Dear trick-or-treaters: Come on down to ‘ The Crock Pot House,’ get a tuna sand­wich

The Sun News (Sunday) - - Puzzles - BY PAM STONE

In the 20 years that I have lived here, I have yet to see a sin­gle trick-or­treater come to my door. Not one.

At first, I thought per­haps par­ents had fi­nally wo­ken to the fact that what is glee­fully al­lowed on Hal­loween rather flies in the face of re­spon­si­ble child rear­ing: en­cour­ag­ing one’s flesh and blood to go into the night with other chil­dren to un­fa­mil­iar homes and take candy from com­plete strangers who, like pay­ing off the mob for pro­tec­tion, bow to ex­tor­tion for the fear of an egg or toi­let pa­per re­tal­i­a­tion.

Then a friend of mine pointed out the ob­vi­ous.

“Well, good Lord, look at the length of your drive­way!” she ex­claimed. “What kid is go­ing to walk down that?”

It should be said that my drive­way is an un­paved tenth of a mile long. There are no lights to guide one’s way, and the house can­not be seen from our quiet coun­try street.

What’s creepier, more fun than that?

“Are you telling me that kids won’t walk a few feet nowa­days?” I replied, in­cred­u­lous.

“Course not,” she chirped. “Par­ents drive kids through neigh­bor­hoods they know and wait for them in the car. No- body walks any­more. Par­tic­u­larly to your house.”

That stung be­cause my house is known, by my neigh­bors, the FedEx guy and pretty much ev­ery­one else in the gen­eral area ex­cept, ev­i­dently, the Real­tor who sold it to me, as “The Crock Pot House.” This is be­cause the pre­vi­ous owner, an al­leged drug dealer with a shady rep­u­ta­tion and even shadier con­tacts, was found dead in the hot tub on the up­stairs deck af­ter be­ing re­ported miss­ing for more than five days.

Yes, the hot tub was on the en­tire time.

No, of course it’s not still there.

I don’t know if there is a ghost, but Paul and I de­cided if we see one, we’ll call him Stew.

At any rate, this gives me an­other fine op­por­tu­nity to shake my bony fin­ger and point out an­other smug dif­fer­ence be­tween my child­hood and “these kids to­day.”

For heaven’s sake, what bet­ter desti­na­tion on a dark Hal­loween night than ap­pre­hen­sively walk­ing, gig­gling and shriek­ing with your friends to­ward a true “Boo Radley”-type res­i­dence in the mid­dle of the coun­try — down a pitch-black drive­way that goes for­ever, flanked by trees in which roost owls?

And to top it off, a guy died there!

But just in case some of you kids have now de­cided to visit my “Lit­tle Crack House on the Prairie,” be fore­warned: I’m a bit of a “foodie” who shuns both red meat and poul­try and thinks corn syrup and as­par­tame run through the veins of Beelze­bub, so don’t think you’re go­ing to get any tooth-rot­ting treat from me.

You’ll be given a nice tuna sand­wich on whole wheat, and you’ll be grate­ful.

Or I’ll send Stew to fol­low you home.

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