Originals

New Community Association Guidelines For This Year’s Halloween Festivities

  1. The Community Association is not sponsoring Halloween activities this year except for the annual home decorating contest. 
  2. Individual homeowners, at their discretion, may determine how and if they want to distribute trick-or-treat candy this year. 
  3. Should you wish to distribute candy this year, we recommend following the CDC guidelines which suggest: “Participating in one-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance (such as at the end of a driveway or at the edge of a yard).” 
  4. Our smarter, more engineerically inclined neighbors are constructing hydraulic candy launchers and gravity-inspired candy chutes.  That’s fine I guess.  I’m not one to argue with a smart person. 
  5. We do however, discourage haphazardly throwing candy at trick-or-treaters. Candy corn can sting!
  6. The CDC method is probably best. 
  7. We do however, encourage you to throw candy at Marliese and Trent. 
  8. Like why do Marliese and Trent even have to live amongst us? 
  9. Trent was wearing his man Uggs to walk his dog the other day.  It’s like “oh the temperature just dropped below fifty degrees Trent, better don your man Uggs to protect against imminent frostbite.” 
  10. What kind of dog name is “Miacomet” anyway?  We get it Trent, you’ve been to Nantucket.
  11. Let’s make throwing candy at Marliese and Trent mandatory.  Pelt them with candy corn every time you see them.
  12. Throwing candy at Marliese and Trent is no longer encouraged.  It is mandatory. 
  13. Like it’s illegal to not throw candy at Marliese and Trent. 
  14. The community association will be awarding prizes for the spookiest home, most illuminated home, most classic decorations, and most autumnal.  Judging will take place on October 29 so please have your home decorated by then!
  15. Marliese just texted me about book club. 
  16. It’s like just stay home Marliese.  No one cares what you have to say about the book anyway. 
  17. Like everyone knows you just reiterate the stuff you read in online book clubs.
  18. Candy corn is really too spongy to have much impact so how about we make throwing whatever you want at Marliese and Trent mandatory?  Beer cans, apples, cans of corn, staplers.  Anything. 
  19. And not just on Halloween. 
  20. New Community Association guidelines make it mandatory to throw stuff at Marliese and Trent on all the days of the year and not just candy but anything. 
  21. Like it’s illegal to not throw something at Marliese and Trent.  Like if the citizen patrol stops you and you don’t have two things with which you can pelt Marliese and Trent then you get penalized.  Like a fine. 
  22. I bet you can fit two cans of Del Monte corn niblets in a standard sized fanny pack. 
  23. I bet Marliese and Trent do that thing of when you dress up as a recent news story no matter how tragic.  Like I bet in college they dressed up as Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed.
  24. At book club, like when we read “Dear Edward” and Marliese said, “The theme of message that I took away is really about shared humanity, about goodness, about faith, about finding redemption and grace even after the unthinkable, and that’s what Edward does”?  That is literally a direct quote from Jenna Bush Hager’s online book club. 
  25. Just so sick of Marliese.  
  26. We’ll use the money we get from the fines to buy Marliese something new to listen to when she’s driving around in her BMW with the music too loud.  We get it Marliese, the Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling” is your jam and it reminds you of college. 
  27. Marliese is the one who chose that book too.  Like who even chooses a book from Jenna Bush Hager’s book club?  Like what are we, twelve? 
  28. Trent’s allergic to nuts, FYI.
  29. I’m just saying.
  30. If Trent dresses up as Black Panther or literally any Chadwick Boseman character I will literally stomp him like an ant. 
  31. I bet it’s crossed Trent’s mind to dress up as Black Panther.  And I bet Marliese has pondered dressing up as RBG. 
  32. So help me God. 
  33. I’m not condoning surreptitiously giving Trent anything from the Reese’s family this Halloween.  Like I would never even think of unwrapping a Reese’s Cup, melting it down, reforming it as a cube, and then camouflaging it as say a Jolly Rancher or something. 
  34. It’s so funny how Marliese has a BMW and Trent drives that Toyota Tercel from like 1970.  Like not funny haha but just funny like how it provides an insightful glimpse into their “relationship.” 
  35. Like when was the last time Marliese and Trent even went to Nantucket?  It’s like you name your dog Miacomet you should like at least own a house on Nantucket. 
  36. Remember last Halloween, when Marliese and Trent played put stereo speakers to their window and played “Thriller” on repeat all night? 
  37. It’s like how tone deaf can you be Marliese and Trent? 
  38. I bet if Marliese and Trent had kids they would dress them us as JonBenet Ramsey or the poop emoji for Halloween. 
  39. Can you even imagine Marliese and Trent reproducing?  
  40. Of course Marliese has a white BMW.  It’s like “Oh wow.  White.”  She’s so unoriginal. 
  41. Has anyone ever seen Marliese and Trent in Nantucket?  Like you can order Nantucket sweatshirts from lots of stores online.  I bet they’ve never even been. 
  42. As always, the community association invites those who do not want to distribute candy this Halloween to turn porch lights off.  Porch lights on = candy here.   Porch lights off = no candy here. 
  43. And whatever you do, do not trample Marliese and Trent’s hydrangeas whilst trick or treating.

 

by Gary M. Almeter

Gary M. Almeter

Gary M. Almeter is an attorney who lives in a quaint and cozy neighborhood in Baltimore, MD with his wife, three children and beagle. His short stories, essays and humor pieces have appeared in McSweeney’s, Writer’s Bone, the Good Men Project, 1966, and Splitsider. He is the recipient of the Maryland Writer’s Association’s 2015 Creative Nonfiction Award. His first book “The Emperor of Ice-Cream” will be published in March 2019.