Published November 1, 2011

You hear a rapping at your chamber door

You made your own costume this year
You made your own costume this year

Just after lunch (fish tacos), you don your Halloween costume and search through your candy pantry to see what can be passed out to trick-or-treaters. You receive a lot of candy over the course of a year, and you’ve decided to set all of it aside to distribute willy-nilly to whomever happens to fool you the best, sort of like how the government works. You typically have a surplus of candy following Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, and perhaps most bewilderingly of all, Sweetest Day. Most of this candy is really only suitable for Halloween. You cannot imagine having Milk Duds or Whoppers any other time of year. Individual servings of candy corn in a spooky clip art bag? Out of the question! You will give all the Twizzlers and York Peppermint Patties to your wife. You keep only a few pieces of candy for yourself, but this is the best stuff of all: one of those orange flavored chocolate balls, a Snickers, and enough original Warheads to kill your unsuspecting father if it ever comes to that: Here, Dad, have some unwrapped, funny-smelling candy. It’s not a cough drop. I swear it. I swear to god it’s not a cough drop. Try it! You’ll love it!

The holidays can be stressful for some people. You decide to check up on Emily who is lying on a pile of old witch costumes, sobbing. “I don’t want to be a witch this year!” she objects as she helps herself to some of the Twizzlers you gave her. “And the kids are just so bad and so stupid!”

“Now, now,” you scold in the manner of a sitcom husband with a hysterical wife. “You could be Pinocchio’s hot sister!” You go to your closet to assemble this costume, only to realize that you don’t have shorts or a bowtie or suspenders or a little hat, and that it’s not a very sexy costume anyhow. “Actually, Pinocchio dresses too much like David to be sexy. What about a skimpy widow costume? Or maybe like an R-rated Pochahontas?”

“I don’t want to wear anything slutty at all!” she cries. “Especially not with you dressed up like a pimp.”

“Then what’s the fuckin’ point of having Halloween in the first place!” you scream indignantly. Your voice cracks and becomes weak. Waving your plunger in the air, you say, “And I’m not a pimp! I’m going to go write my novel. Then you’ll see. You’ll see I’m not a pimp. I’m not a pimp, ok?”

You run down into the basement and play some loud, scary music you know Emily dislikes so that she’ll realize what a jerk she was and come down to apologize in a revealing costume. Somehow, over 120 dB of synthesizers, samplers, and shrieking, you hear the sound of Emily’s footsteps in the kitchen. You figure she’s probably deciding which of your skull and bat serving bowls to dump the candy in. It seems like Halloween is going on without you.

Ever so slowly, you turn down the music so that it will seem imperceptible to Emily. You take two Warheads to calm down and think about what you’ve done. You realize you may have crossed the line, but this is still the worst Halloween of your life. You open up your word processor and continue writing your hotly anticipated novel. You hear very loud knocking at the door.

You decide to: