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Bingo witches

I begin to get excited as soon as the giant spider climbs up
and sits atop the coffee shack. Our little town loves
Halloween and we decorate as if for Christmas. The real
estate office next to the coffee shack puts up a huge net for
the spider, while down the street, the hardware store
boasts a whole line of pumpkins from the littlest two-inch
one all the way up to a huge 30-incher. Witches are very
popular this year, and there are several varieties on
display. The giant giraffe advertising one store sports a
witch’s hat, while the big pig across the street is jaunty as a
clown.

Our favorite Bingo hall sponsored a Halloween special two
days before the big event that was loads of fun. Several
games were made up especially for the holiday, the first
being a witch’s hat which consisted of: the third B; the
second I; the top N; the second G; then a line across the
middle. That was fun, but didn’t take long for someone to
win. The next special game was a broomstick, which was
the N row, the bottom B the next to bottom I, the next to
bottom G and the bottom O. That proved a little harder, but
Kate won it and was proud to proclaim her Bingo.

The Jack O Lantern was a blackout, minus two, which also
went pretty fast and all too soon the evening was nearly
over. We had one more big surprise in the shape of a giant
male witch—what are they called, Warlocks? He circulated
the room, handing out fun-size candy bars to the
participants. I am particularly fond of Snickers, although
candy I do not need. I ate and enjoyed it anyway much to
Kate’s disgust who is “slimming” as they say in England.
Halloween is very hard on her, as she really loves candy.
The next day was Trick or Treat Night when all the little
kids dress up and collect candy from the merchants. The
streets are blocked off so the little ones can’t get run over
and they have a grand time. Superman and Spiderman
were very popular this year, and I kept running into
varieties of their costumes.

I volunteered to help keep the Social Center open for potty
breaks and to give out candy. I love seeing all the little kids
dressed up. This year we also sold baked potatoes as a
fundraiser and they were sure good, what with all the
toppings available—and certainly better for the body than
all that candy.

One little boy came in carrying a very small bit of trash that
he deposited in our wastebasket and I saw that his hand
and arm were artificial. His mother had let him pick up the
trash and he proudly demonstrated how he could make the
hand open and close. I thought what a good attitude he
had, to be so proud of his prosthesis.

Toward the end of the evening, there was a disturbance
outside our door that concerned me somewhat. When I
went to see what it was, I discovered the Warlock from the
Bingo Hall terrorizing a group of youngsters outside our
door. He was snarling and growling and in general making
a horrible racket. Kids screamed. I finally got close enough
to mutter, “What on earth are you doing?”

“I’m just having a bit of Halloween fun,” he growled back.
“Stand back. I’m about to do my big number.”
Then he jumped up, made a kind of twist and came down
on one arm, kicking his feet in the air and howling like a
banshee. Kids fled to their mothers, except for one little boy
who stood crying.

“What’s the matter?” I asked. “He’s just having fun. Doing
nonsense. Don’t cry.”

He kept on bawling. Then I was struck with inspiration. I
went back into the center and collected a double handful of
candy bars and took them to him. As I dropped them into
his pumpkin carrier, he stopped crying and flashed me a
huge smile.

“Well,” I said. “Happy Halloween and all’s well that ends
well.”