Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Never bring your fists to a phone fight.

I just realised that I never elaborated on a tale from our honeymoon which was hinted at several posts back. It was in regards to an altercation I had returning a defective Smart car to Drossos Moto Rental on Satorini (specifically, in Oia).

I know how Smart cars are supposed to ride. I piloted one of the first Smart cars in Canada, my beloved Dilton, every day for a year. So when we E and I were driving home through a winding mountain pass after sunset with no dashboard lights apart from this one:

Coupled with the poor handling and funny noises, I had my suspicions that we would plunge to our death.

The next morning I decided to go and confront the good shopkeeper about his wares, and ask for a rebate on my rental fee. The AC didn't work, the airbags didn't work, the car handled like a goat, and the dashboard was but a memory as soon as the sun went down.

I brought up the issues with a large Greek man whom I assume to be the owner, and he categorically refuses to believe any of my claims. He even goes so far as to say that the airbag light, the ever-present beacon of death, is actually a seat belt light.
To prove this, he gets in the car and fastens the seat belt.
I insist that, having my own Smart car back in Canada, I know that light to mean "Airbag no workey"; why else, I ask, would the stick man have a large orange in his lap?

More resistance, and then finally, he just walked away.

But before he did, he told me that I was "a stupid, stupid man".

I was getting a little steamed. I pursued the issue back at the reception desk. And pursued it. And pursued it.
Until finally he blew out of his chair like a hand grenade had gone off behind the desk and bellowed, in a long monstrous roar, "GET OUT!"

In my line of work I've had to deal with a few Greek business men, and if there's one thing I've learned about them, it's that they love to yell at you. This behavior used to scare me, and sent me running to the hills slipping in my own shit; but I'm out of my training pants now, and know that it's all talk.

Usually all talk.

Sure, I stood my ground, much to his amazement. I even rose to the occasion, roaring my own, "GIVE ME A REBATE! THE CAR IS UNSAFE!"
I also got to use, for the first time, "My wife was in that car, and you deliberately put her in harm's way!"

It was then that he picked up the phone to beat me. I rightly guessed he was bluffing, and stood my ground.
He rounded the desk, put his fat gut and 6'3" frame tight against mine, and bellowed, "GET OUT, YOU STUPID MAN! GET OUT!" No movement on my part. Steely stare. Then, "I'll CALL THE COPS!!"

Well, he did have the phone in his hands, and since he pussed out of beating me with it, he might as well use it.

B- "FINE! I'd love to tell them about how unsafe your cars are, and how poorly you've treated me!"

It was then that he tied to beat me with the phone for a second time. This time, he actually started to swing the phone at my head. While I braced for impact, he ran out of telephone cord, and the phone shot out of his hands and landed on the floor behind the desk.
Having failed at beating me, we decided to push each other around a bit. I"m 5'10", and not more than 135lbs. holding my marble collection, so the struggle was pretty one sided. I can't say that I gave as good as I got; but I gave as best as I could.

Desperately enraged, he picked me up off my feet in a big bear hug, crushing me with his strength, and threw, yes, threw me out the door.

Did I mention that this whole time an Aussie had been waiting patiently in a chair to rent a car?
Yeah. He did nothing. Up the Anzacs with a rubber hose!

Once I landed on the cobblestone outside, I was fit to hunt bears with a stick. We spouted off at each other, him all the while calling me names; myself, all the while, protesting that he could have killed my wife. I finally cracked and said,

B- "Why is that I'm the one with the complaint, and you're doing all the name calling? You know what? Fuck you!"

A lady shrieked, "Don't say that! He's a Greek man! He'll KILL you!!"
I shit you not.

He didn't kill me.
I didn't get a refund.
The Aussie DID rent a vehicle.

My lovely wife E? I turned up at poolside, broken sunglasses on my face, to her reading a book and having a drink.

E- "WHAT? What happened to you?"
B- "This Greek guy tried to beat me with his phone."

And now you know, the rest of the story.

Calgary in a nutshell.

I realise that every single pissy little town in the Maritimes, the Midwest, New England, and Northern Ontario boast:

"Don't like the weather? Wait 15 minutes and it'll change!"

Har har har!

Those people are all bullshitters. The only place in the world with weather that can turn on a dime is Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
One minute,
sunny, clear skies, 18 degrees celsius.

53 seconds later. . .
cloudy, snowing, -16 degrees celsius.

