SCENE: A tabula rasa lies before the audience, slowly filling up with pumpkins, wiring, lights, carefully placed leaves.
SITUATION: Trick or treating has just started, and a harried father hurries to set up the display and dress The Children in their costumes, and the family matriarch has not yet arrived with candy – candy desperately needed to fend off the approaching hordes of sugar-demons. Approximately fifteen minutes of profuse apologies to earnest children have gone by when Cruel Wife comes running up the street with a laptop and a dolly of crates of candy. The hordes undergo a peristaltic rearrangement as they flow around the newcomer without impeding her progress to LemurHouse, then converge upon it. Crates and packages are frantically torn open and candy begins to pour into the bowl, where questing zombie hands (literally, in several cases) begin to scrabble for treats.
Cruel Wife’s pumpkinses were arrayed on the concrete edge risers of our porch steps, The Children had theirs at the head of the steps, the afterthought pumpkins were on the left risers, and Dr. Lemur’s NoondaySun Pumpkin was down low to provide illumination to the entire array.
All night long, passers-by, Evil Children, anemic and healthy were-wolves, androgynous teenagers full of angst, bicycle gangs scrabbling to build their chocolate empire, mouse-like pixies, puppies, dragons, drunk uncles with one bulging bicep cradling enormous paper-wrapped beer steins, joggers dressed as joggers, chaperone grandmothers packing heat (CCW is allowed in Michigan) and chapstick and extra mittens, couples passing roaches back and forth and not really noticing if you put candy in their bag or took it out, princes and princesses of all walks, soundless and dazed toddlers, cellphone addicts, moms and aunts with sugar-glazed faces carrying their own treat bags… all night long they ooo’ed and ahhh’ed over Cruel Wife’s pumpkin, never noticing that the pumpkin blazing before them was allowing them to see pretty much everything within 100 feet.
To be fair, one woman did say “Did you know your pumpkin is on fire? Is… is that REAL?”
(quick quiet sob of relief and small tone of hope)
“Yes,” I say, “… Yes, it is real. I’ve got the equivalent of twelve one-hundred w…”
“Okay great, gottagobye!”
(flurry of smaller sobs)
But I will be strong. I will be an adult.
Girlhead (dressed as Cleopatra), Franken-Boy (dressed as some kind of dragon-beast thing), and I all sat in the kitchen while Cruel Wife ran to the pharmacy. The kids and I ate one of every three pieces of candy that passed visual inspection, mainly as a quality check and for the safety of all concerned.
We were lying there with distended bellies and dazed expressions when Cruel Wife got back. She determined that we did not need medical care and we all got up to get The Children ready for bed.
Cruel Wife’s pumpkin did kind of rock.
Saw this weeks ago and forgot to point it out.
You know, this sort of thing does bother me. Thank you, Austin, TX for pushing the bounds of precedent in order to fill the streets with more idiots who think they’ve got what it takes.
Residents of Austin, Texas may soon have the power to issue parking tickets by taking a few photographs of someone else’s car with their smartphones. A unanimous council voted on October 20 to explore the concept of deputizing vigilante meter maids using an iPhone app. Disabled advocates pushed the program at the council meeting in the hopes of guaranteeing easier parking. They were joined by others who were just interested in writing the $511 tickets.
“I am a community policer from way back,” one resident said at the meeting. “I’m also one of the first code compliance volunteers in my neighborhood… Low income people like me can’t even afford a cell phone, so I think if you’re going to allow this you should also expand this ordinance to include the ability of the police department and code compliance to purchase smartphones for their volunteers.”
Councilman Kathie Tovo noted a number of volunteers had already emailed looking to join the program. Under Texas Transportation Code Section 681.0101, cities may deputize volunteer meter maids who swear an oath after taking a four-hour class before they can start ticketing.
You got that?
I am a community policer … you should also expand this … to purchase smartphones for their volunteers. – One Resident, a Vigilante on the side of the Law
I’m a busybody with nothing better to do with my time, I would love the boost of power it gave me, and I’d have free minutes to call all my friends and trash-mouth those DIS-respectin’ my authori-TAH.
Are they going to start purchasing cuffs, mace, and handguns for the “Community Policers” as well? As soon as some goon sees some pipsqueak snapping his plate for a double-park or handicap-park and realizes that it will mean a $511 ticket, I see the CP’s needing something more than a four-hour class.