On Halloween, which I love, I donned orange-and-black garb over which I wore a velvet jacket with copious fluffy raggy faux-fur trim. To stares in the office I proclaimed that I was Campbell, Slayer of Muppets.
Our receptionist had on a sailor costume, and a co-worker walked around the corner of my cube covered in Post-its and binder clips and explained she was the supply closet.
From my cube I heard an odd but strangely familiar series of electronic buzzings and hummings. Stepping out, I saw one of the accounting guys standing in the corridor wearing a custom-made Obi-wan Kenobi outfit. In his hand was a hardcore replica of a light saber. Turn it on, you get the whiiiish. Wave it, the VRUM. Whack it against something, the CRACKKK.
"Oh, MAN," I said, jumping around the corridor, waving and jabbing the saber. I leapt into an office and attacked an environmental analyst. "How can you not LOVE this?!?!?"
He said it cost $200, and I said, "That's so reasonable!" To the gaping stare of a co-worker I said, "I own a Mr. Spock Marionette. I am not in a position to throw stones."
The guy showed us his utility belt, because he needed a place to put a wallet.
"Wallet, schmallet," I said. "You're OBI-WAN." I waved my hand. "You don't need to charge me for this Subway sandwich."
All in all, the meeting attendees in the main conference room got quite the treat that day, watching the parade of characters walk by.
On my way home from the El, I took a side street that ends in a T-intersection with my own. As I approached the curb, three kids about 10 years old were coming down some the steps of the building across the street. It looked like nobody was home. The kids looked like the kids that live in one of the poorer neighborhoods nearby: not a lot by way of costume, and Dominicks plastic shopping bags for their candy. Seeing me, they rushed down the stairs. "TRICK OR TREAT!"
"Trick or Treat to you!" I said.
"Is this your house?" one of the girls asked hopefully.
"No," I said apologetically, "I don't live here."
"Where do you live?" the boy asked, clearly hoping I lived close enough for a detour to some candy.
"I live way down there," I said, pointing.
"What are you?" he asked, referring to my outfit. Now, I wasn't really dressed in a costume, just a lot of orange and black. Mostly black.
"I'm on my way home from work is what I am," I laughed.
"You're a WORKER?"
"Yes, I'm a worker."
He seemed to consider this a moment, and then walked up to me. He dug his hand into his bag, took out a handful of candy and held it out. "Trick or treat."
I was unbelievably touched. "That is just so nice of you, thank you," I said. I took one of the pieces of candy. "I'm going to take this one piece that looks so delicious, but I'm going to let you keep the other candy because you worked so hard for it. But thank you, and good luck trick-or-treating."
He beamed and ran off with the other kids.
I went home and got my candy dish and handed out candy to an assortment of monsters and ghouls and teenage moms with babies dressed like bumblebees. But even as I handed out the Tootsie Rolls and Twizzlers to excited children, I kept thinking about my gift, and how I had gotten the best candy of all.