This Calgary Chinook is more temperamental than a two year old on crystal meth.

My new expression is:
"Experiencing nice weather while it's snowing on your friends and family in Ontario? Wait 53 seconds, or be forced to eat your words, Showoff!"

Monday, November 28, 2005

The milk's gone bad.

Hoo boy.
So I'm going to wobble through the finish line with a Meme I hadn't noticed I was tagged for by talk talk talk looking nearly as pathetic as those marathoning types who believe that 'just finishing makes me a winner."

The Meme rules require me to find the 23rd post of my blogging career, and seek out the fifth sentence.

Ah yes. One of my very favourite posts about a man named Kottaris--I think his first name was 'David'--he, or someone close to him, used to google his name constantly for more information, lifting my hits preciously close to 8 a day!
Mr. Kottaris got drunk, began sexing up a cow in Riverdale Farm, and was taken into custody only after he had made bedroom eyes at a horse and clunked a Riverdale employee on the head with a beer bottle. Remarkable man. Remarkable life.

On to my appointed task:
"I wonder if this is what Stompin' Tom would call a 'Thunder Bay Thursday Afternoon'?"

Having just been through the T-bay recently, I can say without hesitation that people there have the good sense to fuck their cows and horses at night, not mid-afternoon. Think of the children! Would someone please think about the children?!

James Bow set the bar higher by writing some piece of fiction to go along with this meme relic. Great idea.

Money for Nothing, and the Milk for Free

B & C sat in jail.
Their shoe laces, watches, hemp necklaces, and belts had been confiscated by Thunder Bay's finest.

C- "A lot of fuss over a little animal buggery."
B- "Mmmmm."
C- "Did you see the sign?"
B- "Hmm? What sign?"
C- "The one about 'absolutely no sexual activity in the field'?"
B- "No. I'd be surprised if a sign like that actually existed. I think--"
C- "Well that's our out then! There were--"
B- "--I think it's implied."
C- ". . .really? Implied?"
B- "I think it might technically still be illegal."
C- (pause)"That's a bit Draconian, don't you think?"

. . .

C- "What about consent? That cow looked at me in a very consensual way."
B- "Consensual--what? The cow looked at you in what? a consensual way?"
C- "Yes. A very consensual way."
B- "You can tell that to the judge; I'm pleading guilty."
C- "You do that. You can rot here in Thunder Bay for the next 30 days for all I care! I'm fighting this!"
B- "What happens if you say 'The cow consented, in a very consensual way' and the judge asks you how old the cow was?"
C- ". . .what?"
B- "And the farmer says that the cow is 3. That's practically veal. Then you're up for statutory rape of a farm animal. That sounds worse than bestiality in my books."
C- "I didn't think of it like that."
B- "Yeah. Well. Why don't we just sit here quietly and wait for this whole embarrassing affair to get over and done with?"
C- "Okay."
B- "I mean, it's bad enough they have us on suicide watch."
C- "Yeah."

. . .

C- "Isn't this what Stompin' Tom called a Thunder Bay Thursday Afternoon?"

. . .

C- "I mean, I think we've been misled. I'm sure that's a song by Stompin' Tom! Sure of it!"

. . .

C- "That old fart should be here instead of us. Liar."

the end

Surely that's offended so many of my readers, that I'll get the flag and finally be left to my own devices.
I'd love to Meme others, but I doubt anyone is left. Or will talk to me.

Just be thankful I didn't compose a story about Kenora Sunglasses.

Bingo Bango

An election is in our future, and Joe Clark heaves a sigh of relief (misery loves company)

Now I'll get to see the true nature of my new hometown: Calgary. If a Federal election doesn't make this town go "pop!" I'll eat my new cowboy hat.

Who knows, by this time next year, I might be living in a whole other country called "Alberta"?

I hope not. My mother will have a fit if I'm living in other country.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Thin mountain air goes straight to my head.

Look, I don't know what's happening to me, but today marks the second straight week of me arriving in the lobby of the Sandman Hotel Downtown Cowtown only to discover that:

I'm flying low;
My barn door is open;
The Buick is hanging out of the garage;
The cucumber has been tossed from the salad;
Mr. Wang! Now seating a party of one!;
Rain caused the worm to come up for air;
It's getting breezy;
I've had a wardrobe malfunction;
The pig's out of the pen;
The Rooster's flown the coop;
The elephant is cooling off in the trouser Savanna;

and finally, as a self-serving nod,

I've accidently revealed where Saddam has been hiding his Weapons of Mass Destruction.

