It was a dark and stormy night.
Hearing that children came from all over Columbus to trick or treat in our neighborhood, I had stocked up on all manner of candy. I was prepared for the onslaught. More like a trickle of treaters showed up … and most of them were not interestingly attired. It was cold and rainy so perhaps the good costumes stayed inside? Our first Halloween in America was rather a bust. Did this reflect the general mood of the country?
I have assiduously eschewed commenting on political events in my blog so please take the following in the vein of information in which it is offered: Just the facts, ma’am.
In our town, like most towns in Ohio, the population has to vote on bonds and levies for their school district. This is part of their Constitution, having been amended sometime in the 70s. Our town will vote for both on November 6th, a bond to finance an additional school building and a levy to make payroll. If the measures do not pass, no new building and the school district has to make do with the funding from 2008. Or something like that. I know the basics, enough to make an informed decision, but am not enough to get exercised or exorcised about the issue.
This, however, is what I find fascinating: approximately 35% of the lawns on my block sport signs in favor of the bond/levy issue but there are ZERO signs regarding the presidential election. Any propaganda in our neighborhood is coming through the television, the internet, and the mailbox. This, to me, means that Ohioans are holding their cards very close to their chests and vests, not wanting to tip their hand to the rest of the nation. I am voting on Election Day even though there is early voting in the Buckeye state; I am really looking forward to the experience of actually casting my ballot on the 6th and all the ensuing melee, instead of mailing it in. Is America just ready to get this over with or is there really that much lack of enthusiasm for either candidate? The EPP is pondering this still.
So even though it was not the most rip roaring of All Hallowed Eve’s, the evening had its moments. I met several neighbors for the first time. One, a gentleman also new to the area, had in tow his 3 year old (adopted) son. The father was wearing Hunter boots; this was not his costume. Both Things 2 & 3 were astute in their assumptions.* I got to play my trick – “Who is the president of the [United States]?” – and to my utter delight, everyone knew. One kid, however, left the porch shouting “But not for long!” So I switched up the question to, “Who was the first president of the United States?” Most kids got it but one did say John Quincy Adams (#6 – I thought he was #5). I felt much better about education in America than education in Spain. Most kids even knew who was the 16th president. Thing 3 was asked, at a different house, to name the 8 states starting with the letter “M”. It took her awhile but she got them. Whew!
To end on a note of levity, herewith a transcript (a la Lisa Lutz’s Spellman Files** series) from my front door encounter last night with a 10 year old ghoul:
Ghoul: I smell beer.
Me: I can assure you, you do not smell beer.
Ghoul (grinning): Well, I smell something.
Me: Yes, I am sure you do smell something, but it is not beer. Have a nice evening! And another candy bar!
For the record, it was Johnny Walker Red. I went inside the house, ate a few Almond Joy minis to mask the scent, and make a mental note to drink vodka*** next year. I cannot afford to drink the [Johnny Walker] Blue.
*Figure it out. If necessary, Google the boots. Borderline, but not really.
**Lisa Lutz writes THE most hilarious books. As a Cal grad, I appreciate the locale. Really, her Spellman Family series is enough to get anyone out of a funk. Can’t wait for the next one, Lisa!!!
*** Americans make vodka too. Tito’s. But I cannot say that I won’t drink Putin water ever again ….
P.S. If you do not find the photo of my cat on the ironing board utterly charming, please move to a humorless country.
P.P.S. Our hearts go out to all those affected by Hurricane Sandy, most especially, but not limited to, Martita. I feel a home improvement project coming on.