Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: each year since 2008 I’ve kept statistics on the number of trick-or-treaters brave enough to approach our doorstep during the Halloween celebration of neighborhood unity and beneficent snack donation. I began tracking our numbers partly for future candy inventory purposes and partly out of curiosity, so now it’s a tradition for me. Like many bloggers there’s a stats junkie in me that fiends for taking head counts, no matter how disheartening the results.
Previous years’ Halloween candy-receiver totals were as follows:
This year in Indianapolis, our weather gave us the best possible conditions: temps in the low 60s, no rain like we had in 2015, no snow like we had in 2014, and no severe weather delays or one-day postponements like we had in 2013. Monday may be a school night, but the environment was on humanity’s side for once. I’ll admit I didn’t turn our porch lights on till 5:30 because of mundane tasks, and I turned them off earlier than usual at 8:10 because Supergirl, but considering how The MAN thinks trick-or-treaters ’round these parts should only be outside from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. lest the shadows devour their souls, we nonetheless did our part to welcome any and all visitors as much as we could, short of sticking flyers in everyone’s doorknockers.
This year’s results, regardless of effort and sublime conditions:
First TOTer arrival time: 6:28 p.m.
Final TOTer departure time: 7:52 p.m.
Total number of trick-or-treaters for 2016: 23
Gain/loss from Halloween 2015: -58.97%
Possible causes for the worsening Halloween decline symptomatic of a country two minutes away from collapsing into an anti-celebratory black hole:
1. No one wanted to miss the Star Wars trilogy reruns on TBS
2. Bullies made everyone stay home but neglected to include us in their threatening
3. There’s a way-cool pretend-trick-or-treating app more thrilling than the real thing
4. Rampant sugar allergies in kids born after 2000
5. All our neighbors are secretly dead
6. Some nearby church’s trick-or-trunk program was handing out free pounds of bacon
7. Everyone’s afraid the boogeyman Trump’ll get ’em
8. Our lawn smells like dead cattle
9. Citywide traffic jam that just cleared up at 8:15
10. Department stores’ multitasking holiday displays making it impossible to keep schedules and calendars straight
11. Parents all stuck in early-voting lines
12. David S. Pumpkins made Halloween too frightening and confusing
…or something. I’m not upset about the money spent for the occasion. I know a college student who’ll be more than happy to take all these unwanted snacks off our hands. Sometimes traditions die, but watching it happen in slow motion is a discouraging bummer.
MCC extends an extra-special salute to those winning families and wandering orphans who understood the true meaning of Halloween and weren’t afraid of fresh air. The cosplayers whose raiment I could discern registered as follows:
Anna from Frozen
Queen of Hearts
Best of show: a young lady whose character I didn’t immediately recognize, but she had two thin robot arms mounted on her back and reaching over either shoulder, one of them armed with a laser cannon, and it looks so, so, SO familiar like I should know it, and it’s killing me that I can’t remember and failed simply to ask her. She looked great, but I was afraid asking her would crush her spirits, as observer ignorance sometimes does for cosplayers. Also, any chitchat at the door is complicated by the incessant barking from our dog Lucky from several feet behind me each and every time a new stranger shows up on his turf.
I’m proud to note nearly every duo or group had at least one leader versed enough in the process to actually say their line, “TRICK OR TREAT!” instead of engaging me in a silent staring contest in spoiled expectation of goodies. One enthusiastic young boy forgot procedure and said, “BRING OUT THE CANDY!” which is not the same thing, but by that time I was despondent from all the no-shows and gave him a pass. Another smaller boy remembered the line and, after I apportioned his take into his bag, tried to walk into the house past me and, I guess, go hug our doggie or maybe see what was on TV.
And for what it’s worth, one mom and one teen girl each complimented my new Doctor Who shirt. So that was rewarding, pretty much the highlight of my Halloween 2016, all things considered. I’ll keep answering the door every Halloween for as long as any local kids keep observing the tradition, but here’s hoping next year’s neighbors remember there’s a whole universe of people beyond their own front doors waiting to meet and greet them.