I think that the guys at the front desk are getting suspicious. Each day I enter the lobby, mock surprise (because I'm not surprised after two weeks), and face a pillar to pull myself together. Once I did this at the END of my workday.

I must be losing my mind.
Please tell me Reagan didn't start his slide in the abyss by showing up at State dinners with Bonzo's banana falling out of the tree.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Everything's cool--Dad's hip to it.

I just had a Yahoo search of:
"fart during the anal sex"

Does this old bugger listen to "the rock and roll", do a little of "the marijuana" while having some of "the anal sex" all the kids seem to be having today?

Next search:
"teeth fall out during the anal sex"

Monday, November 21, 2005

Yanksgiving Special: Turkey

I can't decide if the guy I saw tonight was someone I would want as my boss, or not. He was pretty "full on".

Sitting in the M Bar of the Sandman Downtown, I was treated to the worst spectacle of employee dismissal I have ever seen. Not having seen many of them (speaking from the perspective of a model employee) I can't say my statement holds a lot of water; I will, however, allow the public to decide whether or not I witnessed a holocaust of employer decorum.

He was drunk when I took my usual seat for dinner.
"He" being a boss in his late 50's who sat beside a young lady who seemed to be making painful attempts at polite conversation.
I learned, by eavesdropping, that she had just been canned; her hands were folded over a manila envelope containing what I assume was her "golden handshake". He boss, however, was making very affectionate, very drunk, overtures to her. Touching her. Consoling her. Telling her how lovely she was, and how he always thought, even for an employee, that she was special and lovely.
He was even creeping me out, and I didn't have to sit next to him and keep saying, "Well, thank you. This should be a good opportunity for me. I needed a change."

What took the cake was when he asked his former employee if he could borrow her phone to call someone to pick him up: he was soused.

Holy crap.

She let him. She let him burn her fucking airtime minutes to find someone to pour him in a cab.
The surrogate had no sooner arrived, when she "what a privilege" and "I need a new adventure"'ed her way out the door. The surrogate, another female employee (or trophy wife) escorted bossman to the John. He was so bombed that there was no way he was navigating himself there on his own two feet.

I have never, EVER, seen something so painfully inappropriate in my life.
Having said that, had I been in her shoes I would have found better topics for small talk than she managed to muster, such as "So, you ever tried a Hurtz Donut? No? You want to?"

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Glory Hold unnecessary.

Yesterday afternoon, immediately following the Calgary Santa Claus Parade, I stood beside two girls having a conversation that would have perhaps been more appropriate with fewer children around.
I hope I'm not becoming a prude.

A- "Lucas, he's from India, and he knows this breathing technique that allows you to give a blowjob and breath at the same time!"
C- "Really?"

What being from India has to do with this special talent, I haven't a clue.
What I do know, is Lucas would probably make a hell of a didgeridoo player.

If this is true, it puts to rest the old barroom joke of "breathing through the ears"; clearly, that's not necessary if you know Lucas.

Mohawk'ed driver, no survivor.

Last night, while walking home from renting some movies and buying some Nibs, I looked across the street and saw one of the biggest mohawks of recent memory.

Kids don't seem to do much of that sort of thing anymore. Soon, my children will only be able to learn of the mohawk from Police Academy movies. . .but I digress.

The Mohawk was pushing a comparatively more subdued punk in a wheelchair; they were both trying hard too look as if they didn't give a shit about the world. The Mohawk, who was "driving" should have given more of a shit about pushing his buddy in the wheelchair, because just after I looked away, I heard a cry of "SHIT!". I turned back just in time to see the wheelchair (and its passenger) racing down the sidewalk leading underneath some train tracks, and without it's driver.

I immediately thought, "Oh snap."

The wheelchair clipped a part of the retaining wall, and ejected its occupant onto the sidewalk. Life had suddenly become a lot less "devil may care".

Dude on the ground was okay; we got him back in the saddle, no harm done. His ejection had gone much smoother than Goose's.

Which I think gives me permission to laugh.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Rainbow Ejection.

Yesterday afternoon I went to the "Chick Pea" for lunch, even though I had, while in Greece, sworn off souvlaki as a sign of solidarity towards my lovely wife.

In Greece, they only eat souvlaki. Nothing else.
Well. . .maybe goats tails--but nothing else.

