“We’ll all have smiles upon our face,
No one will know who “BOO”ed whose place.”
“Just one short day to work your spell,
Or a big ZAP will strike your tail.” From Our Boo-er
It was 8:15PM. I had gotten Sam to bed on time, at 8, and was waiting for Ed to come home from a quick drink with an old friend. The doorbell rang. I was startled because I wasn’t expecting anyone, it was kinda late and the street was already pitch black. When I peered out my front door I didn’t see anyone at our wrought iron gate that not only held the doorbell, but also safely wrapped around our property.
I thought it was good for keeping out coyotes. I had no idea I would ever be worried about human prowlers.
Eddie came home a few minutes after that and after relaying what had happened we decided to chalk it up to pre-menopausal post-headache traumatic-mom-alone syndrome. (Basically I would have bought any other excuse other than the dreaded prowler.) Then it happened again. Ed decided to lurk in the backyard, armed only with his fire department issue flashlight (which isn’t too bad as it weighs about twelve pounds and can probably wield a pretty sharp blow if necessary.)
I called my neighbor across the street, in the dark of my kitchen so as not to alert said prowler, to see if she had anyone ringing her doorbell. I told her I was worried because I had heard about the murder in Newhall the night before and the three guys were still on the loose. “Howie” hadn’t heard about that but she did say her doorbell had been rung earlier that day and someone was just trying to BOO us. “You mean like scare us for Halloween? When will they stop?” I was freaking out again as usual. “When they’ve BOO’ed you.” she replied, completely deadpan.
They rang it one last time when I had called Eddie inside to tell him about my telephone conversation. Neither one of us was feeling plussed over the bizarre exchange. Inside or outside. When Eddie finally crept back outside of the gate he found a big surprise.
A decorated Halloween bag greeted him filled with specific gifts for a five-year-old girl, a great handmade sign that screamed BOO! at him, candy and a mimeographed sheet of instructions on how to do the BOO to two other unsuspecting neighbors. We were so excited we giggled about what great neighbors we had.
The next day was a scramble finding the perfect paraphernalia for our two chosen “BOOS”, creating two more signs with Samantha, copying two more sheets and playing hide and go BOO to two other neighbors.
Much later I remembered my phone call with Howie. Oh how our neighbors must have laughed at us that night! The best BOO-ees on the street! So I decided to do a little in-depth investigation to see who had started this little BOO thing. I noticed only three other signs adorning the doors of our cul-de-sac. If each person had to do two one of the other three had done two of the others. Who had started it? I started with Howie’s house.
“We always BOO ourselves when we see the first sign go up.” They are way too smart for me I figured. That left two others beside us, if Howie was telling the truth that at this point I couldn’t be sure of. I brought Samantha and two of Howie’s siblings along as a fear tactic, Brandan and Meagan. Then I tried my other neighbor, Bobbie, she wouldn’t open up her screen door for fear, I assumed, that I would spy the used wrappers or receipts left over from her own BOO prep work. What could it mean?
And why was everyone’s BOO sign different looking? If two were the same that would have left one of the three singled out as the BOO-er. Boy these neighbors were good. But then I remembered that there were decidedly little children’s drawings all over our particular BOO sign so that had to leave Ben as the culprit. You see Bobbie’s daughter was grown up and not home for a visit. Hmm. Ben belonged to my last Boo-ed neighbor, Ann. But no one was home over there today. Or were they too afraid to answer? Hmmm.
I thought I caught Ben the next day, the tremendously gifted eight-year-old, when he commented that Sam was wearing her new light-up when you squeeze it bat headband. How did he know it was new? How did he know about it at all? He quickly covered up and said he only mentioned it because, well, it was pretty loud and bright for an early Saturday morning trip to Starbucks. Now I know this kid is observant because he was the first to tell me that I had been dragging something under my car for about a month and it was a little too noisy for his quiet street. Bright kid or?
Another night passed and guess what? We got booed again! This time they left those cute little make-your-own plastic ghosts that you can twist tie to your trees. That could only mean Mantha’s mom as I had complemented hers last year. We’ll see who else is twist tying objects d’art to their tree in the next week I guess.
Anyway I’m no closer to sleuthing this out and they know I’m forced to print my column as-is and backward to boot. Oh well, I appreciate being BOO-ed more than I can say. Thanks good neighbors!