Daddy's Coming Honey!



IT’S A BIG, SCARY WORLD OUT THERE

The other day we carved pumpkins. We took pictures. You can see them. You have to finish reading this first.

I’m no artisan, so my pumpkins usually involve eyes and a mouth—no Sistene Chapels. Although, I do try to avoid the vanilla faces. Carrie and I made our respective pumpkins. Now, she also couldn’t help but buy a tiny harvest gourd—the pie-able size—and carve it in the name of the baby within her (which isn’t quite pumpkin-sized yet). Call me biased, but that was one cute pumpkin. Thing looked like a Pokemon—not one of the evolved ones, but one of the ones they make a plush doll for so fat chicks named Ming Ming can carry them around.

And if you’re looking for good pumpkin carving music, listen to the soundtrack to “The Black Rider” by Tom Waits.

So when we’re done Carrie lines them up together, the whole pumpkin family. Photo op.

So then I grab the little one and start scooting it across the table toward her: “I love you, mommy,” it says in a squeaky voice (pumpkins speak fine English). She can’t stand it. The tears build up like sugar in a 5-foot-tall mummy on Hallow’s Eve. The pumpkin keeps scooting. “Come here, mommy. I love you.”
Does this make me cruel? No. The year Carrie came home to a pumpkin stabbed to death with a whole set of kitchen knives—that made me cruel.

So last night we broke our record for the number of kids coming by for candy. But only two of them actually said,”Trick or Treat.” The rest just expect something for nothing. It’s just not what it used to be. When I was a kid we brought wagonloads home. Wagonloads, son. I don’t mean a Radio Flyer, I mean like a Wells Fargo wagon. Why? Because we begged for it. And every kid in the hood was doing it. Now we live in a time where behind every house lurks a potential predator. Kids just have Trunk-r-Treats, or come as sideshows to PG adult parties. We’ve even stopped throwing animal bones in the fire and chanting like we did in the old days. Tisk, tisk.

But I think to myself, one day that will be my kid bedecked as another creature going from door to door, asking complete strangers for chocolate, caramel, and licorice. My child, going into this dark, threatening world, trying to avoid all the pitfalls and come home with a catch of sugar. Oh, of course I’m going with them. But once they emerge you can’t be with them all of the time, and eventually you’ll have to let go of their hand (this is the point where Carrie cries when she reads this).

I’ll have to tell that child what not to eat, where not to go, why not to eat apples until Daddy washes them and cuts them into quarters to make sure there are no razors. I’ll have to tell them not to talk to strangers, eat their boogers, or give money to the guy from Uganda who has an investment opportunity. There are some scary things out there. Like Lady Gaga. And that one guy who works at the Gamestop near Sheetz.

It’s no wonder some people consider not having kids, not having to raise a child in this world, having to fight off all the dangers. Not just the big ones—kidnappers, murderers, tele-marketers. But just having to get along in the modern world, pay taxes, date the right people, endure high school, use public bathrooms, face emerging gender issues, eat fast food, figure out their faith with God and what to do with it.

But somebody has to do it. And I’m confident that I can. Not because of myself, but because of the parenting I have both witnessed and endured over the years (yes, Mom n Dad, I said endured—what you gonna do about it?).

So when my kid shows up at your door dressed as Jack Sparrow from “Pirates of the Caribbean: This Ship Has Sailed One Too Many Times”, you better offer more than a bag of pretzels or Poppa Frankenstein is gonna open a can of—hey, are there any kids reading this blog? Anyway, can’t wait to have a reason to dress up on Hallow’s Eve. And for you haters out there, it’s just as pagan as Christmas, so back off.

This is my Halloween costume, by the way. I’m sick and tired of all this breast cancer, so I’m gonna stand up and do something about it. I’m gonna stand here and occupy breast cancer until something is done.

I had an earlier version of the poster. Unfortunately, I only had enough room for the first two words.

You can imagine how it turned out. Quite reminiscent of the “Make 7 Up Yours” Campaign.

There is an alternate version of the sign:

But I can only wear that one after curfew, or I’ll have to stand under the court house with a sign reading “I made an inappropriate reference to bosoms in front of small and impressionable children and this is my punishment.”

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