Halloween 2015

Great Pumpkin War of 2015

The mark of any good marriage is knowing how to pick your battles. I have selected mine. Luckily she doesn’t realize I have made an issue nor does she probably care. But I don’t let details like people caring get in my way. Let the battle of the pumpkins begin! Or continue actually. I have probably mentioned these things before but we have four pumpkins on our porch from mid-October. Aunt and Uncle to our little cherubs bought them each a pumpkin and they all got to decorate them in different ways.


They were beautiful pumpkins and each were as unique as the children who made them but this story is not about that. This story begins about a year earlier at the discovery museum. It is the weekend after Halloween and we have grandparents visiting from out of town so we decided to visit a really cool museum. The museum had a pumpkin display with thousands of different kinds of pumpkins in all kinds of colors and sizes.

A benevolent museum worker informed us that since Halloween had passed, the museum was now allowing visitors to take home as many pumpkins as they could carry. We had a minivan and that meant we could carry home about nine. As a general rule I don’t like doing things that require me to do anything so I don’t think I was to blame for the pile of “Festive Decorations” that we brought home and dumped in a pile on our washed concrete sidewalk. To be fair, it probably would have been a festive decoration if our bushes weren’t overgrown and missing half of the lower leaves. You can’t sprinkle some pumpkins on top of a neglected suburban home and expect miracles.

The pumpkins sat in a slowly degrading pile until about Christmas when I (against my will) cleaned the pumpkins and dumped them in the back corner of the backyard. I should also note that I had the thought, “This will be a good start to a compost pile” and I piled up some leaves to kickstart the action. Apparently composting requires some effort and what I had was actually a covert pile of shit flavored gourds. Anyway… I felt that perhaps the pumpkin cleaning was not my duty. I never made an issue of my opinion but now you know part A of the story.


Fast forward to Halloween 2015 and we have some two-week-old pumpkins starting to break down. I have made a silent oath to myself to not be responsible for these particular pumpkins. The passive aggressive volley begins.

“Those pumpkins are looking rough.”

“Aren’t they.”

“I don’t know if they will make it much past Halloween.”

“Oh I bet they will make it longer than you think.”

October gave way to November and nature sucked the life out of the poor pumpkins. Actually the fourth pumpkin has fared really well and it is because it only got Sharpie’d.


Skin is an amazing thing and I tried to make the rotting pumpkins a life lesson for the girls on how modified bodies will age over time versus things that are allowed to be natural. No one is buying it.

“My God those pumpkins are disgusting.”

“I know. Someone should do something.”


November gives way to December. We are well beyond needing to clean them up and easing into a morbid curiosity as to how far this thing might go. Supermom had some concern that our nativity of rotting orange might be off-putting for our Christmas spirited neighbors. So I found a genius solution…


Perfect solution. I mean…what pumpkins? Am I right?

It is January 1st and the pumpkins are holding strong. They have become a fixture of the front sidewalk and I mean that more than metaphorically – I think one of the piles of dried residue has paper mache’d itself to the concrete. I think if I just paint everything red it will buy me another month until Valentine’s Day.

If you fight the little unspoken wars, this post is for you. I’m not even sure my opponent knows there is an issue. She has accepted defeat of an attractive front lawn as much as I have at this point. If you are my neighbor, I’m sorry and you’re welcome.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

Boo Yah 2015

Halloween is, by far, my favorite holiday. There is something about dressing up as something or someone different that feels fun. It captures everything good about childhood imagination and makes it socially acceptable for adults to participate. Yes please.

Last year we went as My Little Ponies and it was lots of fun. Mostly for the wayward looks from other adults when a Rainbow Dash with five-oclock-shadow came lumbering up to the front door and said, “trick or treat”. A man at one of the houses stared at me all wide-eyed and asked, “You have four little girls?” To which I said, “Yes.” Then he asked if they made me dress as a pony which I again replied affirmatively. He shook his head side to side and said, “That’s the scariest shit I’ve seen all day.”

Cold blooded fear.

Cold blooded fear.

