“Leaving in 10 minutes. Got soaked, just put my clothes in the dryer. By the way, how do they say ‘trick or treat’ in Quebec?”
“Ah, I don’t know! Meh, ‘Joyeux Halloween’ is good enough around here.”
We’re going to my friend’s place for Halloween. It should be a good spot—newish suburban houses, plenty of families with young kids, and supermarkets nearby guilt-tripping customers into buying these giant 200 candy bars boxes.
Here’s a North American secret for you—some neighbourhoods are Halloween-y and others aren’t. Ours used to be packed with kids and we gave out boxes and boxes of candies before Mark was born. These days, few houses are decorated and it’s not very lively on Halloween night. But you don’t have to stick to your neighbourhood, you can go anywhere you want—no one is going to ask where you actually live before giving you a small bag of chips, a mini KitKat or a sour candy.
Trick-or-treat weather is scary this year. It’s colder than usual. We had snow over the weekend and on October 31, it rained all day—which is why I had to put my clothes in the dryer before going to my friend’s place.
I can’t skip Halloween. Mark has been looking forward to it for weeks. It’s not so much the candies but the scary and gory aspect of the celebration he loves.
My friend’s kids are respectively Harry Potter and a giraffe.
Mark is going as Georgie, the first kid Pennywise the clown, aka “It,” drags into the sewer on a stormy afternoon. In the 2017 movie, when Georgie’s boat falls into the sewer, Pennywise catches it. He taunts Georgie to take it back from him, and when he finally tries, Pennywise reaches out and rips Georgie’s arm off.
Clearly, we need to set up better parental controls on the tablet.
And clearly, I failed at parenting.
“Are you going to wear pants for trick-or-treating, mommy?”
No, I’m gonna go out half-naked in the cold.
“I’m just waiting for my clothes to dry. Can you go check the dryer in the basement?”
“Huh… okay. I’ll turn the lights on, though. And don’t scare me like last time.”
It’s good to see that Mark is still a regular six-year-old kid.
“There you go, mommy! What are you going to be?”
“Because you’re Georgie.”
And also, because I’d love to dress up but made-in-China costumes aren’t designed for fall in Canada. Right now, I want two sweaters, a scarf and a hat and damn, my winter jacket is still soaked, I’ll have to go with my bomber jacket which isn’t warm enough.
“Oh, Kinder Surprise!”
“Yep, you can have one and give the other two to your friends.”
“Wait. We need more than that. How about your friend?”
“We… we’re grownups, we don’t need Kinder eggs. It’s for you, kids.”
Mostly because we have our own money and because we buy ourselves Kinder when we goddamn feel like it.
The traffic is brutal and all the interprovincial bridges are jammed. I’m not surprised—it’s rush hour and Ottawa drivers can’t handle rain.
“Are we there yet?”
By the time we make it to Gatineau, the rain has stopped (yay!) and there are dozens of kids in the streets. My friend and I take Georgie and the giraffe trick or treating. Twenty “Bonjour!” “Merci!” later, the bags are full and we’re all freezing.
Why can’t it be like in these American movies where people hang outside in costumes because it’s still nice and hot?
On second thought, they all die in these movies.
Maybe we’re safer in cold Canada.