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October 22, 2008 at 8:02 AM

Boo: who? And your favorite Halloween candy is. . .?

OK, who’s the wise guy? Don’t you know I hate chain letters? Even when they comes packaged like this:

This morning at O’dark-thirty Mac went outside to grab the paper and found a little gift on our doorstep: a plastic shopping bag filled with Butterfinger “fun size” candy bars. It also held a letter whose greeting began “Good evening! You’ve just been BOO’ed!” There was also a photo of this guy:

Don’t recognize him? Then you must not be as old as me. Here’s a little hint: “Christiiiinnnnnnne!”

The letter, complete with Halloween-inspired rhyme, said in part:

“`T’is much better to give than to receive’ goes the old verse

And something this easy won’t empty your purse.

It’s your turn to pass along a treat and a BOO

Because now the Neighborhood Phantom is little old YOU!

So by this time tomorrow, pick three friends sweet,

And give to them each a Halloween treat.

You have only one day — so you’ll need to hurry —

Leave a treat on the doorstep, ring the bell and then scurry!”

Of course, seeing as it’s a chain letter, there’s small print. It includes instructions describing how we’re to make three copies each of the letter and the “Phantom Ghost.” And that we must then post the Phantom on our door or window till Halloween to ward off his return. Then, by “this time tomorrow” we’re required to take letter, Lon, Jr. and a treat and deliver them to three neighbors, spreading the (Almond) Joy as the case may be.

Whatsamatter with my neighbors? Can’t they read?

Or is it just that my house looks so very inviting this time of year?

Wait, wait! Don’t tell me! Our front window looks entirely too naked, and needs just one more thing to make it perfect: a Xerox’d photo of Lon Chaney, Jr.!:

Or perhaps whoever left that bag ‘o Butterfingers is just praying I’ll show up at his/her door on All Hallows Eve with my prized Halloween-prop: a 9.25-pound Nestle Crunch bar. Wake up and smell the witch’s brew, you chain-chain-chain fool! There’s no way I’m exchanging that honker for your “fun size” sweets.

Well, Nate’s getting ready for school, unaware for now of what’s transpired between me, you and the Phantom Neighbor. But you can rest assured the kid is not going to let me get away with ignoring this particular chain mail. At 10, he’s still got a major thing for Halloween (to say nothing of a voracious sweet tooth). Need proof? Here he is last year with Little Miss Muffet’s pal, preparing to up the ante on those dental visits:

OK, name it: your favorite Halloween candy. Mine? Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

Comments | More in Holidays

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