It’s the Great Asshole, Charlie Brown!

We met our first Wingnut in 1967. The word wasn’t around at the time, but thinking back on it, he fit the type. Stupid. Confident. Jerk.

We were in third grade. It was Halloween, and instead of begging for candy and going through the Mom Ritual of fretting about apples embedded with razor blades, we decided to wander around the old neighborhood of modest two-bedroom homes with a distinctive orange box, trick-or-treating for UNICEF.

We don’t recall being especially concerned about Starving Children in Africa. It just seemed like the thing to do.

So we’re going door-to-door, performing the ritual that everyone knew: The kid chants his greeting. You drop a quarter in the box and give him a candy bar, because he’s still a kid, and you want to reward his altruism.

Next house. Knock-knock! Door opens. We’re going to say that the twentysomething gentleman wore a dirty t-shirt and jeans, and add the touches of a mustache and an open can of Schlitz, not because memory serves, but situation demands.

“Trick or Treat for UNICEF!”

Cold stare.

“I’m not giving you anything,” he finally says, “because that money goes to Communist children.”

Decades later, we remain as stunned as we were the moment it happened. We’ve encountered far worse since then, but that was the night we lost our innocence. And to this day, we still don’t understand them.

8 Comments

My God, you were awesome even then.

Several years ago, my parents invited over some good friends of theirs for lunch. During lunch my mom asked what are they going to do for Halloween. The wife replied, “Our pastor says it’s the devil’s holiday and we aren’t going to give candy out at all.” My mom apparently nearly choked on her food as she remembered all the times her kids came over to get candy on Halloween.

It was the last time my parents had them over. Yet for some reason my parents don’t understand why I don’t want to go out on a date with their daughter (who is as religious as her parents.)

Ugh. I guess I’m lucky I did the UNICEF thing right around the end of Vietnam (people gave pennies, but that was better than being berated) and in a neighborhood where the locals had erected a tent city on a campus field.

Odd.

I went back to my old neighborhood last week and just meandered. I was lucky to grow up there.

@ManchuCandidate: Yeahhhhhh. Luckily my mom didn’t turn that corner until I had no interest in trick or treating. But when my kid and I started reading Harry Potter. O_o When he was older, I told him best to not tell her about the Tarot deck he bought.

I don’t remember Hallowe’en at all as a kid in London. Scotland, yes, in a low-key, carving rutabagas kind of way. But none of the Great Cornsyrup Festival that goes on here.

@Benedick: Which reminds me, is candy is already on clearance or will I have to wait until tomorrow?

@Benedick: Yesterday I carved two pumpkins, made pepitas (roasted pumpkin seeds) and painted several Mexican sugar skulls after going out for firewood, cleaning the yard and drinking martinis while watching a little football with the step-grandson of someone who used to own the Broncos. I was so tired I was ready to weep as I fell asleep in my chair a couple of times to catch the football highlights and scores. This morning I made and hung up a few little ghosties for the neighborhood kids to enjoy on their walk to school and packed Son of RMLs Day of the Dead altar honoring my grandfather and all his Halloween crap for school.

I have plans in my head for for additional decorations involving glow in the dark paint and zombie targets from the gun shop. I don’t recall this holiday being so much work in the past.

Holiday music selection, “Black Sabbath” by Black Sabbath
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akt3awj_Ah8

@redmanlaw: someone who used to own the Broncos

Aren’t they owned by pretty much all of the AFC now?

/sorry, still coming down from a glorious smack down of The Brady Bunch by my Acereros/

@Nabisco: *ZING!*

As I told my Tebow-loving friend who was expecting the 0-16 Lions to show up yesterday, I make my living on dispassionate analysis, Remember I had Detroit by 250.

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