As I walked in the door from work this evening, I was greeted by the Puddinette’s incredulous-and-very-irked Look of Helpless Sourness. Usually that’s reserved for instances such as when the poorly-named “customer service” lady at Wal-Mart does her best battle-axe impersonation, or impromptu road construction creates an unavoidable traffic snarl that interrupts the daily schedule. It’s better than many other states of displeasure because it almost always results from one of those random things in life that happens over which you have no control, but that you’re not going to just accept without the minimum requisite grousing.
On a positive note, it usually means I don’t have to effect any Child Attitude Adjustment. Days when various degrees of CAA are required as soon as I walk in the door aren’t good days for anyone.
Happily, this wasn’t such an occasion, which was made plainly evident by the energetic bouncing of each of the older three kids as soon as I walked in. That kind of barely-contained-Tigger-style-enthusiasm means but one thing: there’s a scandal afoot, and they all can’t wait to tell me about it.
As my second foot crossed the threshold and the door closed behind me, three excited voices exploded: “somebody stole the pumpkin!” Of course, I didn’t understand at first, because when three children that can barely control themselves try to tell you something simultaneously, you might as well be standing at the top of the Tower of Babel.
A few moments later, I finally realized that they were trying to tell me that someone, perhaps those rotten kids*, had stolen the electric light-up pumpkin from our front porch. Looking to the Puddinette for confirmation, I again got the Look of Helpless Sourness, and a curt nod of her head. “Yes, it’s gone.”
This, sadly, is not the first time such Busch-league larceny has been thrust upon us. A month or so after we moved into our house, the Puddinette got a big, lovely wreath to decorate our door. Well, at least she told me it was lovely. I’m capable of appreciating a floral wreath on only the most basic level. Floral? Check. Wreath? Check. Doesn’t look like it was assembled by a litter of German shepherd puppies with impaired vision? Check. My criteria are easily satisfied.
Anyway, within a month of acquiring the thing, it disappeared. The worst part of that particular disappearance was that I heard the miscreants at work; the wreath hook scraped against the door while they fiddled with it. Unfortunately, I dismissed the noise as the wind, and her pretty new wreath was never seen again.
I have to admit that when it comes to our pumpkin theft, though, I just don’t understand. We live in a nice suburban neighborhood. Sure, we’re not rubbing elbows with NFL superstars sporting a barn full of cars, but it’s not like we live in a demilitarized zone or have to go ducking from car to car to avoid making eye contact with local street thugs. The only local street thugs around here are the neighbors with the fancy green lawns that make guys like yours truly feel a tad inadequate about his crunchy, brown tribute to Arizona brush.
OK, fine, I’ll admit that this kind of thing is possible anywhere a teenager can drive by on the way to some constructive loitering. But why us? My neighborhood really gets into dressing a place up for trick-or-treats and is thusly chock full of tree-bound ghosts, blow-up spiders, and that cottony web-stuff that reminds me how much I hate aspirin bottles. Heck, a family one street over us has a full-scale scarecrow, and there’s a house on the next corner with a two-story witch hanging from its eaves.
Our external Halloween decorations? Well, apart from a couple of real pumpkins that my long-deceased paternal grandfather somehow leaves on our front porch each year from beyond the grave, we used to have one lone light-up pumpkin. That’s it. We’ve got plenty of stuff inside the house to remind us of the witching season (since it’s my favorite holiday and all), but that simple pumpkin was all we had outside. And now it’s gone.
I want my Halloween decor back, and I want those
rotten kids to learn that taking someone’s porch pumpkin is Just Plain Wrong. But I suppose I should accept that for as long as there’s going to be lawn decor and kids with little to do, stuff like this is going to happen.
I suppose I just need to get stuff they can’t take anymore. Like rocks. Or painted boulders.
Anyone know where I can get a 160-lb solid ceramic lighted fountain pumpkin? I’d like to try and see them snatch that.
*That would refer to the the generic, rhetorical those rotten kids; a group that each of us belonged to at one point or another