Monday, September 27, 2010
Clyde and a Hogshead Halloween
Howdy Clyde, what’s shakin’?
Nothin’ much. You?
My kids got their Halloween costumes. Big Bear's going as a leopard, and Little Bear's got a fancy Ariel gown that’s already shed a pound of glitter throughout the house.
What was Halloween like for you?
Usually fun as hell, 'cept for one year. The famous 'hogshead' incident.
My mom had been promoted to principal that fall and she was in charge of the school’s Halloween Bash. The bobbin’ for apples, pumpkin carving contest, and fish-for-treats stand were all winding down by eight, but my mom had to stay an’ supervise the clean-up. She told me and Dil we could go trick-or-treatin’ until nine.
‘Course Dil was all put out. He didn’t want me taggin’ along with his buddies, but he was stuck. He grabbed the bandanna I was wearing around my neck and hissed in my ear, “Follow me and keep up.” Then he tossed my cowboy hat into some bushes and took off.
I caught up to him and his buddies, and we made the rounds with our pillowcases. I couldn’t wait to go home and dig in, especially after Dil and his friends had knocked my hat to the ground for the fiftieth time. Then Jimmy Deysher said there was one more house we had to go visit.
We trekked out maybe six or seven blocks to the Perilli’s, a young couple that didn’t have no kids. Instead of going up to the front door, Jimmy took us 'round back and told us to leave our pillow cases under the cheery tree. He picked up a ladder set along the back wall and almost dropped it on top of Dil. Those woodin’ ones are heavier than shit, an’ this one must’ve been ten feet long. They got it up against the house, right under a window and Jimmy went up first.
After about two minutes he came down grinnin’ from ear to ear askin’ who wanted to go next. I just sat down. I knew what they were doin’—spyin’ on Bianca. There was no way I was going up that ladder. Not that I would’ve minded seeing Mrs. Perilli or her titties, but I knew Dil and them would think nothing of rippin that ladder from under my feet and leaving me hangin’ from the sill, screamin’ my head off.
So Dil went next.
This wasn’t the first time Jimmy an' his buddies been up that ladder. Somehow Carl Perilli found out. Maybe all the footprints in the soft dirt behind his house clued him in. Anyway, he'd made a trip to the butcher’s that afternoon for a special order.
Days later, I heard Dil tell his friends what he saw. Bianca was sittin’ at her vanity in a pretty nightgown, brushin’ her hair out one long stroke after the other. After she was done, she stood up and raised her hands to the top button of her dressing gown.
Dil claims she was half-naked when it happened, but I’m pretty sure that’s bullshit. Carl was somewhere close, out of sight, when Bianca went to turn the lamp off. He had a broom handle in one hand and a flashlight in the other. Balanced on top of this broom handle was the gored-out head of a hog. When he stuck the flashlight up the critter’s ragged neck, the light shone through the open mouth, snout and eye holes, turning the grisly piece of meat into a boogie monster.
From down on the wet grass, my brother’s screech nearly made me piss through my fake leather chaps. I never knew a fella’s voice could turn soprano like that. The ladder tipped back and we scattered in all directions, not givin’ one dingly-damn to Dil’s welfare. Well, the ground was soft, an’ he didn’t break nothin'. Fact, he beat me back to our house by a long shot.
I can see why that's the worst Halloween for Dil, but why you?
‘Cause I left my pillowcase of candy under the Perilli’s cheery tree! As for Dil, he didn’t want no bacon at breakfast for a month.