I was driving this evening to deliver a car in St. Louis, Missouri. My cell phone rang as I neared my destination. "This is Bill."
"Trick or treat you stupid bastard."
I immediately recognized the drunken voice of my crusty boss Riff. "I'm almost there, ready to drop off the car."
"Well who do you think you are? You and the horse you rode in on, thats what!"
"I will call once I've delivered, Riff."
"But why in hell are you delivering a car on Halloween night?"
"You tell me. You assigned me the car and told me to get it there by 8pm tonight."
"Oh... who is this?"
"Gotta go." I drove into town and out to the suburb where I was to deliver the car. I had no trouble finding the neighborhood, less trouble finding the house which was all decked out like the Addams Family mansion. Very cool.
I parked in the driveway at dusk and walked up to the front door. Something popped out of a hidden box unexpectedly and then a zombie came from behind me and yelled, "Boo!" Now I don't get scared too easily, but I jumped out of my skin and back in again.
"I'm looking for Mr. Berkshire."
"Hi, that's me. Did I scare ya?"
"Oh yes definitely."
"Good, good. Come on inside, creepy things are happening."
"Would you like to look over your new car first?"
"No, no, that can wait. First things first." He enthusiastically led me inside, and there were a lot of familiar things from when I was a kid and you went into a cheap fun house. Brains, eyeballs, all kinds of squishy things to feel. He turned a corner quickly and I lost sight of him for a brief moment. When I turned the corner he jumped at me and yelled, "Boo!"
This time I wasn't startled, and almost found the attempt to scare me amusing. "Good one," I said clumsily.
A very short chubby woman came out and said to her husband, "Dear, I've just taken the cookies out of the oven and they're cooling."
"Good to hear."
"Did I do good? Did I do good, Boo?"
He nodded sullenly. "Yes, yes." He pointed at me. "Now what's your name again?"
"Bill, this is my lovely ball and chain Gertie."
She smiled sweetly and said, "Oh, I see we have our first little trick or treater. Welcome Billy."
"Thanks ma'am, nice to meet you."
"Lets see what I've got for you." She picked up a huge bowl of candy and sorted through it.
"Oh no thank you, I don't need anything."
"Where's your little bag?" she asked.
"Your candy collecting bag," Mr. Berkshire said for clarification.
"I don't have one."
"Oh you poor thing," she cooed. She hurried to the kitchen and came back with a plastic grocery bag. "Here you are. Its not much, but its a start." She began filling it with handfuls of candy.
"Oh that's plenty."
"Yes thank you."
She looked at her husband with pleading eyes. "I was doing my best to be a good hostess to our guest. Did I do good, Boo?"
He rubbed his temples slowly and said, "Yes, yes, yes."
There was a long awkward silence as I rocked back and forth on my feet. "Well would you like to look at the car now?"
He looked surprised. "But Bill, you just got here. Boo!" I smiled and chuckled politely. "Oh darn, I thought I'd get you again."
"Almost," I said. We went outside and looked at the car while he told me a lot of very old corny jokes. I got him to sign and said "Thank you."
"How are you getting out of here?"
"Uber is on the way, then off to the airport."
"I have to warn you, Uber is evil. Their drivers are forged in the pits of hell." Mercifully, the Uber car came up at that moment. To my amazement, Mr. Berkshire ran quickly around to the driver's side window and raised his hands in the air and yelled "Boo!" The driver just stared at him blankly. I jumped into the car.
"Please get me to the airport as fast as legally possible."
And I hope your Halloween was a happy one.