Halloween said good-bye this morning with a big, wet kiss.
Through sleep-crusted eyes I reached out to its fleeting silhouette in my doorway and choked desperately, “Was it good for you?”
Building the haunted house, though time-consuming, isn’t the hardest part. Making every five-minute tour a uniquely haunting experience is the real challenge. After all, these kids see us everyday. They know, or they think they know, what we’re capable of. Yes, the fear grabs them when we’ve stretched the bounds of their expectations, and perhaps even their imaginations, and completely embraced the spectral spirit of Halloween.
For example, as I was browsing through Target’s premature Halloween aisles two months ago, I was inspired by their adult-sized Operation game costume. What if our Learning Center, in which kids often play Operation, was really haunted? What if the books moved off the shelves like the opening act in Ghostbusters, and the games sprung to life?
Oh, we’ve done the “creepy doctor’s table” before, complete with the cooked, cold spaghetti guts, but when the kids saw this,
The question is enough.
Our mummy’s tomb, staged in the computer lab as an homage to ancient Egypt’s knack for advanced technology, was pure old school Universal Studios, with a fraction of a fraction of the budget. I wanted a brochure-style photo of our proverbial grand finale, and our impromptu photographer pulled it off:
Everybody says that. “If I can change just one life.” I’ll take a few dozen. A hundred. I say making a difference means that the difference between the people you meet and the people you influence is zero. Quantity and quality are not conflicting or contradicting qualities.
“Was it good for you?”
Halloween comes but once a year, but the question haunts me everyday.