Relatively speaking, because I live in New York, I've grown a bit jaded to the point that encountering people wearing costumes -- whether on Halloween or any other day -- isn't unusual. Whether marketing mascots in the shape of sandwiches, hot dogs, Disney characters or the occasional fruit or vegetable -- bananas seem to be very popular, incidentally -- dressing up in crazy costumes isn't something that shocks many of this City's residents, myself included. In fact, depending where in the City you live, it's the antithesis of eyebrow-raising, if at all -- especially in the Village and Chelsea.
Having said all that, the first thing that pops into my head when I think of Halloween is going trick-or-treating when I was a wee lad in my hometown; to this day, the lure of candy -- whether it's of the bite-size variety or a full-blown king-size bar of chocolate, etc. -- isn't about the chocolate itself but of the salivating over someone dropping some free treats into an orange-colored plastic bag bearing a decorative pumpkin design. These days, having to buy the bags of candy around Halloween to make sure I'm ready should any little tykes come a-knockin' is a bit of a mixed blessing, but once the tykes approach with their giddy shouts of "trick or treat!" I'm right back there with them, somewhere around seven or eight years old, sporting a batman costume and an irrepressible urge for chocolate.
Growing up, the night prior to Halloween was a somewhat precarious affair. Most Halloween mornings meant broken eggs, toilet paper and other similarly-pleasant surprises in store for houses that were left unguarded. Had I been faced with a night before Halloween in the suburbs alone, it's not like I would be sitting on the stoop with a shotgun and a proactive sense of vigilante justice emanating from my trigger finger(s). But it is nice to consider, even for a moment, impersonating Albert Belle or Charles Bronson, even if the fantasy is far more palatable -- and realistic -- than the reality itself.
In any event, now that I'm ensconced in a quiet, cozy apartment building, I'm looking forward to the arrival of this year's crop of trick-or-treaters. I've got some things to pick up at a local Duane Reade, so I'll be sure and score some candy -- mini Three Musketeers, Snickers, Milky Ways and Twix bars. And I'll be sure and score more than necessary, just in case ;-)
After all, you don't outgrow your irrepressible urge for treats in only one lifetime ;-)