I broke our unified front against souvlaki, sure, but that's between her and I and no one else.

Sitting near me were two gentlemen, both whom I had stood behind in line. One had never had souvlaki before, and the other one had appointed himself as "expert" on the subject of Greek cuisine. The "expert", E, quickly exhausted his knowledge of Greek food when faced with a barrage of questions from the Greek virgin (ooooh! Naughty!). V pointed at nearly everything in the joint, asking "What's that?" or "What's this?"; E didn't have all the answers, though wouldn't admit it, and began giving vague responses that trailed off--I think he was hoping that a server might interrupt him with a sharp, "Lettuce? Hot sauce?" and put an end to the field trip lecture.

They both ended up, seemingly by accident, getting Chicken Souvlaki Deluxe, which so far as I could tell, was no different from my Regular Chicken Souvlaki. Apart from the price, that is. I think the owners bump annoying customers up to "Deluxe" as some sort of tax for being a pain while in line.

The big Greek V, right before my very eyes, sneezed after taking two bites of his Deluxe. It was an open-mouthed sneeze that carried tzatziki, lettuce, tomato, red onion, parsley, chicken, hot sauce, pickled turnip, and pita five feet from where he was seated. What a show! All the colours of the rainbow; but unlike a rainbow, which is fleeting, these colours stuck to the floor and chair which represented, for lack of a more romantic description, "The End of the Rainbow".

E- "That's happened to me before. The hot sauce."

And then it was back to the business of eating.
No "Excuse me!"
No effort to clean up the mess.
Just more face filling.

Just like the kid who pukes out the bus window on field trips.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Terror Level: Code Brown.

I was feeling a little touch-and-go this morning as I made my sales rounds on foot in downtown Cowtown; my colon surprises me with chaos now and again, but only when I least expect it (or when it's least convenient).

Nearing 17th Ave, the so-called Red Mile, and I began seeing spots. Things felt like they were deteriorating, and I couldn't determine whether, if I attempted to bleed off some of the pressure building up in my abdomen, it would be a big mistake.
Before I could weigh the pros and cons, my body decided for me.
It felt like the One Second Plumber had gone off in my trousers.

For those that have to ask, "No, it was not a good feeling."

It was so cold in Cowtown that I couldn't distinguish whether the new, warm feeling in the back of my lap was as a result of body-warmed gas, or body-warmed shit.
It is a humbling moment entering a new account for lunch, reporting immediately to the little boys room and inspecting your trousers to confirm or deny rumours started by your right brain.

For the record, I enjoyed lunch with a cup of coffee. Having been that close to the edge without going over, I was in need of another adrenaline fix.

Monday, November 14, 2005

From the Horse's Mouth.

OF the many things I have misspoke about on blind dates in my past, the one thing I always managed to avoid was ominous warnings.
Things I have heard others say upon first meeting:
"People think I'm a total bitch!"
"In my last relationship there was commitment issues. . ."
Both are totally inadvisable remarks. (I'm married, so I should know how to get this ball in the end zone, kids!)

Last night, while I tucked into my Calamari Penne Something-Something, I eavesdropped on what appeared to be a first date. These two kids did not know each other very well, judging by the content on their conversation.

The girl chimes in, during a quick exchange:
G- "You should never trust a woman!"

Didn't Don Knotts shoot himself in the foot in The Apple Dumpling Gang, too?

There is no small talk, only small talkers.

Hotel bars are littered with business folk trying to make it through the lonely night, counting the minutes until seminars and plant tours begin again at 8am. For some, the time cannot pass quick enough.

Two business associates seated beside me at the bar last night had what can only be described as polite conversation. Polite, because the one dude managed not to fall off his stool laughing at the other.

After a long silence--their talk about sports completely out of gas.
A- "Do you read American Gamedog?"
C- "No."

I wanted so badly to ask C if this question was a continuation of a conversation about gamedogs the two had had earlier in the dog, or whether, as I suspected, it was the worst attempt at making small talk I had ever heard.

A- "I just rediscovered it recently. I don't have a gamedog. . ."
C- "I was just going to ask if you had a dog."
A- "No. I don't have a gamedog, but I'm considering getting one. It would be tough, because I'm on the road so much."
A & C nodded and looked into their drinks. I think C was trying desperately to conjure up a yawn.

on the radio, Phil Collins' 'Can't Stop Loving You' begins

A- "This song is Number 1 on my travel mix CD."
C- ". . .oh?"
A- "I love it. It's kind of about traveling."

