Niagara Gazette

November 9, 2013

LETTERS FROM THE ISLAND: Trickier treats than usual this year

By Doug and Polly Smith
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — Dear Mainland Treaters — So how was your Halloween? Ours defined weird. The town established trick-or-treat hours as 5 to 8 p.m. and at 5:07, the doorbell rang and there stood four youngsters maybe about 4 ½ feet tall, so encased in their costumes that we weren’t even sure of their gender. We gave each a couple of bite-sized bars and down the sidewalk they skittered.

Good start, we thought, as we ladled in the soup Polly traditionally prepares as a Halloween meal programmed for interruptions. And Daylight Time still ruled, so we had like 90 minutes of twilights. Would we have enough candy?

As time passed, the soup level lowered, the dishes clattered into the sink and the after-dinner mints came out (none of THOSE for passing ghouls, we assure you), yet our threshold remained uncrossed. Happy screams pierced nearby streets as brigades of little beggars ran to and fro, but nobody else came to our well-lit porch.

A few of our colony had the unwelcome mat out, no darkened houses. The folks next door with the delightful girls they call Itchy and Scratchy, they take them to friends on the Mainland. But the more the night droned on, nuisance-free, the more we felt shunned. Maybe it was those life-size statues of us under the porch light…

Two more stragglers came up. We still had enough candy to obesify a developing nation. Rain began. Doug threw on a trenchcoat and went out to garage the cars for the night.

Little silhouettes were crossing our street, a block away, turning elsewhere. Doug went back into the house, grabbed the candy bowl, started the car (it’s orange and oval) and pursued them, if driving 15 mph with the four-ways flashing qualifies as pursuit.

Trusting in the kindness of other drivers, he pulled over facing traffic and lowered the window. An adult glowered with justifiable suspicion, but Doug hollered, “Nobody’s coming to our house, so we’re coming to you” and held the bowl out the window. “Awesommme,” a ghost exhaled, digging in, and even the doubtful Dad let out a laugh and said thank you.

Doug doubled back to the house for Polly, who wondered where he’d disappeared to. They tracked down maybe five more groups, trying to concentrate on the littler ones. Doug really hates “awesome,” but in this circumstance it didn’t seem quite so trite, and if awesomes were candy bars, we’d have taken home more than we left with.

Three minutes before deadline, one last tricker got his treat, then it was over. We hope we don’t have to do that again but several compadres told us they imagined some of those kids would never forget the night the little pumpkin rolled around the neighborhood distributing Snickers.

Come visit. We’ve got just a couple left.

Email Polly and Doug at

Email Polly and Doug at