Saturday, October 31, 2015

Balding Lawyer Still Trick or Treating at Age 45.

     I have a sweet tooth the size of Alaska. That’s why when Halloween rolls around I break out the shopping bags and go begging.
     Some people may say I suffer from a case of arrested development, but where on the law books is there a statute of limitations on trick-or-treating? I should know—I’m a lawyer.
     At forty-five, it’s not easy to pretend I’m a kid. I’m five-ten and two hundred-plus pounds. In addition, I have the beginnings of a bald spot on the top of my head and a case of five o’clock shadow that’s impossible to disguise.
 But I’m nothing if not ingenious. Last year I taped wrapping paper and ribbon around some cardboard boxes and went as a stack of Christmas presents. All you could see of me were my baby blues through the eye holes. The optical illusion created by my arrangement of presents made it impossible to figure out my true height. I netted thirty pounds of candy after tossing out the fruit and related junk.
     One advantage of trick-or-treating at my age is that I have a longer stride and can cover more ground than the typical nine-year-old. Plus I keep an up-to-date database on the best and worst neighborhoods for candy that includes the number of lit and unlit porch lights, pumpkin sizes, types of treats and so on. Each year, I eliminate homes that have been declining in two or more categories and upload the results to my computer.
     I couldn’t pull off a successful night of begging without it. For instance, there’s a rich financier a few blocks away who always has full-size Hershey Bars. Consulting my computer before going out, I’m reminded that the financier’s maid and butler alternate at the door. Knowing this allows me to hit the house twice, if I time it right.
     As far as getting caught, the closest I ever came was three years ago at my parents’ house. My mother seemed to recognize my voice when I yelled “trick-or-treat!” But she’s elderly, so I just grabbed and ran before she could put it all together. Boy, were my underarms wet.
     But the best part of Halloween for me is the rest of the year. I can’t tell you how satisfying it is to offer a client candy from the Wedgwood jar on my desk, then pop some into my own mouth. With only me knowing my Halloween secret.