I have to say I feel a little bit let down.
I am like the rich man in the Bible story who laid out a sumptuous feast
only to find that all the people he had invited turned down his kind Invitation so that he had to go out into the highways and byways and persuade a motley crew of waifs and strays to join him at the banquet table.
Okay, in the interests of accuracy, there are a few subtle differences. For a start, I am not a man, nor am I rich (except in love, of course). I hadn’t spread a banqueting table groaning with good food - though I had
invested £2 in a packet of nine mini zombie cupcakes from the local Co-op and a further £2 in a carving pumpkin, also from the Co-op. Other supermarkets are, of course, open for your custom, should you want to purchase mini zombie cupcakes and
carving pumpkins - they will probably be on sale now, being the day after the day before...
Incidentally last year was the first year I ever carved a pumpkin so
I had played safe and bought a cheaper, smaller, £1 version. This year I went large - though nowhere near as large as the man I saw on TV who had carved his truly enormous pumpkin into a kind of vegetable coracle. The TV cameras followed him, paddling
his pumpkin along a river with considerable skill (and a paddle.)
So last night, I set out my invitation - as in, my carved pumpkin - on the front door-step and
waited for a trail of ghosts and ghouls, witches and wizards to hotfoot it along my garden path. I understand that trick and treaters these days only call at houses which obviously welcome such visitors. I did wonder initially whether the light shining from
my pumpkin was bright enough so I replaced it with our small safety lamp, the one we keep on the kitchen surface just in case we have a power cut. It was a little tall to fit easily inside even a £2 pumpkin but I cleverly balanced the pumpkin lid on
top of the lamp. Not to worry, if we had had a power cut it would only have taken two shakes of a wizard’s wand to retrieve the lamp from the pumpkin. I didn’t tell Mr B I was using the safety lamp for a purpose for which it was not intended
because he wouldn’t have been happy about it.
Last year, we had around nine small visitors - this Hallowe’en, having doubled the size of my welcome
pumpkin, I was confident that we would have at least as many. Instead - oh, dear, nary a one! Not so much as a stray ghost, a wee witch (with or without a broomstick), or even a Count Dracula. Where did I go wrong? Was my pumpkin insufficiently scary? Had
someone heard that I was only giving out mini zombie cupcakes and not proper sweeties?
You are wondering, I can tell, whether I went out into the highways
and byways to encourage any zombie-types I might come across to pay us a visit but I have to admit I didn’t go that far. At just after nine o’clock, I retrieved the small safety lamp, put the mini zombie cupcakes back in the larder and nursed my
disappointment. It didn’t help when I looked at Facebook to see all the photographs of littl’uns (including Faris the Rascal as Count Drac and the twins as two enchanting “Witchy Woos”) out and about in Neighbourhoods Far From Mine.
Returning from the shops on the bus this afternoon, I saw, out of the bus window, the most amazingly frightening creation in someone’s front garden. It was about ten
feet tall, and was, as far as I could tell (well, the bus was moving at the time so I only managed a fleeting glance) a kind of macabre cross between a ghost, a zombie and a witch. It was, I kid you not, Proper Scary. Whoever created this monstrous being put
far, far more effort into it than I did on carving my pumpkin. But - and here’s the Big Hallowe’en Question - how many visitors did it attract?
am over my disappointment now. I have put the pumpkin out in the back garden as a tasty treat for any wildlife which may come wandering by and I have packed the mini zombie cupcakes in my suitcase for my journey to Cardiff tomorrow.
My (Not So Very Little) Welsh Boys will definitely not turn them down...