Ellie's LoveCon continues to fail upwards. I'm working on backgrounds for the next two Patreons so expect them in a day or two. So for Halloween we told the kids to keep it super simple this year. Something we could manage without Claire spending gobs of time and money tailoring four children's costumes (which she did last year) for something the kids prove, time and time again, to wear only once. They're like prom dresses. Loved deeply for one night, then totally forgotten. So what did they come up with? To keep it super simple? And we didn't even get the the 6 year old before we were like LOL NO. I can only assume at this rate she wanted to be Ultimecia from Final Fantasy 8 So we went with zombies. All of em zombies. Shredded some old shirts, bought some makeup at WalMart and hosed them down with fake blood. Done. Probably saved some $200. We also did this because we really didn't know what to expect when we went out. Would most people shrug off Covid concerns to hand out candy? Would most parents let kids go out? Well, we found out. I went with the kids last year in these same neighborhoods, and the houses participating looked a lot like this: This year, however, we estimated less than 25% of those same houses were handing out anything. And it was a big, sad, this right here: One neighborhood we went down only had two houses greeting kids. Last year there must have been 15-20 houses. And the ones with candy were those people that typically go all out. All the giant blow-up decorations, etc. Everyone else was like 'nah.' And they all had really weird ways of barring kids. There was a noticeable effort some folks made to really let you know you're not coming on their property. Now I'm old enough to remember when just shutting off your front porch light was enough. No, now we need people to really get that whole 'palm in the face' stay-back message. I didn't have my phone on me, but I sketched what some houses were like, and some were bizarre. Like one house used the thickest-ass rope they could find to block off their porch. Another house had a constructed metal gate made, which was very obviously not part of the rest of the porch. And if that didn't stop you, Jesus would. Or rather the Jesus wood would. This one was my personal favorite. Just 'no.' Expensive construction-quality barricade was not enough. Then there was this weird old lady that decided in lieu of candy, she would make a decorative photo-shoot scene in front of her garage for kids to take a picture in front of. Me to Claire: "What is all that?" Claire: "Some kind of hand made photo-op." Me: "Like, why?" Claire: "I guess she thought it would be fun?" Me: "Where the hell's the candy?" Claire: "There is none, apparently." Me: "There's no adult somewhere handing anything out?" Claire: "She's the old lady hiding behind the side of the house" Me: "Is that straight up police tape she put in her yard to keep kids off the grass?" Claire: "Or to keep kids off the old lady" I mean is any of this 'bad.' No. None of it really bothered us. We found some of it humorous, and it is interesting seeing people react to Halloween during a pandemic. Now on the flip side the amount of Trick or Treaters themselves was maybe close to 50% of normal. Lots of kids stayed in, or did something else. Definite uptick in 'parties.' As in family parties, so I'm assuming tons of families just met with each other this year. This actually offset any issues our kids would have had getting candy. You'd think 'oh, they're not going to get as much.' No, they got way more. We had to dump bags in the car so the kids could keep going. With less kids out pounding the pavement, people were unloading their candy on us by 7pm. Imagine someone down a side street that used to be packed. Now it's dark. They've spent their normal $100+ on candy and they've only seen 12 kids that night. Most people would probably just drive by and not bother (as we did ourselves on a few occasions.) One guy was down this cul-de-sac in a giant Patrick costume frantically dancing in the middle of the street to get attention. I felt so bad for him, but I also instantly thought of Slurms McKenzie. Literal same dance. So I jumped in and started doing this: In short, the kids still had fun, and we stumbled upon a Trunk-or-Treat where they got the bulk of their goods. This was a Saturday, and normally this church would have stayed open until 10pm or later. They were closing shop at 8pm. Dumped their bowls of chocolate out in the kid's bags. It all worked out, even if Halloween felt a little 'abbreviated' this year. On another note, thanks to everyone who sent us gifts from the Baby Registry. Man, guys, that really means a ton. I also got the notes sent with them. I've never gotten a gift from Amazon before and I didn't even know they did that. Super cool. Also thanks to those that added to the diaper fund and the reader that got us the diaper bag. Claire was over the moon about all of it. And for anyone just joining us I'll link it again and see you all on Friday!