Saturday, November 01, 2008
Yesterday I went trick-or-treating for the first time in many years. I didn't want to do it, but I had little choice in the matter. My daughter decided to dress as a Goth girl, and had her friend paint her entire face black. Despite their efforts, she ended up looking far less like a Goth girl than Archie Bunker dressed for the minstrel show at his lodge. Spoilsport that I am, I made her take the makeup off and wear the devil outfit we keep around for just such occasions. This not only suited her personality better, but also matched her friend's costume.
Unfortunately, after all the makeup changes, it was pitch dark outside. Even worse, my wife flatly declined to go out with the kids, thus breaking a long-established family tradition. While I'm generally left-leaning, I profoundly treasure traditions that allow me to stay home and shirk my responsibilities. But alas, that was not to be.
I walked around for an hour with the little devils, and some people had boxes that made odd noises and light effects that managed to unsettle all of us. I usually stood in front of the houses and waited, but the girls made me accompany them to several scary stoops. Noisy dogs also necessitated longer walks on my part, even when they had squeaky barks suggesting they were no bigger than oversized rats.
But the real fear I've been seeing has been that of my colleagues, who wonder what the hell good 55/57/25 will do them if their savings are circling the toilet. Perhaps we'll all be maneuvering the halls of our overcrowded schools in our wheelchairs and chugging Geritol in the teacher lounges. I hope not. I was hoping to retire at a reasonable age and find another job more suited to my particular talents.
I'm thinking public nuisance. On the other hand, those positions are largely monopolized by banjo players.