Halloween is at our doorstep. My wife and I don’t always join the culture in supplying dentists greater job security. This was one of the times, however, when a bowl of goodies lay inside our front door. For a reason neither of us recall Ann was away and the candy-dispensing role rested with me. An irregular parade of costumed munchkins was underway. . .
The doorbell sounded again. Reaching to the dwindling stash of candy I answered – and took in an image that gave me pause.
Something about the trick-or-treater left me unsettled. Perhaps his height. Fully six feet tall. Then there was the military-camouflaged uniform.
The commando trick-or-treater stood there alone. A candy collection pail in one of his hands comforted me. A little. Then, shifting my gaze, I saw the rifle. He’s armed!
A shoulder strap supported a life-size look-alike (or was it?) automatic rifle.
In the second it took to swallow hard I studied the boy-man’s face. Beneath each eye a blaze of red marked his cheeks. Like scars
Against better judgment – or sanity – I released the storm door latch and edged onto my front porch.
This could go badly, I thought – tightening the grip on my makeshift armament. Tootsie Pops – one cherry-flavored, the other orange. If Mr. Commando made a wrong move, I reasoned, a tootsie handle could puncture a jugular vein. Or something like that. I covertly surveyed the youth’s neck.
I surveyed hm. His non-threatening posture put me a little more at ease. I felt tension in my hands release my Tootsie Pops grip. Raising my view to meet his eyes I voiced the question nagging me.
Mm, Should I be concerned?
The boy-man’s matter-of-fact response accompanied a grin that looked genuinely shy.
Naw, It’s fake. I even taped the stock so as to make it clear the gun isn’t dangerous.
He pointed to bits of masking tape near the trigger guard. Drawing a fraction of comfort from our exchange so far I ventured a slow exhale – maybe my first since stepping outside.
Placing the Pops in his receptacle I extended my hand. I’m Jerry.
‘Jimmy’, he replied, shaking my hand.
“Jimmy, could I maybe offer a suggestion? Mm, you may want to rethink the outfit. Especially the firearm there.”
I offered a hypothetical that, if played out in real life, could be ugly. I shared my concern that a homeowner’s entryway could conceal an armed person who forgot the Halloween date or such. The blast of a 30-30 could seriously damage one’s abdomen, even if discharged through a closed door. Jimmy considered the imagery.
“Yeah”, he finally offered. He shuffled a foot before turning aside. I figured I’d be going home pretty soon now anyway.
Depositing two extra Pops in his pail, I wished him well. I returned indoors, fingered the deadbolt with more attention than usual and switched off the porch light.
Enough ‘All Saints Day’ for one evening.
©2015 Jerry Lout
Question: Would you advise residents – or trick-or-treaters – this holiday? If so, with what counsel? How ought a believer in Christ view Halloween? Should I have left Jimmy with Four Spiritual Laws? . . Questions I mull over at times. COMMENTS are valued! Meanwhile, be safe.