Yeah. Kinda.
It's more about leaving, which is what I'm sure C couldn't stop thinking about doing himself.

I felt so bad for this guy, that it made be glad I was alone. No offense, my darling wife. You would never spring getting a subscription to The Shih Tzu Reporter on me over dinner. And I love you for that.

Freedom Toast.

Last night, down at the bar, I did a bit of bonding with another lonesome salesman.

He was from Houston, and I from Toronto--that kept us laughing for hours!!

Once I had run out of my limited knowledge of sports, I decided to dip my toe into the dicey situation in France at the moment.

B- "Boy! Those French really have a doozie of a problem on their hands, eh? Kids burning cars like crazy!"
H- "Yeah, well, that arrogant nation had it coming, see."
B- ". . .(pause for irony). . .yeah, well, we've had our problems withe the French too."

I decided to turn things back towards sports, and the CFL game earlier in the afternoon: Stamps vs. Eskimos!
He decided to call it a night.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Snake wrestling.

This is from my "Oldies but Goodies" file.
It involves Armchair and is mildly homoerotic.

I am sure that you will all enjoy.

When Armchair (A) and I, our rockstar roomie D, and my twin brother C all lived together in university, we shared Apartment 801. Those three numbers, when used in that configuration, are still magical.

From 801's balcony nothing escaped our watchful eyes. We were Waterloo's equivalent of the "Justice League" without all the complications that come from the burden of super powers.

It was from our "Watchtower" late one night while A slept that myself, C, and D peered directly into the intimate moments of a young man's life. It was clear that he was struggling with the burden of being away from home, the loneliness, and the 'not getting laid in his Freshman year'. How he was coping with this, was to take advantage of unrestricted internet access devoid of the parental filters his parent's computer in Burlington had.

D- "Is that dude. . .what's he doing?"
C- "I don't know."
B- "I think he's beating off to internet porn!"
D- "Let's get A's binoculars!!"

The words had barely left our eager mouths, and A was out of bed and down the hall with his binoculars; it was the quickest I had ever seen him move.

A confirmed our suspicions; it was an unholy union of one soul locked in a sinful embrace. If he was going to keep this up all year, this dude needed to invest in some curtains, or hang a bedsheet up.

A few weeks later we were entertaining guests in 801 and the subject of our neighbour and his seemingly insatiable, chronic, habit/relationship. One of our guests asked which apartment 'across the way', as he lived across the street. We eagerly pointed out the glass sliding door which had been our porthole of entertainment nightly.

Sure enough, it was his roommate. Small world. Among other things.

The next day a bedsheet hung over the window. To this day I have never seen the poor boy's face.

Torontonians rejoice!

Let it be known that after an empirical analysis of the City of Calgary, conducted over the course of three separate visits in three separate seasons, there are more random piles of vomit here than in Toronto.

Thankfully, it's always frozen when I meet it. Even in summer. Because Calgary is that cold.

I think Toronto stills edges out other cities when it comes to random puddles of urine.

Hi, My Name is: Ron Swayze

While traveling on the Trans-Canada highway with C, we saw nature's wonder in great abundance. We encountered the living, breathing niceness that seems to be the hallmark of what it is to be Canadian. We drove through flurries of snow, forests, rock cuts, and limitless flatness. But the thing that sticks out in my mind isn't all that. It's Ron, a welder's assistant on the gas line running near Swift Current.

In what we thought was an abandoned Travelodge, while soaking in a hot tub with some Steam Whistles we imported from Ontario, a pot-bellied Teddy Bear drove up in his truck, came into the pool area, pulled off his clothes, and jumped in with us. We became fast friends, and soon learned he was employed in the hard-knock life of the pipeline. He made a hospital's ER sound akin to a walk in the park when describing his occupation; he painted a portrait of a man being paid to flirt with danger 12 hours a day. We were duly impressed.

As with all initial contact between males, it turned out to be macho posing. After a while, the truth materialised; replacing the portrait of a roughneck pioneer in the wilderness of the Prairies, was a Lite Brite sketch of coffee breaks and extended periods of slacking off. . .in the wilderness of the Prairies. . .far from a supervisor. The only thing consistent with his original portrayal was the extremely good pay. But such is bonding between males: first, it's how tough your life is; then, it's how much easier, sweeter, it is. I do it myself.

