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Randi Miller Headshot

Too Old for Trick-or-Treat

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When I was 13, I was crushed to discover that I was apparently now too old for trick-or-treating. After a lifetime of selecting totally awesome costumes for Halloween, I couldn't believe my ears when I was told that it was over for me. My time had passed, my glory days were behind me now. If only I had known it was coming, I would have made a much better choice when selecting what had turned out to be my final Halloween costume the previous year... Sir Walter Raleigh.

Naturally I did not go quietly.

In my infinite wisdom, I decided that there was no reason on earth why I shouldn't still don an incredibly scary costume on Halloween night, and instead of trick-or-treating like some silly child, I could direct my talents toward the task of scaring the hell out of the silly children who were now out there gathering what should have been my Halloween haul. Wearing black jeans and a big black shirt with a large lumpy pillow shoved into the back to form a great hunch, I pulled a stocking over my face, a black ball cap on my head, and proceeded out into our wonderfully quiet, tree-lined neighborhood and hid behind a bush out of the glare of the street light. I didn't have to wait long before a small Superman and Tinkerbell happily skipped up the street in my direction, swinging their orange plastic jack o'lantern buckets and giggling with delight. I waited until they were merely feet away from my hiding place, and at just the right moment I lept from behind the bush and summoned a terrific "ROAR!" while flailing my arms wildly in the air. I was so proud of myself, certain that Superman had surely wet himself in utter terror, but before I could even smile with self-satisfaction, Superman's father started yelling at me and began chasing me down the street, threatening to kill me.

I ran so fast that I could barely breathe under the panty hose I had stretched across my face, my heart pounding in my throat and my hunchback sliding off into the bushes as I ran for my life. I rounded a corner and hid behind a bush in front of someone else's house and waited to see if the crazed man was still in pursuit, unable to stop shaking and breathing like a 70-year-old chain smoker. Meanwhile, more tiny superheros and princesses were climbing the stairs of this house and suddenly started screaming at the wheezing bank robber cowering in the bushes, and before I knew it, two more fathers were hot on my trail. I ran down the street adjacent to mine and cut through a neighbor's yard to reach the safety of my own backyard, ripping off the stocking with such force that I nearly pulled my ears off in the process.

Yes, I was definitely too old for trick-or-treating.

And now, when I open my front door on Halloween night and am greeted by people taller than me, some of whom apparently find it too exhausting to think up a costume, I quietly groan as they shove their pillow cases in my face and silently demand candy, evidently also too tired to utter "trick or treat." Shouldn't you people be hiding behind the bushes somewhere?