A Herculean Halloween

Our family has have never really prioritized Halloween. Oh, we’ll make it to a party or two. We’ll hit a few houses (“hit” in the non-vandal sense). But our kids’ costumes have generally consisted of whatever they can find in the dress-up box (race car driver, puppy dog, Elmo) or in the garage (Olaf painted on a cardboard box). It’s the creativity that counts, right?

The real excitement, at least in recent years, has surrounded The Candy Bowl, an annual early November neighborhood football game that my kids throw. To the victor go the spoils: all leftover Halloween candy.

But this year, with Halloween on a Saturday and a daylight savings hour to spare, we decided to splurge.

First, we planned to hand out actual candy instead of fruit snacks. Then, we planned to eat chili and cornbread with some friends. Finally, and most surprisingly, I agreed to spend hard-earned money on NEW costumes (thrift store purchases have occasionally occurred over the years).

Don’t let your imagination run wild. It didn’t mean we were surfing Amazon for three weeks selecting every last accessory. It meant we were in Wal-Mart at 10:00 a.m. Saturday morning. I was pleasantly surprised by the selection.

Our five-year-old son requested Superman. He had worn his cousin’s hand-me-down kangaroo costume to a preschool party two days earlier. Evidently, he was the only non-superhero among the boys in the room. But kangaroos can jump twenty-five feet!?!

His first grade brother requested Captain America. Remarkably, I found both costumes in just the right sizes.

I thought my luck was running out, however, when the nice kid helping me uncovered no “Batgirl” or “Secret Service” outfit. But then, time stood still as I gazed into the eyes of a handsome male model on a costume’s packaging. The costume: Hercules. The size: Adult.

Initially, I struggled to wrap my mind around paying $22.47 for a costume for myself. Last year, I broke my string of twelve straight years as a referee when I bought a pair of disposable white coveralls and went as something of a beekeeper.

But when I remembered that I had to teach David and Goliath the next day at church, I decided to pull the trigger. It was like slaying two hydras with one imaginary sword.

Back home, batgirl became a beautiful butterfly with some face paint and wings we had bought a while back. The aspiring Secret Service agent stuck a pillow under a white button-down, grabbed a walkie talkie and became Paul Blart, Mall Cop. We were set.

When I appeared in mythological form, I was not greeted by fear. My five-year-old said I looked like a girl, my seven-year-old said I needed some fake muscles, my nine-year-old asked, “What in the world is that?” and my twelve-year-old observed, “You’re obviously not Goliath.”

Rrrrr. That’s it. I’m stealing Almond Joys from all your plastic pumpkins! And Hercules is dressing out for The Candy Bowl!!

Well before sunset, the costumed crew trick-or-treated at a few nearby homes before driving to a tract home neighborhood. The subdivision was a land flowing with Milk Duds and Bits-O-Honey, some of which will end up at The Candy Bowl where a  certain middle-aged Hercules plans to reveal his deity to childlike mortals.

Follow Kevin Thompson at www.kwt.info.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 207 other followers


%d bloggers like this: