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 no-strings-attached strangers with candy. 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 I’m a stats fiend who thrives on taking head counts, even when we’re expecting discouraging results.
Previous years’ Halloween candy-receiver totals were as follows:
This year’s results:
First TOTer arrival time: 5:59 p.m.
Final TOTer departure time: 7:55 p.m.
Total number of trick-or-treaters for 2022: 58
Gain/loss from Halloween 2021: +41.5%
I’m impressed. That’s our best turnout since 2017, only two kids away from setting a 10-year record high. It drizzled here in Indianapolis nearly all day, finally letting up by 5 p.m. but leaving ugly gray skies and muddy paths all around. Once it ceased, though, it stayed dry and gave a generous window of opportunity to all of us who still celebrate Halloween as a neighborhood event. Temperature stayed around a perfect 60°F (15.6°C) all evening, the warmest Halloween we’ve had in ages. It was a nice excuse for a middle-aged couple to sit outside, hang out together, and give away freebies to anyone courageous enough to approach us.
The timing of their respective arrivals was a bit lopsided. Eight of those 58 guests were in our first half hour. Then in our final 15 minutes before closing time, the last 14 showed up in two separate, roving packs — one quintet of young Black teens, followed shortly by nine (!) older white teens all clown-crammed into a single car, some of them riding in the trunk. I’m not the guy to chide them over automotive safety protocols, but it’s hard to blame them for the creative problem-solving. In our suburb the participating houses are getting fewer and farther between, requiring the more diligent costumed hunter/gatherers to travel longer distances if they want to collect enough pounds to make the exercise and time away from screens worth the effort. So I get the impulse to cut corners.
Fortunately we were prepared to do right by them, thanks to Anne going massively overboard on candy supplies. As household manager of our grocery budget and fun-time acquisitions, for the most part she protects me from anxiety by refusing to tell me how much stuff costs these days. I’m therefore blissfully unaware how much this year’s handouts set her back. I was more than happy to let others benefit from my ignorance.
As always, MCC extends an extra-special salute to those stalwart winners who understood the true meaning of Halloween and weren’t afraid of fresh air. The cosplayers whose raiment we could discern, including a few parents, registered as follows:
Elsa from Frozen
glow-mask dude from The Purge
someone from Last Airbender, maybe
2 Sheriff Woodys
2 matching purple-caped girls with yellow antennae
at least 3 skull-faced persons, 1 of them also wearing a crown
a furry who then asked if he could also have some water (Anne cheerfully blessed him with a bottle)
teen girl proudly sporting an “I ❤ HOT MILFS" T-shirt
'Twas a healthy turnout all told, though we should really get better at quizzing the kids on who they're cosplaying. Well, the ones who're definitely wearing costumes, anyway. There'll always be some who hope their own clothing is close enough to a costume that no one will refuse them service. Not us. We're not here to be Halloween gatekeepers. We're just here to keep the tradition and the neighborhood alive…not to mention ourselves. We do not need that much leftover sugar sitting around.