We are shrouded in all things Halloween now, like an October fog, as revellers prepare for costume parties and decorate their houses with artificial cob webs and gravestones and make sure they have enough candy to keep the little monsters climbing the walls for a week or two with a sugar high.
We don't get a lot of trick-or-treaters out here in the woods; it is dark, and the neighbourhood dogs howl and run in packs.
I don't really immerse myself in the day, unless it is to put on my Gene Simmons wig and jump out of the bushes as the little ones stumble up the driveway.
Nevertheless, I find ghouls and goblins entering my sleep, memories of past Halloweens oozing from my subconscious, strangers appearing at the door, dressed as:
1) Christy Clark: all dimples and décolletage, with a cameraman in tow for a photo op, sticks out her Hermes handbag and says, "Tolls or taxes!" in an effort, she claims, to pay off B.C.'s debt. When I flip her a toonie, she says she is prepared to issue a tax receipt for donations over $25, to which I reply that I am prepared to turn the hose on her.
2) The Headless Horseman: a classic in the form of a man with a head under his arm, looking remarkably like Justin Trudeau, the soon-to-be anointed saviour of the headless Liberal Party. I tell him I was a big fan of his late father, give him a croissant, avec fromage, and bid him a bon chance.
3) The Big Stiff: Stephen Harper, dressed to look like an extra in the Walking Dead TV series, a political zombie threatening to come back to eat our flesh for another four years. MP Randy Kamp is with him, holding a lighted torch and muttering, "Master, Master, will this get me into cabinet?"
4) Elizabeth Rosenau and Bob D'Eith, NDP candidates in the next provincial election show up dressed as Jack and Jill in varying shades of pink, hoping "to go up to the hill and fetch a pail of perks." They each want $100 for admission to a fund-raising dinner. I give them five and tell them to save me some of that left-of-centre salad - all nuts and greens - with the Adrian Dix lo-fat, lo-deficit dressing.
shaw.ca 5) A rather large pumpkin with legs comes to the door. It turns out to be Mayor Daykin wearing an orange sweater his wife had knit him for the occasion. He says he's never been this far east ("I can see Mission!") and has heard about Princess Khatsahlano's (a.k.a. Loretta Rondquist) Kandy Apples and has to have one. Also gives a nod to our recently paved street ("it was the potholes kept me away"). I give him a peanut butter cup to hold him 'til he gets to Farmer Con's.
6) The Shirtless Litigator: Who else but our Linda, shivering to the point of convulsion, trying to raise money for online law school. I tell her she shouldn't have the twins out on a night like this, and give her an old sweater and a cup of hot cider.
7) Are there no poorhouses? My editor Bob Groeneveld arrives dressed as Scrooge, says he is raising money so he can pay his columnists. I ask him how he is doing. He shows me his bag: three carrots and a rutabaga and some empty tin cans for recycling. I won't hold my breath.
8) A guy in an RCMP uniform comes to the door, says he is here in response to a complaint that someone was urinating off the porch. I say, "You're kidding, right? That's why I moved out here." He leaves when I give him a day-old box of Timbits.
After that, things quiet down, save for the requisite bag of flaming dog poop on the porch.