Hurricane Tiger

I was going to be a tiger. And no hurricane was going to stop my trick or treating.

My aunt liked painting, so I thought it would be a good idea to ask her to paint me up to be a tiger. I don’t remember that I had any tiger attire, but I knew that all I really needed was the face. All else, actions, emotions, would come from this painted mask of confidence. I’d gone as a Smurf the previous Halloween. Plastic mask, plastic sheet over my regular clothes to look like Smurf overalls. Would I have wanted to be painted blue? Maybe. But I really wanted this tiger face paint.

I always went over to my aunt’s house for Halloween because she lived in a neighborhood with a lot of kids. Lots of kids meant lots of houses giving out candy. Otherwise, it would’ve been kinda slim, maybe 4 or 5 houses for my street? Her neighborhood was a goldmine.

My aunt did some basic watercolors and she also painted wooden home knickknacks that said things like Welcome and Good Morning, Sunshine and God Bless This House. She also sewed a lot. I don’t know that she made clothes for anyone but for her many dolls. He collection was vast. You walked into the house past her Welcome sign and the main room was full of dolls. On chairs, on shelves, on the floor. She rotated the dolls out from her front room with those in a spare bedroom, which I did not like to go in. I skipped through the main room as quickly as possible on most visits and went straight to the kitchen. It was a small nook just past the dolls, but it was safe for me.

And I was sitting on the kitchen counter, getting painted up with the yellow and black face paint from the Halloween section at the drug store, when my uncle came in and said that my aunt should stop because I wasn’t going to be going outside. We’d been under a hurricane watch all day, but the weather forecasters had just upgraded it to a warning.

No. I was going to trick or treat.

I don’t remember some of the back and forth arguments around this by the adults, but my dad said that he would take me around he neighborhood for 30 minutes.

Good enough. Sure. At least I could show off. So, perfect.

Most of the lights were off, no kids were out, wind was picking up. My dad drove me around to the few houses with lights on. The folks said What are you supposed to be? I said A tiger! They said Oooh, scary! They dumped loads of candy into my bucket. Since no one else was going around for candy, I hit jackpot on almost every house. So even though I couldn’t go to as many houses, I made 10x Halloween haul. All except for that one house that gave out peppermints every year. They gave me two mints and told me to go home because the hurricane was going to be the scariest thing of the night. They didn’t even ask me what I was. Tigers can be scary. I thought those people were creepy. Who gives out peppermints? Really.

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