Once a year, on October 31st, our quaint Victorian house on East Main Street is transformed into a great Halloween trick-or-treat play land. Chilled fog roils around the mourning lady’s dress, creeping between the headstones in the graveyard inching steadily toward the zombie lying in wait by the sidewalk. Giant eyeballs blink in the front window watching all that moves, while thousands of creepy crawly spiders cascade out of a hole in the eave and down the façade of the house. Lightning flashes followed by claps of thunder leaving behind the sound of monsters munching and rickety things creaking in the night. Witches rock and stir their brew while a the skeleton at the corner standing next to a man in black holding his severed head as a trophy tries to warn our little trick-or-treaters to use extreme care. Our friendlier skeleton rocks in his chair at the end of our sidewalk encouraging our guests to run the gauntlet up the walkway to the porch to where hopefully the prize for their bravery will be a sack full of candy. Past the banging coffin lid as something horrid attempts to escape, past a rabid dog lunging out of his doghouse, past the thrashing of snakes against their ankles, past a giant hairy tarantula that springs up hissing a blast of air, past Hannibal Lector swinging his legs as a blast of air buffets the ankles eliciting squeals of surprise. Up the stairs our brave little trick-or-treaters run headlong into a window full of zombie babies pawing at the panes of glass to get out as big fat rats run along the wall behind them. The ghost of Halloweens past floats ominously in the front foyer and the Lady in White presides over her table of horrors complete with eviscerated fish and baby rats finding nourishment from some poor dismembered man. Finally our brave little trick-or-treaters get to the end and are rewarded by the coveted prize, an addition to their sack full of candy given out by my mother and father-in-law sitting demurely on our porch swing.
David spends weeks before the holiday prepping all of his props. Our house will be filled with the chanting of witches, moaning of ghosts and ghoulies, the banging of coffin lids and sometime the cursing of a grown man as the air compressor set too high shoots some poor unsuspecting prop’s head right off. The day of Halloween is always a mad dash. David starts at the crack of dawn pulling out all the air hoses and electrical cords that bring his haunted yard to life. David, Matt and Wayne spent hours this year getting each prop pulled out of the house and set up in exactly the right place in the yard for maximum scaring potential. At one point during the set up process I looked out my front door only to see a Murfreesboro City policeman standing on my front walk. This is not the first time that David’s Halloween preparations have conjured a police man to the front of my house so my first thought was “What did those fools do now?”
Going out the door I noticed right away that the police man was not called to our house specifically but was called for a traffic accident at the corner. Living at the corner of our busy downtown area insures that we get to dial 911 at least two or three times a year as some less than considerate driver T-bones another completely unsuspecting driver in the intersection. This time it was a rear end collision that had brought out the police. It seems that a lady driving a Lexus didn’t even hit her brakes before she careened into the rear end of the unsuspecting SUV stopped at the light. She had been so busy looking at our Halloween display that she had never seen the accident coming. According to the police man she was using some less than ladylike expletives regarding our “zombies.”
I can just hear her dinner conversation tonight with her husband. “It wasn’t my fault! The “@#*%@” zombies made me do it!”