Editor's Note: This blog was written to be published before Halloween
I'm not sure if Sam, my 13-year old son, will go to downtown Maryville, for the annual business Trick or Treat this year. He's right on the fringe of it not being "cool" for a teenager, but there's still the allure of free candy. He told me the other day that hardly any activity could get in the way of free candy.
I think what he meant was he was hopeful of another Spoofhound blow-out on Halloween night so he could multitask. He has a baseball lesson with Matt Johnson at 6:00, the football playoff game at 7:00, and hitting the houses he knows have the best candy for a final hour of Trick or Treating.
For a kid that's such a junkie for sports, Sam has pretty much been a super-hero guy on Halloween. I think it started with Superman. I can't tell you how sick I got watching the cassette tape of Superman II, Sam's favorite.
To be really truthful, I went around yelling, "Up in the sky; it's a bird! It's a plane! No it's Superman!" I would go through the whole, "Fighting for truth, justice, and the American way!' It's hard to figure a guy from Krypton fighting for the American way.
Then Sam graduated to Power Rangers. I think Sam's favorite was the Red Ranger. The only thing I knew for sure was the Pink Ranger was female. Every episode was pretty much the same. The alien bad guys would pretty much kick the crap out of the blue, green and red Power Rangers.
Even the pink got beat up occasionally. Just when defeat seemed imminent, they would combine into something really big and destroy the really big bad guys.
Sam spent a couple of Halloweens behind a Power Ranger's mask. It didn't take long, though, for Sam to go back to super heroes. First came Batman and after the first movie came out, Spiderman took the favorite's role. What I liked about those costumes was they had muscles imbedded in the costume. Sam looked like a serious tough guy.
The real "Treat" in Trick or Treat, is where to find the best treats. Over the years, I have discovered the real science to finding the best candy on Halloween. Of course, downtown Maryville is always good.
The second best is the dormitories on the Northwest Missouri State campus.
When you enter the dorm, you can pick up a sheet of paper that give the room numbers of students giving away treats. Advanced knowledge is important.
You need to plan your attack on college treats. First piece of advice is to take the stairs. The elevator is too slow and clogged. Skip the floors with only a couple of rooms listed. Go for the quantity, with the chance of missing out on the quality.
The dorms are great in cold weather. As Sam has grown more mature, you can tell he is definitely interested in the college female's costumes. I think his favorite is Wonder Woman.
I grew up in a small town and the tricks usually outnumbered the treats. I am old enough to even find a few out-houses to tip. In my small Nebraska hometown, we had a system of tricks, no matter how good the treats. The sad thing is we usually went Trick or Treating for UNICEF. We would drop off the money and go on our destructive ways.
It started earlier in the week collecting eggs and tomatoes. If you bought more than a dozen a week, the grocer knew what you were up to. The softer soap worked better on car windows, so we used more Dove than Lifeboy.
The cheaper toilet paper preferred over softer brands. I was popular since I could sneak some of my Dad's government issued toilet paper from the post office where he was the postmaster and only employee.
It was required to figure out a grand finale. That usually meant a farmer's pick-up on the front steps of the school or an outhouse perched in the middle of main street. The neatest trick I ever heard was when an FFA group reassembled a combine in the Library of their school.
If Sam does decide to go out this year, he will definitely be a WWE wrestler. His goal will be free candy and the tricks will be non-existence. He seems to be better behaved than his father was at his age.
I've got no problem with Sam's love of WWE wrestling. However, the words of Bobby "The Brain" Heenan always come to mind. Quoted in a Sports Illustrated article, the wrestling star who retired in 2000 said, "There's two things that worry me about wrestling fans; they can vote and they can breed."
By Gene Steinmeyer Guest Columnist
The Maryville Daily Forum - Maryville, MO
By Gene Steinmeyer Guest Columnist
Updated Nov. 1, 2012 @ 7:32 pm
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