Well here I am, cowering in kitchen at the back of the house - with all the lights turned off at the front - in a feeble attempt to deter all those pesky trick-or-treating kids.
You know what's like. You are sitting there, minding your own business, trying to stop the dog honking by spraying him with Fabreze, when the door knocker sounds. You tentatively open it, only to find a gang of belligerent teenagers staring at you blankly.
"Trick or treat," one of them drawls from under his baseball cap, before resuming slow gum mastication.
I have learnt from bitter experience that in circumstances such as these, you should never say 'trick', because it invariably involves dog shit or a molotov cocktail.
"Treat?" I stammered nervously, proffering them a bag full of sweets.
"Don't do sweets," says the drawly one, "only cash or major credit cards," he said.
Blimey, trick-or-treating had certainly changed from when I was a kid.
I delved into my purse which was on the table next to the front door, and pulled out 50p.
"Here you go," I said hesitantly handing the wonga over.
Drawly one shook his head, and wordlessly pointed to his acne-ridden friend. I turned to face acne boy, and upon closer inspection, noticed that he was holding up a laminated sign saying 'Minimum Spend £5.00'.
Sacre-bloody-bleu. It was bordering on a Halloween protection racket. I begrudingly handed over a fiver, and slammed the door shut, muttering 'gits' under my breath.
Then it slowly dawned on me ........... "IZZY," I shouted.
Izzy emerged from her bedroom where she had been doing a slighty disturbing, thrusting-type dance to a Lady Gaga track; "yep?" she asked.
"How do you fancy doing a bit of trick or treating?" I queried. Oh yeh, where there's money, there's me.
"Yehhhh!" Izzy shouted happily.
Double whammy. Kid enjoys herself ..... and you earn money to boot. Kerrrrrrchinggggggg.
So you will be pleased to hear that I managed to cobble together a witches outfit after an emergency shopping trip to Asda, and the pictures below are the fruits of my (and Steve's) labour. I did the outfit and Steve did the make-up.
Pic.No.1 This is Izzy's 'give me your cash' look. I taught her that
Pic.No.2 Izzy insisted on this picture being taken ....................
Pic.No.3 And this one ......................
Pic.No.4 And this one ..... perhaps unsurprisingly, given the precedents
After being turned into a witch, Izzy then headed out with her best friend (and friend's mother) to do some trick-or-treating.
And whilst she is away, I continue to cower in the kitchen, with the lights off at the front of the house, awaiting her return ...... and dreaming about the size of the swag bag - maybe we could use the proceeds to buy a new gadget?
So dahlink, what have you been up to this Halloween?
Update: Izzy returned with no hard cash whatsoever. Her prized possessions were a pack of Cotton Candy Bubble Gum, and a Kinder Egg. [note to self: need to work on negotiation skills and priorities].