A good Halloween is one on which I recognize half a dozen neighborhood kids, give generously, and turn out the light at 9 pm with a little bit of insurance candy left in the bowl. On a poor Halloween, I see nobody I know, and at 8:30 there are 14-year-old boys on the porch at with not the slightest excuse for a costume. I give them the candy, but I think that they might have exerted themselves more.
Friday, I got home a little before 6, and sat down to carve the jack o'lantern. There have been years when I managed to do this the night before, separate seeds from strings, and roast the seeds. Now I am the only pumpkin-seed consumer in the house, and don't bother. I did have the pumpkin carved, and set out on the steps before it was quite dark.
A neighbor stopped by early on, with at least one of his sons and that son's friends. With the costumes, I'm not sure whether the younger son was there also. A couple of girls stopped by later on, explaining to me that they were not a pair of unicorns, but rather a unicorn and a narwhal: with a closer look at the position of the horns, I could see that this was so. I think one lives on the next block down. The one young neighbor I positively identified is not quite four. She was done up as Snow White, which she had to explain to me, since I haven't watched many Disney movies lately. She had on her wig hair, she said, and her real hair under it.
And there were quantities of kids who certainly are not from the neighborhood. They were, without exception, polite, well spoken, and in costume. A pair of girls, probably about 14, showed up on the porch twice, and were slightly embarrassed to realize that they had done so. Of course we gave them candy again.