you have gotten the rest of the one on the right in the frame?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Can I just say that I despise pumpkins carved from templates? ( Yes, I can, and just did. )

Yes, the first year or two they looked really cool. Now, they just look pretentious.

If you want to design your own fancy pattern, that's fine. You're an artist, and you have my respect. But if all you are doing is carving a pattern figured out by someone else then you are is a hack with less creativity than those kids.

It's halloween. You're carving a pumpkin, not the Sistine Chapel ( yes, I know, the Sistine Chapel was not carved. It's called poetic license. Work with me here.) Just carve a frickin' jack-o-lantern. Put some thought and effort into it so it looks nice.

Jason (the commenter) said...

What if they weren't carved by children?

Ann Althouse said...

"Couldn't you have gotten the rest of the one on the right in the frame?"

It's the one on the left that interests me. I'm going to swap in the 2d one I took since that bothers you.

"What if they weren't carved by children?"

I thought about that. It may well be...

jaltcoh said...

Where's the "Halloween" tag?

Also, this post and the previous two should have a "pumpkins" tag. Here's another one.

MadisonMan said...

Give out full-sized candy bars. That'll draw kids.

HelenParr said...

What 'special scary things' could a middle-aged newlywed couple inflict on the kids for amusement?

Get a room!

David said...

"I hope we get some kids."

You need to discuss this with Meade first.

chickenlittle said...

Couldn't you have gotten the rest of the one on the right in the frame? :)

I'm going to fire candy showers out of a potato cannon tonight for the neighborhood. What are you and Meade going to do neighborly?

wv motel
Since when does it generate real words? So not fair.

Jason (the commenter) said...

HelenParr: What 'special scary things' could a middle-aged newlywed couple inflict on the kids for amusement?

"Here's how much money the government is going to make each of you pay off over the rest of your lives! Ah ha ha ha!"

victoria said...

They were carved by Jason(the commenter). Scary, a noecon let loose with a knife and no common sense. Sorry, couldn't resist.

Chip Ahoy said...

Mum, bless her, has not an artistic cell in her body, but that does not stop her from her from bizarre expression. For halloween she had her own hair dyed orange and styled into the shape of an orb. Back at home, she told me to draw the face of a pumpkin, cut it out, and use it for template to spray the back of her head with some kind of black dye. I was against the idea. She got mad as hell at my refusal to participate in her self-defacement.

"Goddamnit! What good is it having an artist in the family if I can't use you?"

She had a point there. As usual, she cowed me into it, but resentfully. I was amazed she found it impossible to draw three simple triangles and a toothy grin. I mean, come'on.

My dad hated it. Then he was mad at me because I shouldn't have been an enabler, and I'm all, "You're the one who married her."

EDH said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EDH said...

Levi Johnston just announced that Sarah Palin once called the pumpkin on the left "retarded looking."

wv-"undoa" = a person who corrects typos in blog comments

PWS said...

I think little kids are not always scared by what we adults think will scare them.

Plus they're expecting to be scared.

Plus they really just want the candy.

Jason (the commenter) said...

I answer the door and give out the candy, and Meade — growling, in a cyclops mask and big werewolf gloves — sneaks up behind me and grabs me. So far, it has not gotten that much of a reaction, perhaps because the little kids around here are very polite. I'm theorizing that they've been taught to treat people who are "different" as they would treat anybody else. Either that or we need to crank up the scariness.

I saw a kid's movie where a spider-woman came out of the wall at night and wanted to cut out the eyes of children and sew over the holes with buttons. So yes, you need to crank up the scariness. They've seen much worse.

Lockestep said...

Sadly, this is the first year in the last 16 I have not taken one of my sons around trick or treating.
What a drag it is getting old.

wv queserin: Ask your doctor about queserin if you are experiencing doubts about your leaders. Side effects include loss of appetite, loss of critical thinking, and loss of the will to live. Ask about queserin today!

EDH said...

Trick or Treat!

Mankiw just linked to his Sunday NYT OpEd on the implicit marginal tax rates in the health reform bill making its ways through Congress.

Remember,this would be on top of other phase-out rates and actual tax rates.

Whereas a mandate for catastrophic insurance coverage might have a more reasonable subsidy phase-out rate, the political influence of "mandate creep" will push preium costs and those phase-out rates skyward at the lower levels of the income scale.

That's before we talk about the incentive-destroying increase in actual tax rates at higher levels of income that are needed to offer that subsidy in the first place.

Mark O said...

"I answer the door and give out the candy, and Meade — growling, in a cyclops mask and big werewolf gloves — sneaks up behind me and grabs me."

PERVERTS!

Jason (the commenter) said...

Maybe Althouse could pour some ketchup on her head.

People give suggestions, there are children not being scared for their lives here!

Beth said...

"Mais boo, shah!"

seen on oil change marquee in Houma, LA, last week.

MadisonMan said...

We've had about 50 or 60 kids, and are almost out of candy, and will soon shut off the light.

Ya snooze, ya lose in this neighborhood.

Michael Hasenstab said...

Althouse and Meade, great to hear about your adventures as treat-givers, trying to scare the kids who come to your door. It's a warming story. Best to both of you.

Meade might get more reaction if he was wearing a Brett Favre Vikings Jersey.

But then, you'd need time to replace the broken windows and an extinguisher to douse the flaming bags of dog poop left on the porch.

Kirk Parker said...

Meade needs to be outside and sneak up and grab the kids. That'll scare 'em--or at least scare the parents waiting out at the road...

Beth said...

Just had a baby in a stroller oblivious to being in a great little bat suit. His toddler sister is a kitty cat and gave a wonderful high-pitched squeal when I let out a BOO! that was satisfying. She loves the boo, her mom told me.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

... and Meade... sneaks up behind me and grabs me. So far, it has not gotten that much of a reaction...

Maybe he's not grabbing you in the right place.

Jason (the commenter) said...

I like the fairy princesses the best (the non-Disney ones). Already seen a few. Cute!

MadisonMan said...

All done. Six bags of candy gone.

I think most people are done now too. It amazes me how fast things start and stop here.

rhhardin said...

Mischief night was the great time, as I recall as a kid.

Dressing up was more of a necessary task to get candy.

Ann Althouse said...

Wow, MM, what neighborhood are you in? I'm getting almost nothing.

jaed said...

Do people give candy to adult trick-or-treaters?

Around here we get kids from twilight to maybe 7PM, then the 18-30 year olds start in. The idea of giving adults candy annoys me no end and I usually go hide in the back of the house and refuse to answer the door to them. But I always think perhaps I'm being too harsh and spoiling the fun.

Then I tell myself, it is not "harsh" to refuse to pander to a 25-year-old hipster asshole in a scary George Bush mask begging for candy.

But I'm still uncertain.

Theo Boehm said...

I think it's the diversity training in school.
Cyclops werewolves deserve respect, too

MadisonMan said...

Even though our lights are off, we had a pair of 4th-grade (about) girls march right into the house! I apologized for the lack of candy and said that's why the lights were off. It seemed to surprise them that something like that might happen.

Then a friend/neighbor came by with her 5th-grade daughter -- youngest of 4 siblings -- but we were still out of candy, so maybe I'll take some cookies over to her tomorrow.

Soon I take my 13-yo to his first non-birthday party Party.

Althouse, I am in the Mayor's neighborhood. I think there are many more kids on this side of Regent than yours.

EDH said...

jaed said...
Do people give candy to adult trick-or-treaters?

The idea of giving adults candy annoys me no end and I usually go hide in the back of the house and refuse to answer the door to them.


Bald Asshole!

"That's a hate crime."

blake said...

Teens? '20s? We get 30- and 40-somethings, mostly Hispanic.

ricpic said...

My neighbors just came over trick or treating with their 2 year old, who couldn't get the hang of tearing open the packet to get to the raisinettes inside (heck, I can barely manage that) so she just stood there contentedly chewing on the packet. Yes, we opened it for her.

Freeman Hunt said...

We've hardly had anyone. I am sad about it.

Freeman Hunt said...

I even bought the good candy!

Freeman Hunt said...

Heh. Two girls were lucky enough to show up now and got huge handfuls of candy because we have so much left. They were pleased.

blake said...

Light so far...

dick said...

Seems so different these days. When I was a kid back in the 40's and 50's once I reached 6 years old we went out on our own trick or treating and knew to stay right in the neighborhood. But then we also knew all the neighbors and they knew us.

Living in an apartment in a private house type neighborhood we have had 1 kid total. I guess it is really different in NYC. Maybe in the high rise apartments or in the apartment developments it is different but in this neighborhood the kids just aren't into Halloween. Almost no decorations at all. It's like Bah Humbug!

chickenlittle said...

It's like Bah Humbug!

You mean Boo Humbug! :)

Donna B. said...

We have not had a trickortreater here in 5 years. I didn't even think about buying candy. If one had showed up, I have a fishbowl of pennies, nickels, and dimes they can dig into.

