October 26, 2021
Reflections, Day 18—a Halloween story
I have had several people ask me to repeat this story, so here it is. I know this is not breaking any rules because the only rule is that I make the rules and I can change them at any time.
Just in case you don’t know, to get the total flavor of this story you must understand that I lost my vocal cords to cancer 9 years ago and I have this really neat button in my throat that I can push to send air through a prosthesis which allows me to talk a bit raspy but with effect. I am blessed.
And kids are usually fascinated by my voice and I don’t mind demonstrating it.
This story happened a couple of years PP (pre-pandemic). My wife was a ghost that year and she disappeared for a few days. She never really cared for the Halloween thing.
I was alone in the house on Oakwood Street which is a Halloween kid magnet. I think they truck the children in to our neighborhood from all over the world. At one point I noticed a large tractor pulling a hay wagon full of the little rug rats.
I was ready, though. I had purchased almost fifty dollars worth of sugar fixes for the kiddies. I set two giant bowls of goodies on the front porch. Under the cow skull hanging on the wall I added a dire wizard that Bill Amos had crafted from clay years ago. Candles added to the effect. I liked it.
The first kids came to the door. They stood at the bottom of the steps and looked way, way up to see my face. I pushed the button on my throat and said, “Hello, I’m Darth Vader.” Man, they thought that was the coolest thing ever.
“Really?” they would ask.
“Cool” several added.
One little princess in a frilly pink dress looked up at Darth Vader and said, “I’m scared.”
Mr. Vader bent over, patted her on the head, and said, “I hereby decree that the force is with you and you no longer have to be afraid of anything.”
The princess ran out the door smiling and yelled, “Momma, I’m not afraid anymore.”
And then a wise eight-year-old version of Batman joined me on the porch.
“Hello, Batman,” I said.
Batman asked, “Who are you?”
“I’m Darth Vader.”
“Really? Then where’s your outfit?”
“I’m in disguise.” I replied. “This is what Darth Vader looks like when he’s not at work.”
“Oh,” he said. He paused and asked, “Mr. Vader, why did you cut off your son’s hand?”
I had to think on that one. “It seemed like a good idea at the time.” I replied.
That seemed to satisfy the little hellion. He looked up at my neck.
“What’s that button in your throat that you keep pushing?”
“That’s what makes my voice work. I had it installed a few years ago.”
“What happened to your voice?”
“They haven’t made that movie yet where the Princess cuts my throat with a light saber and I lose my voice.”
“That’s cool. I want one of those buttons next Halloween. Where did you get it?”
“I had to go to Atlanta to get it.”
“Are they expensive?”
“They cost a jillion dollars.”
“Oh, then I guess my dad wouldn’t have enough money to get me one.”
He turned, “See you later, Mr. Vader. I can’t wait to tell my friends that I met you.”
“See you, Batman. Say hello to Robin.”
My wife came home a few days later and asked how Halloween went.
I replied, “OK.”
I wonder what adventures Halloween will bring this year? —john schulz