Thursday, October 26, 2006

We've Been Spooked

What do you think of chain-letters? Because me? I pretty much hate them. I once participated in a "panty chain" because I was, well, young and I thought it was kind of funny. I think that was the last chain-anything I've ever kept going. The occasional e-mail people send saying sweet things like "friend appreciation" stuff and beseechingly request that you forward the email on to 10 friends to tell them how you feel or you'll get 100 years of no-friend bad luck or other such crap? I don't forward them on. Ever. My friends don't need me cluttering up their inboxes. And while I appreciate the sentiment sent to me, it ends there.

But last night I got hit with a new one. And you know what? I liked it. I'm even tempted to continue the chain (gasp!). It's called, "Spooked", and it's a ring-the-bell-and-dash sort of thing. Our family was sitting around in our living room reviewing the disaster of a soccer practice (read post below) when the doorbell rang. Which is sort of unusual for that time of evening, and we weren't expecting anyone. We don't often just sit around in the formal living room, and the front door is essentially part of this room. So it was only mere seconds after the bell was rung that I opened the door.

And no one was there.

Instead, I found two cute Halloween bags on the doorstep and a letter stapled to one of them. The letter was two pages with the first page being an image of a friendly ghost that had been colored by a kid proclaiming we'd been Spooked. The 2nd page explained. It seems this is a anonymous friend chain gift sort of thing. You're supposed to pick three friends and leave them some sort of little treat along with this letter, ring their doorbell and then run like hell so they don't see you. Our gifts - one bag for each kid - included some small chocolate candies, a pumpkin carving kit, and a small painted ceramic flower pot. The really tiny ones. The kids loved it, and I found the whole thing very charming. We're supposed to post the picture of the friendly ghost on our door so others know we've been spooked and we don't get hit twice.

Mostly I was majorly impressed with the speed and agility of whomever left the bags because they were flying to not been seen. I have no idea who did this. But I opened that front door pretty quickly after the doorbell sounded, and we have these long, low steps leading up to our door. They're kind of awkward, actually, in that each step isn't very high, but they're deep. Nearly 3 feet each. So you have take giant steps if you only do one step per stair, or you do the ungainly two-step per stair routine, which the kids HAVE to do. So to disappear so quickly was an impressive feat, to say the least. I'm guessing they took off over the grass and flower bed, which is raised off the sidewalk, and did a flying leap onto the sidewalk and a mad dash to the waiting car. I only saw the back of the minivan and couldn't identify who it might belong to. A real mystery.

But a fun one, don't you think? I kind of like this silly holiday practice, despite it being a chain letter.

So this afternoon I might be hitting the store to pick up a few little do-dads for a little Spooking later tonight. If your doorbell rings and you open it to find a treat on your doorstep, you know it was me. Fair warning.

this would be a cute one to start at the first of halloween, could you personally remind me next year...too close to the holiday to do it this year
Hi. Me again. I had never heard of this before either but we have now been ghosted (as it is called here) as well. I too thought it was cute as well as a fun activity to do with Ella and thus continued the chain. Today, however, an email went out to my neighborhood parents list from a concerned mother who had also been ghosted. She said that she wasn't going to give the candy to her kids unless she knew who the bag came from. I thought that was a bit much but still lamented that this was the kind of world we live in now (nasty and/or paranoid, either one is sad).
Our neighborhood does this and my son *loves* to get spooked and then to go out and spook three other houses!!
I agree with you that chain letter suck but I guess I didn't see this as a chain letter but a friendly neighborhood gesture. During this time of the year all the neighborhood is a buzz of who has been spooked and speculations on who did it. We have lived in this neighborhood for 3 years now and it is one of my favorite times of the year.
Alaskan Mom
PS As I type this I too have a spooked sign on my door. :-)
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