Last night was Halloween, and it was weird for us. For the first time in 22 years, we took no children trick-or-treating. The combination of COVID days and mental health and older kids who don’t feel the need to trick-or-treat made it an easy decision. A non-decision, really. We discussed it for less than a minute, and then we moved on.
Now, listen. If you have younger kids—or really kids of ANY age—who DID care about trick-or-treating and you were out and about walking the streets, you’ll get no judgement from me. I saw all the masks and candy chutes and drive-by trick-or-treating. All y’all were creative in finding safe ways to celebrate, and I’m here for it. Good for you!
I’m just saying we didn’t do it.
I carefully made sure our lights were off. I closed the garage door. I shut the front curtains.
My only real mistake was that I failed to go around to the various members of our household—the four adult children, the two teens, and the spouse man—to tell them THE LIGHTS ARE OFF ON PURPOSE. And PLEASE DO NOT TURN THE LIGHTS BACK ON. And IT IS HALLOWEEN; WE ARE UNPREPARED FOR TRICK-OR-TREATERS.
So, you know. My bad. The whole thing is pretty much my fault.
Now I should back up here just briefly to mention people walk through our front yard on the regular. It’s a long(ish) story, and I won’t go into the whole thing, but there’s a lot of property behind ours, and it houses a school, a mile-long walking trail, and a church. And the only way to access any of it is from a busy highway. Unless you walk through our yard. Greg and I decided long ago we’d rather have all the school children from our neighborhood traipsing through our front lawn than making the longer and more dangerous hike to the highway and walking alongside speeding cars and semi-trucks to get to class.
Eventually, our lawn gave way to a well-worn path, and finally, during COVID, we paved a sidewalk to make it easier for strollers and bikes and skateboards as the neighborhood (with our blessing) uses it as a thoroughfare. We have the weirdest front yard of all the front yards in all of suburbia, as far as I can tell.
Bonus: we know a lot of our neighbors, at least by sight if not by name. Dozens of people walk through every day. Often, whole families walk younger kids to and from school. Or young mamas trying to get outside for a stroll in the oak grove.
Well, no more than ten minutes after I doused the lights last night, the door bell rang.
I popped my head ‘round the corner to see the front lights blazing and a sweet young family—one that often walks through the yard, taking their daughter to the *very conservative Christian school* behind our house—stood there with little ones to trick-or-treat.
Earlier in the evening, the oldest children—the ADULT children who are twenty-two years old and married—were playing with a homemade beer bong. You know, a funnel with a valve and a plastic tube. You pour a (really crappy) beer in the top with the valve closed, hold it up high, position a person at bottom with their mouth wrapped around the tube, and release the valve. The whole beer shoots down the tube.
Honestly, if you’re anti-drinking, you should be pro-beer-bong, because the whole beer rarely ends up inside the human at the other end of the tube. Inevitably, the carbonated liquid moves too fast, the person ends up sputtering, and the beer sprays out onto the ground.
Anyway. Earlier in the evening, the oldest children—the ADULT children who pay their own bills—were playing with the beer bong, and, while they cleaned up their empties and spills, they left the beer bong there.
Out of the way. But THERE.
Which really isn’t a problem because the sweet young family with the sweet small children who attend the sweet Christian school probs didn’t know what it was. Just a red funnel and a tube. One hundred percent guaranteed that wasn’t the weirdest thing they’ve seen at our house in the months and years they’ve been walking through. And even if they DID know what it was, we could just all pointedly ignore it, yes?
We could just ignore the beer bong on the front porch while the trick-or-treaters trick-or-treated.
No harm, no foul.
Just another Weird Woolsey Event.
EXCEPT THAT GREG—the dear, sweet, CHATTY human I married—opened the door, gave the tiny darlings candy, and said…
“Oh! Sorry our kids left their beer bong on the porch.” And then he scooped it up, brought it inside, said, “Happy Halloween!” over his shoulder, and closed the door.
And I stood there, dumbfounded.
“Did you just…”
“Did you tell those small humans we had a beer bong on our porch?”
Greg looked at me blankly.
“Did you tell those people who walk their precious babies to the very conservative Christian school—past our Pride flag and our Black Lives Matter sign—we had a beer bong on our porch?”
Greg’s eyes got wider. The horror I felt was dawning on him, which was satisfying because I definitely felt like it was a burden I should not share alone.
“Did you tell them that OUR KIDS LEFT THEIR BEER BONG ON THE PORCH without, oh, say, MENTIONING THEY’RE ADULTS and we’re not letting our underage children pound back cold ones as a fun Halloween activity?”
“Oh no,” Greg whispered. “Oh no.”
“‘Sorry our kids left their beer bong on the porch?… SORRY OUR KIDS LEFT THEIR BEER BONG ON THE PORCH??’”
Friends, I don’t even know…
I’m not sure what to say.
How do you recover from ‘sorry our kids left their beer bong on the porch?’
So far, we’ve just laughed. And laughed and laughed. And laughed and laughed and laughed. And I haven’t stopped wandering around the house yelling, ‘SORRY OUR KIDS LEFT THEIR BEER BONG ON THE PORCH.’
Because, well, we’re sorry our kids left their beer bong on the porch. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
And, um, if you had to explain to your first grader last night what a beer bong is, sorry about that, too.