This boy had some friends, not a lot, but some. He was definitely not allowed into the “popular crowd” group meetings. How would he fit through the door, between the hair and the height and the metal on his teeth? He belonged in a remake of “War of the Worlds” before being allowed to hobnob with the best and brightest in his sixth grade class. He was painfully awkward, blisteringly smart, and a giant dork.
This is me you are looking at. Me at age 13. Ready to take on the world.
Halloween came along on a beautiful fall evening. I decided that year I was going to dress up as a doctor. Simple costume, just wear a white overcoat, stethoscope, carry a clipboard. No mask, no makeup, no problem. My friend Matt decided to be a werewolf. His costume consisted of a black jacket and some fake beard clippings stuck to his face with glue, plus a fake plastic set of vampire teeth (vampire, werewolf, tomato, to-mah-to…)
So off we went, the Doctor and the Werewolf wandering through the streets of my small town begging for candy and having a pretty good time. Then, my werewolf friend elbowed me as we approached a large mansion. I looked at him and nodded. I knew the house, and I knew who was inside. This was the house of the most popular girl in school, and inside the house the current “popular crowd” group meeting was being held. As I started walking past the large entry gate, my friend elbowed me again and said something I’ll never forget.
“Let’s go up there.”
I don’t know what we were thinking, but a few minutes after that proclamation, Doctor Beanpole and Wally the Werewolf were marching right up the walk and to the massive front door. Maybe we were buzzed on Miky Ways and Jawbreakers, but there we were. I knocked and waited for the inevitable barrage of shocked laughter. She answered the door herself, and indeed I could see half the population of our school milling around behind her in various costumes. She looked embarrassed, but not entirely without some pity. She quickly gave us some candy and half smiled. We took it and ran down to the street, exhilarated at the amazing level of bravery required to walk up to the lion’s den and take some treasure away with us.
Werewolf crossed the busy street in front of the house. At this point, the other populars were alerted to our presence and many of them had come to the door and onto the front stoop of the house to laugh or throw a few insults our way. I hopped off the curb, started crossing the street…
…and my pillowcase full of candy split at the bottom dumping my entire collection into the middle of River Road.
Cars going both ways on the street had to stop as I stood there staring at the road. I’ll never forget the roar of laughter that erupted from the house full of the most popular kids in the school. My werewolf buddy ran out to help me start gathering the candy. Have you ever tried to quickly gather and store miniature pieces of candy? It’s like trying to pick up marbles and run with them. Not to mention I was now holding a flapping piece of fabric that used to be a fully stocked pillowcase.
I can only imagine what the drivers that stopped were seeing. “Yes, 911? There is a nine-foot tall doctor and a Werewolf frantically hopping up and down in the middle of River Road. Hello?”
It felt like an eternity, but we managed to get most of the candy onto the sidewalk. When I finally made it home, I threw the tattered pillowcase at my mother and hid in my room for the rest of the weekend. Good times, good times.
Later that night, I snuck out of my room and went on a rampage through my town, shooting people with my laser eyes and stomping them with my nine foot long legs. Werewolf went Wolverine on everyone’s asses, just hacking and slashing his way all the way to the Shop Rite. But that is a story for another time…