That's right. Bah! Humbug!
Those were the words spoken to me by my 13 yr old son many years ago. We'd just moved to Maryland from rural Ohio. I worked 'on the Hill' in Washington, DC... but that's another tale.
My wife and two youngest sons came to pick me up at the train station since the boys wanted to go Trick-or-Treating and we needed to get a few things for the spooky visitors to haunt our front door. During the ride from Brunswick to Frederick, MD, I innocently asked what each of them were dressing as for Halloween. I think it was like maybe 2 or 3 days before Halloween.
My youngest, who had just turned 11 in the middle of the month informed me he was going to be a ghost and wear an old sheet. Actually, he wanted to be a headless ghost. More on that later.
The older boy informed me he was going as Dracula and showed me the vampire teeth he'd found from the prior year's bounty of party favors.
So far, so good. Cheap costumes. Now is when things got a little more complicated... back to the headless ghost.
"So, Dad, I got this belt that I can wrap around my head and if I tie a stick to it, it can be the arms holding out the sheet. All I need is a hat to cover the top of my head."
I wrapped my mind around the concept and it seemed feasible and doable. "That should be a great costume. I can help make sure the stick is tied securely." I figured an investment of maybe $2 or $3 for a stupid derby hat at the costume shop and I was still Scott-free of an expensive Halloween costume.
"All I need is a cape and walking cane, Dad," came the response from the older son. "It will make me look just too cool."
"Can't you use the black cape from last year's Batman costume?" My penny-pinching kicked in.
"Yeah, but I still need the cane."
"But Dracula didn't have a cane."
"Sure he did, Dad. All counts have canes. I gotta have a cane to look cool."
We bantered back and forth - him FOR a cane, me AGAINST the cane. Finally, he relented. Well, sort of.
"I guess I can go without a cane, but if I fall, somebody better help me up. I'll be like HELP! I've fallen and I can't get up. Somebody, help me. I'm a vampire and can't walk without a cane."
I tried to keep a straight face as he continued...
"I'll tell them 'My dad wouldn't buy me have a cane.' so they know why I keep falling." By this time the youngest is snickering uncontrolled and my wife is fighting a losing battle. Even I am feeling myself smiling.
"Then I won't go Trick-or-Treating anymore and when I get older, kids will come to my door and ring it and I'll answer it and tell them to 'Go away!' and chase them off my porch. I'll tell them 'My dad wouldn't let me have a cane so I could be a vampire. I don't believe in Halloween. Bah. Humbug! Go away!' and then you'll feel so bad because you know I love Halloween."
"Do you really think a cane is all that important?" The words barely made it out of my mouth without me laughing. I was losing control as he continued his rant.
"Help! I've fallen and can't get up. My dad wouldn't buy me a cane. Get away! No candy for you! I'll just drag myself from door to door this year. People will ask 'What are you?' and I'll reply 'My dad didn't let me have a cane so I'm a vampire who can't walk.' and then what do you think the neighbors will say?"
By this time, as he continued his rant, I was near tears laughing. I actually considered pulling the car over to the side of the road - just for safety's sake. He knew he had the car's occupants at his mercy and he wasn't about to let them go.
Even today, over 20 yrs later, all I need to say is "You still humbug Halloween?" and he will reply "Did you buy me a cane?"
FYI: He didn't go as Count Dracula - he went a The Mummy. I'm not sure that was a wise choice since it took several rolls of toilet paper to create the "illusion" and he didn't come home wearing his costume. I did notice the next day that a few neighborhood homes had been TP'd but I'm sure it wasn't due to the fact my son's costume molded and fell off at those particular locations!
Until next I ramble on...