Halloween is becoming as "institutionalized" as everything else, I suppose. Most people around here take their kids to "approved" candy-getting places like malls and churches.

But I remember the real thrill of Halloween and that was scaring the inhabitants of the houses. Of course, I got grounded, but it was a helluva lot of fun.

chickenlittle said...

Lighter than usual in our neighborhood. Then again, we had lots of undocumented kids in years past.
School enrollments are down too.

blake said...

Huh. It's picked up here.

That's good, I think. Though a lot of immigrants who don't seem to understand the whole "trick or treat" protocol.

BJM said...

It's been lighter than last year here too. Lots of little ones in the cutest bunny, butterfly and pumpkin onesies. One kid totally cracked me up in lab coat, horn rimmed glasses, pocket protector and a clip board...we've had a gaggle of princesses and Raggety Ann & Andy.

@DonnaB...yeah, we did some annoying (funny) stuff to the neighbors, like removing the hinge pins from everyone's front door screens. Next morning when they went out for the paper: Wham!

Ralph L said...

Halloween is becoming as "institutionalized" as everything else, I suppose. Most people around here take their kids to "approved" candy-getting places like malls and churches
No one goes door-to-door in my town and hasn't for decades. The city sets off fireworks in the park about 8 pm. The noise scares me every year.

I'm pissed that Walmart didn't carry bags of NECO wafers this year. I used to get 4 or 5 for me. My boss can't believe I'm not diabetic.

EDH said...

Ralph L,

Trick or treat? Iconic Necco wafers go all-natural
By BOB SALSBERG (AP)

BOSTON — All-natural may be all the rage in the food world, but will candy lovers have a sweet tooth for beet juice and purple cabbage?

Necco sure hopes so. The 162-year-old Massachusetts company is taking its venerable Necco Wafers all-natural, making them the largest mass-produced candy line in the U.S. to shed artificial flavoring and colors.

Necco, short for New England Confectionary Co., cranks out about 4 billion of the roughly quarter-sized wafers each year, packaging them in large rolls (36 wafers) and junior rolls (nine wafers). Beet juice, purple cabbage, cocoa powder and turmeric — a spice often used in curries — are some of the natural ingredients in the new wafers, which will be phased in at retail stores before and after Halloween.

"Kids aren't going to go 'Yippee! It's all natural!' but they might say to their parents ... 'Look, it's all natural, it's right on the package!"' said Steve Almond, author of "Candyfreak: A Journey Through the Chocolate Underbelly of America," and a self-professed fan of Necco wafers.

The change, a big one for an iconic sweet that has changed little since its creation in 1847, was driven by the trend toward all-natural products, said Jackie Hague, the company's vice president for marketing. She said prices will stay the same and consumers will notice little difference in taste, while the natural colors will give the candy a more muted, pastel appearance.

One thing will be missing, however.

"We lost green," she said.

Green, one of eight original wafer colors, was too hard to duplicate in the all-natural process. It seems the lime flavor could be reproduced naturally, but the color lacked consistency so it was scrapped.

That leaves seven flavors/colors: orange; lemon (yellow); clove (pink); cinnamon (white); wintergreen (purple); licorice (gray); and chocolate, which now will come in variations of milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate and mocha.

Biting into the new treats reveals no obvious taste of the purple cabbage, beet juice or other natural flavorings. As always, the hard, sugary discs are smooth with a slightly chalky texture, and very sweet.

All-natural products mostly have been the domain of smaller, more specialized candy makers, though Fairfield, Calif.-based Jelly Belly Candy Co. has introduced an all-natural line of jelly beans, including grape, peach, lemon and plum flavors.

Bernard Pacyniak, editor of "Candy Industry," a trade publication that covers the confectionary industry, called the all-natural wafer "a smart move by Necco."

"It's taking advantage of consumer needs and demands," he said.

The move to all-natural also could help the company "reinvigorate" the brand at a time when there's a slight resurgence in demand for nostalgic products, he said.

Necco said the switch is not in response to any dropoff in sales. The company reported wafer sales of more than $9.2 million in 2008, an 8 percent increase from the prior year, though sales have been relatively flat in convenience stores and supermarkets, Hague said.

The changeover will result in slightly higher costs for raw materials for Necco, but no additional manufacturing costs, she said, and it will not affect the shelf life of the candy.

The company won't say if the move to all-natural might eventually extend to other product lines, including Valentine's Day favorite Sweethearts and Clark bars.

kentuckyliz said...

That's Necco Wafers / the candy nobody likes"

Big pumpkin eating a little pumpkin