Halloween costumes, acts of mischief change PDF E-mail

Halloween is just around the corner, and ghosts and goblins are about to arrive at our door.

Once the special night brought kids to the door wearing costumes made from the outcasts of Dad’s and Mom’s closets. Oversize and outdated garments were the standard dress for the evening. Now, costumes can easily wipe out one of those new $100 bills.

Costumes are not the only things that have changed over the generations. Acts of mischief in many cases have become more serious. Still, many of the actions of ghosts and goblins cause only minor inconvenience and in some cases even cause a smile from their victims.

We recall the morning after Halloween citizens in one Nebraska community were greeted by an outhouse at the downtown’s main street intersection. The mayor vowed the outhouse would remain there until the culprit or culprits returned to remove it. A week passed and the structure still remained. However, in the wee hours of night of the second week the local fire department was called to the scene to extinguish a fire that completely burned down the Halloween “monument.”

Pranks of moving trailers and equipment to different or unusual locations seemed to pass on from generation to generation. Farm equipment lots were the popular sites for such actions by those ghosts and goblins.

A grandpa recalled “when he was a kid” he participated in such a prank at a John Deere dealership. He related that in the black of night (which then was before midnight) his group was pushing a small trailer down the alley when one of the crew said that the trailer was really hard to push. The group didn’t recognize the unfamiliar voice, but soon discovered it was the owner of the John Deere dealership. The dealer laughed and told the youngsters it was easier to find his trailer and put it in a place that was towable, rather than searching the town for it the next day.

Much to the delight of some and the dismay of victims, egg tossing seemed to become popular on Halloween night. Generally the results meant a scrub down of a building or sidewalk the next morning.

One Aurora police officer, who undoubtedly in his youngun’ days and experienced in less troublesome Halloween pranks, used his keen eyes to nab an egg-tossing prankster.

The prankster was exiting a grocery store after the officer had been alerted to a recent egg toss. As the youngster exited the store the officer noticed a bulge in the front of the jacket he was wearing. During the conversation with the youth in the store’s parking lot, the boy denied any knowledge of such a deed. The officer smiled. He then took his nightstick and tapped the youngster’s bulging stomach area, reminding him of the consequences of egg tossing.

As the officer departed, he then noticed egg yolks begin dripping from under the prankster’s coat. Again the officer, as he left,  smiled and said, “Have a nice evening.”
A speech is like a wheel ­— the longer the spoke, the greater the tire.

RL Furse  is publisher emeritus of the News-Register

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