This year wasn’t quite as scary. In fact, I got to go as my alter-ego – Underdaddy. Which I guess is the main ego if you are reading this on the Underdaddy website but anyway. My youngest sister got me an official uniform for Christmas last year and it fit with our Halloween theme of superheroes.

We asked each of the girls what they wanted to be if they could choose their own superpower. Jane said she wanted the power to talk with animals. She got the costume of “Animal Girl”. Prima wanted to be super-fast so she got to be “Lightning Girl”. Don Threeto wanted the power to change into different animals, I assume this would assist in the commission of a crime or maybe it is just generally awesome. She became “Beast Girl”. Lady Bug said something completely unintelligible. It was somewhere between a grunt and a scream so we made her “Question Mark Girl”. Supermom and Underdaddy were kind of set in stone.


I thought it was really cool that they each chose those superpowers because if you ask me, they already possess the skills they most admire. Jane is immersed in animals and is very good with them already. Prima is very quick witted and a fast learner. Threeto has the smooth acting skill of a Dustin Hoffman or a Johnny Depp – when she tells a lie she is committed to the part. Lady Bug is our little unknown, she keeps us guessing.

We decided to streamline the costumes a little for economy because we are poor people and Halloween is about candy and fun not Hollywood level special effects. Everyone would have the same basic costume; all black sweats and socks. Then the capes and masks would be different colors and have our own symbols. Like the ninja turtles but instead of being mutant turtles underneath the masks we would be cat burglars. I stopped at a gas station with only my sweats and the attendant was a little nervous that I was dressed in all black. I don’t know if the cape would have helped or not.


Supermom is sporting some pearls like a true southern queen.

Trick or treating went well. I mean it was raining and we went to a neighborhood where the Home Owners Association requires six thousand steps as an approach to the front porch but all-in-all it was a fun time. We teamed up with some cousins that we don’t see very often and made some memories in the rain.

A noble assembly. Candy will be gotten.

A noble assembly. Candy will be gotten.

I didn’t do a great job educating the girls on Trick-or-Treat etiquette. We went to one house with decorations but no one was home. They knocked politely but after about ten seconds of no one coming to the door they had a frenzied moment of attempted breaking and entering. They were convinced that there was candy just beyond the door and we had been to three houses with no one home. This one had decorations dammit! There has to be candy! One started working the door handle back and forth while another rang the doorbell like an air raid siren. The third one was looking through the windows from the bushes and I think my forth child was trying to break into the soffit vent. I rushed to the front door while expecting to hear glass breaking at any second. “Guys, guys… We arent rescuing candy that has been kidnapped. This is just an empty house. There is more candy.” Luckily the next few houses were occupied and fully staffed for Halloween activities.

As far as the candy production, we were in the right spot. This neighborhood was definitely a place of first world problems because I have never seen so many full sized candy bars given out in my life. One house had a wicker basket with assorted Hershey, Reese’s cups, Snickers, or Payday’s in neat little rows like an upper middle class vending machine. I remember sorting through Smartees and Milk Duds and being left with this Halloween mulch of inedible candies. Not this time. Each bucket is full of awesome candy, When Jesus returns, he might decide to stick around and raise a family just to go trick or treating at this place. In fact, three of the houses were already decorated for Christmas with fully lit trees and wreaths on the door. Maybe the neighborhood is campaigning for that scenario.

Candy Hangover.

Candy Hangover.

We finished up the night by letting the girls eat too much of their candy and allowing them to spin in screaming circles for about three hours. Then we drove home and got in about mid-night. This morning I was reminded of my place in the sub-urban food chain by my “decorations” on the front sidewalk. They are the scariest pumpkins ever. They exude death, decay, and neglect. They scream out “Beware to all who enter. This is where things go to die.”

I dare you to smash them. Trick or treat indeed. Ha ha, now you have the plague.

I dare you to smash them. Trick or treat indeed. Ha ha, now you have the plague.

Maybe I will scrape them off in time for Thanksgiving. Maybe.

If you love the holiday but lack the effort that is required to be awesome, this post is for you. You’re welcome. We all know it is about the candy anyway.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.