From out of nowhere two pre-teen boys materialized and began romping in the pool. The presence of young, impressionable ears took none of the colour out of Ron's stories; he was just getting warmed up. He had just begun to elaborate on his statement:

R: "Roadhouse is pretty much my favourite movie, because I lived it every day back in the late 90's."

We had to know more.

R: "My first night bouncing at my buddy's bar, this Indian lady picked a fight with another lady--white lady--and I thought 'Cool! Cat fight!'. But they wouldn't stop, and it was getting out of hand. I told the Indian lady--she was lying on the floor--that she had to leave, but she could come back tomorrow. I was bent over her, and she grabbed my hair and told me to 'Fuck off!', you know."

The two boys overheard this and started to giggle and whisper.

R: ". . .and she wouldn't let go. I didn't know what to do. My boss came over and said, 'You let go off his hair and get the fuck out, and I'm not going to ask twice!' Then he just took his steel-toed workboot and kicked her in the cunt."

Yes. He dropped the 'c' bomb. Like it was no different from an "if" or "but".
R had a big grin on his face.
The boys looked horrified; all splashing had stopped.

Chris and I nodded appreciatively; any man who skips pussy, vag, clam, hair taco, 'the pink', and twat in the company of relative strangers is a man we could learn a thing or two from. What we now had to come to terms with was that everything R knew about life and living he learned from this man. . .


I was just searching for Calgary Stampeders tickets on Ticketmaster, and the verification word was "liger".

It's pretty much my favorite animal.

My lovely wife is jealous because I spend all day searching for hot tixs.

Bred for their skills in magic indeed!

Monday, November 07, 2005

Often imitated, never duplicated: Bruce Lee

Before I left for Alberta, a coworker of mine showed me his homemade nunchucks.

He's an older guy.
He hides his nunchucks in two different socks in his truck--completely legal--he assured me.

Amused, I asked him to show me "a thing or two with the 'chucks".

On his third underarm pass, he hit me in the elbow so hard it made my left arm go completely numb. The numbness lasted for over an hour. That ended the fun as quickly as it had began. He apologised and hid the nunchucks like some pre-teen stashing porn.

He has sais, but I decided it would be better that I not ask for a demonstration. I prefer blunt force trauma to sucking wounds.

Alberta Bound

My twin brother, C, and I have just completed the long haul down the Trans-Canada from Toronto to Calgary. We did it in a lime green '68 Chevy Truck--very hot! The new news is that I've been made Regional Manager of Alberta for The Good Beer Folks and am moving here. . .Parkdale, I hardly knew ye!

The move will be for a year or so.
I hope Cowtown is as full of crazies as Hogtown is; I suspect, however, that no place on earth could possibly have as many nuts as Toronto. I will do my best to find them.

Wawa has not one, not two, but no less than THREE large geese. What town needs that many oversized geese? What town council, buoyed by the success of one large goose, decides that a flock is needed?
And why build them all the same? Why not make an Elvis Wawa Goose, or a Pete Rose Wawa goose?

I hope St. Thomas' mayor doesn't visit and get it in his head that more Jumbos are needed to stimulate tourism.

How much excitement can one town contain?

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

A treat to make your pee stink.

Teenagers are pushing their luck heading out with a grocery bag on Halloween.
They are completely deluded if they think that dressing, to quote one hair-brained girl, "as myself" is going to make anyone who bought the candy (particularly one who bought the candy, then got dressed up in lederhosen to pass it out) eager to fork it over. There should be no reward for Halloween complacency.

Which is why last night while passing out candy AND barbecuing dinner, all done gracefully in lederhosen and knee socks, I chastised a brood a teenage boys who dressed as "themselves". One can afford such risks when renting their home, as the threat of getting the house egged is of little consequence.

But I didn't send them away empty-handed--heavens no!--I asked if they would each like a piece of barbecued asparagus instead of my candy bars. First they grumbled, eying the candy bowl, trying to figure out if i was just like the other gutless suburban weenies who had fattened up their grocery bags after saying, "Those aren't very creative costumes!" or "Aren't you a little old for Halloween?".
Nothing doing.
Asparagus or step off, bitches.
Then they each held out their hand and took a spear of asparagus. Shit, they even thanked me!
I felt like I had done something constructive with the problem they had presented by encouraging them to make the healthy choice, without being as cliched as passing out apples (which still suck as a Halloween favour).

My warm feeling ended when I realised they had each ate 22 cents worth of Peruvian asparagus.