by Tory Butterworth
Now that we've officially moved on from Halloween to All Saint's Day, I feel I have license to complain about the holiday without spoiling it too much for anyone else.
I don't have a very good relationship with Halloween. Apparently it started before my birth.
The story my mother tells is that one faithful Halloween night she was pregnant and threatening to miscarry. She was under strict doctor's orders to remain horizontal. My Dad had a bad case of the flu. He was on the phone with his mother when he passed out.
My mother described crawling around on the floor, trying to get a blanket over him. Meanwhile, the neighborhood kids arrived in a steady stream chanting, "Trick or treat, trick or treat!" I guess the good news was that Dad recovered, Mom had her baby, and undoubtedly the children's health was improved by one less treat.
My own personal Halloween story happened at age thirty, while moving from Michigan to Pittsburgh. That morning I awoke to a sign: bloody entrails strewn across my bedroom floor. A heart here, a liver there. It was my cats' present of a mouse (I think it was just one.)
My original plan was to start driving before six and arrive by noon. At a rest stop off the Ohio Turnpike, I tried to fill my gas tank and the liquid poured onto the pavement. That was my second clue that the day was not going as expected.
After a four-hour detour into farm country to get a new part, I once again resumed my journey. I got into Pittsburgh at rush hour. Lets just say I wasn't used to those narrow, windy roads, particularly driving a moving van. I did okay until I turned into the driveway of my new apartment and the van's bumper wedged into the wheel well of a parked truck. It was positioned such that moving my van forward or backward was likely to turn minor damage into major body work.
My frantic search for the truck owner was punctuated by shouts of, you guessed it, "Trick or treat, trick or treat!"
This fiasco was not without its up side. Two friends of mine were coming to help me unpack, but lost the address of my new place. One remembered it was in Bellevue and called the local police department, who reported an obstruction created by a moving van on Sprague Street.
Any other Halloween horror stories out there? Or is it just me?