Friday, November 4, 2011


Gabriella Herkert

Catnapped and Doggone

As it is Halloween, the scream season, I am here thinking about the ghosts and goblins I’d most like to inhabit my world. Or, at least, that’s what I’m supposed to be doing this week. Is this where I admit I don’t do the supernatural, or as we write’s call it, the paranormal? I know. I’m the only scribe left on the planet who isn’t raising my murder victim’s from the dead. Maybe it’s age or Midwest pragmatism but I just can’t seem to suspend my disbelief enough to get on board the monster bus. Zombies, better known as anyone working a full-time job while going to law school (I think medical residents also qualify), now those I’ve seen. I’ve even been visually shocked by a few. I personally don’t wear three days without sleep well. But we were never technically undead. On the other hand, we weren’t witty conversationalists either. In my wordy way, I am confessing to not having a favorite ghost although I understand Casper is very friendly. I am simply not apparition material.

Don’t get me wrong. I do not object to any junk food holiday. How often can I, a single person, buy the three pound Hershey medley bag without comment? Or Count Chocula – a particularly tasty part of a nutritional breakfast only seasonally available? Does anyone need to know I’m trick or treating at my own house? Of course not. This is America, after all, and we have a constitutional right to hypoglycemic coma. Sign me up.

I also don’t have any misgivings about the actual trick or treating activity. I know every parent now accompanies their children armed to the teeth ready to pounce on partially unwrapped Tootsie Rolls despite the Tootsie’s ability to strip itself without any nefarious interference from a third party. It might be the one time a year when I interact with my neighbors. And I’m popular since I’m hoarding the Reese’s for myself and handing out quarters. Yes, I buy affection. Yes, that says something about me and yes, even the smallest princess and the littlest pirate may mock me for failing the capitalist supply should equal demand candy test. But I can cope with that and it’s not like the little demons and their bodyguards don’t accept cash.

Despite all that, I can’t help but wonder why anyone would climb the three flights of stairs to get to my house. Chasing the almighty dollar, okay, culturally appropriate but we’re talking forty-seven steps here. That’s less than a penny a stair. Even skeletons would scoff at those meager pickings. No, they tromp upwards, upwards on the off-chance Stephen King is waiting for them at the summit. Or Alfred Hitchcock. Or even Freddy Kruger. All we really need is someone to suggest splitting up to search the basement for the ax-wielding screaming-meemy producing figment of our imagination and we’ve got a holiday. And sugar to treat the shock.

So let the demons come. I’m ready.

Thanks for reading. And to see how Tootsie Rolls are made, go to



Meredith Cole said...

Hope you had a Happy Halloween, Gabi! Glad kids make it up all those stairs to your house--it's sad to not get any trick-or-treaters.

Gabi said...

It's sadder -- and scarier -- to be finishing off the loot myself. On the upside, I buy the good stuff. Thanks for stopping by.

Joshua Corin said...

Mmmm...Count Chocula...