I Scared Kids On Halloween…

Yes, I know what you’re all thinking. I am such a heartless Scrooge, or, you know, whatever they call the equivalent of Ebenezer Scrooge on Halloween night. Has that ever been a thing?

Wouldn’t you know it, though? It was my first time scaring people on Halloween, rather than choosing to tread the streets in search of king-sized candy bars and gummy Krabby Patties.

I had not originally planned to scare anyone; in fact, the only thing I had really planned was sitting on the porch and looking creepy–if you got a good look at the canvas mask on my head, then you’ll know that it is no beautiful spectacle.

It was an accident that I scared anyone. See, I was sitting on the porch, candy bowl lying on my gloved hands–one kid pointed out the illusion didn’t work if my bare hands were visible–and attempting to master a Robot Pose, one of absolute stillness, no breathing, either.

These three girls, otherwise known as my first victims, came running up the steps, and they were quite the sight. One was a princess, another an astronaut, I think, and the last was dressed as Spider-Man–hey, why not?

They approached the porch warily, still wondering whether or not I was an animatronic; and eventually, they all decided I was a fake, a dummy set out to hold the candy.

Spider-Man said, “If that thing jumps out at me, I am going to die.”

Of course, where I had at first decided not to do anything, hearing Spider-Man tempted me.

Now, you’re all thinking, jeez, what a major asshole; he wants to scare kids?

In my defense, I did not know how badly I was going to scare them.

A little preface:

Before these girls appeared, a trio of middle schoolers had come to trick or treat; and, my God, were these middle schoolers mean: not mean in the general sense, but, you know, mean. They thought me an animatronic at first sight, and one of them stepped on my bare foot to see how I would react.

Yeah. Little jerk.

While grabbing their candy, the middle schoolers asked me how much candy they could have. I gave no answer, as it would have ruined the illusion; and so, one answered with, “oh, infinite amount?” and scooped a handful of candy into his freaking pillow case.


I started holding up two fingers to other trick-or-treaters to signify how much candy was allowed. Each time it was a slow movement, since I had to move my hand from underneath the bowl and raise my arm, two fingers pointing–but, I gotta say, the slowness did not inhibit the amount of fear I instilled into those girls.

They were reaching into the candy bowl, heads bowed, when I moved my hand and held up the two fingers. Spider-Man grabbed a Reese’s PB cup, glanced out of the corner of her eye, and screamed–well, to be fair, the three girls all screamed at the same time and ran from the porch, without so much as taking their candy with them.

Their parents on the street laughed at their distress, asking them if they got their candy, while I laughed quietly beneath my mask.

The parents persuaded the girls to go back and get candy–thankfully, my mom came outside and calmed each of them down with three pieces of candy.

Boy, was that experience both exhilarating and tragic.

Tragic, because I probably scarred those little girls.

Exhilarating, because I probably gave those little girls a genuine Halloween experience.

Think daily,

A Southpaw


Middle Schoolers Can Write! Seriously, People!

What’s up, my people?

Sorry, was that too out-of-the-gate?

Here, tell you what, I’ll call you folks from now on. Just folks. I promise.

All right, so, guys, I gotta tell you about this sweet class I got going at college. Yes, as you might have been able to divulge from the title, it does involve middle schoolers and stories. Good to practice those reading skills whenever you can.

Further information:

I am scheduled to teach a single sixth grade class, with a partner, for a whole hour. We’re required to construct a lesson plan, and, you know, all the other blah-de-bloo. It is to be presented on November 1st, the day after Halloween.

Lucky us…

Kids, hey, we need you to pay attention! Oh my God, I think–


They’re psyched out on crap loads of candy! Run for cover! 

Well, barring any unforeseen candy psychoses, I think we’ll be all right…for a little while.

Anyways, back to the point of the post, which is sixth graders writing stories.

Personally, I’m in love with the concept, but maybe that’s just ’cause I’m a writer. I dunno.

Some of the more memorable bits of these students’ writings were:

  1. A story beginning with “It was a dark and snowy night.”
    • Golly, what a classic!
    • And they changed stormy to snowy.
  2. A story about Santa crashing through a kid’s bedroom wall, and not apologizing.
    • Christmas Genius at its best, my friends.
  3. A story about a witch going to the grocery store.
    • I mean…hey, a hag’s gotta eat.
    • Props for creativity.
  4. Not a story, but one student telling me all about how he loved playing Dungeons and Dragons with his uncle.
    • He was also quite polite and shook my hand; told me he was making his own board game with his best friend.

That is just the beginning–kidding, that’s actually the end.

Those four things are the only events that took place in the hour and a half I spent at this middle school. Other than that, I sat on the ground and stared at a wall and talked to myself about how Kraft Mac and Cheese is a disgusting choice of food.

Wait, you guys aren’t actually that gullible, right?


‘Cause I was totally lying about the Kraft Mac and Cheese.

Think daily,

A Southpaw

It Hit Me

The favorite conversation of people just out of high school seems to be something like, “it hasn’t hit me yet…that we’re out of school…forever, like, I mean, forever…” I’ve been hearing it for some time, tossed here and there, in and out of random conversation. Of course, I never really joined in, considering I kept telling myself it had already hit me–out of high school, big whoop.

Well, I thought wrong, like I always do. It’s that youthful arrogance, gets the best of me sometimes. And where I thought the reality had passed over me subtly, it instead did so abruptly.

See, I was walking back from a three mile run, coming down my street. Nothing particularly interesting was going on in my head–just the normal thoughts and thingamabobs that pass through the head of your average teenager. Then I saw the boy on the bike.

He was no special boy, had on a red helmet and a yellow shirt. His bike was a small black Huffy, if I remember correctly, and it had no training wheels. The importance of the lack of training wheels–his father was standing beside him as he pedaled his bike across their driveway, his hands careful around the boy’s back, being sure for balance.

A car had pulled up to their driveway a few moments earlier; in fact, that was what caught my attention. Out came an old man in a square black hat, carrying a bag of some sort, and an old woman with her purse in a nice dress. These, I assumed, were the grandparents of the boy; and I was proven right when the father pointed to them and told the boy to show grandpa his bike.

It was nothing significant, you see. A boy learning how to ride a bike with the help of his father, and his grandparents standing beside the both of them, watching in the joy that can only come from having walked both of those lives. No, the events weren’t important, but the situation, the coincidence, was everything.

I almost stopped walking, this strange feeling rising in my gut, of–of something; hell if I knew what was going on in there. The father was pushing the boy along on his bike as the grandparents laughed and pulled more bags out of their car–what on Earth was causing this sensation in me?

Then, I realized.

It was life.

I was witnessing these separate generations of collective lives, with me having only now begun to set out on my own life. Touching would be barely skimming the instance; rather, it was delightful–it filled me with a happiness and a shock, at understanding what could, what might, lie in store in the future.

Could I end up being a parent?

Could I end up being a grandparent?

Life is chock full of surprises, as they say; and, right then, I got it. It hit me. High school is over, not too many tears are shed over that, but I am moving onto somewhere new: a locale of brilliant spontaneity. Who knows what’s gonna happen? I wish I did, but at the same time, I don’t.

And to think–

All of that came from a four-year old boy riding his new bicycle.

Think daily,

A Southpaw