My family deserved a quality Halloween experience. All previous Halloweens have gone poorly, and by "poorly" I mean they made us wish we had never had a child. For Paolo's first Halloween, we took baby Wizard to my boss's Halloween party, where Sam spilled a beer all over her granite countertop, making a huge mess for her Honduran maid to clean up. Halloween II entailed carrying little Frog Prince around crowded, miserable Malloween to procure smashed Tootsie Rolls and luggage coupons. Halloween III was epically terrible. Paolo's gorgeous dragon costume had puffy feet that rested on top of his actual feet. Paolo could not be persuaded that his actual feet still existed because, looking down, he could not see them. Screams of MY FEEEET echo to this day in the dark recesses of my memory. We had to carry Paolo around this Halloween, too. He refused to walk because he had no feet. And also, he threw up the teeny bites of candy I allowed him. Last year Paolo invented the character of Super Tiger Boy. You can read about that debacle here.
Which brings us to Halloween V. Sam and I went trick-or-treating with mini-Superman, and my mom stayed home with the pea pod. The experience couldn't have been more perfect, strolling through a historic neighborhood of big Victorian houses, teeming with giggling, costumed kids racing from door to door. I was thoroughly enjoying this idyllic slice of small-town America until we spotted two tween-age girls dressed up as Mammies. That's right: faces painted brown, slave clothes padded to form giant bosoms and bottoms, kerchiefs knotted around their heads a la Aunt Jemima. Holy lynch mob, Batman, I'd almost forgotten I live in the South. How, HOW did they think that was a good idea? Where were their parents? Probably out burning crosses. Sam tried to help me stop hyperventilating by assuring me that, at some point during the night, those idiot girls would run across a black family, preferably some hard-luck New Orleans transplants, and get their heads kicked in. That Sam, he always knows the right thing to say.