Boy One was moaning about the huge effort it was taking to scrape the goopy stuff out of his pumpkin.
“You’re lucky you’ve got pumpkins,” said I. “In my day we had turnips and that was a horrible job – it took ages and the turnip stank. The whole job made your arms ache.”
I could see he was skeptical. “And another thing,” I was on a roll. “It wasn’t trick or treating then, it was guising. We had to make our own costumes too – you couldn’t just nip down to ASDA and spend a tenner turning yourself into a Clone Warrior or whatever.”
Actually, we didn’t make the costumes, mum did. I remember Boy One’s first fancy dress do at nursery. I sat up late creating a pirate outfit from old pyjamas. It had a matching sword fashioned from tinfoil, ’embellished’ with the best the button box had to offer. He couldn’t have cared less, but I was very proud. Another rite of passage.
Then when we got there having oh aargh Jim Ladded all the way, I saw all the other kids. Perfect mini Disney heroes, immaculate princesses and a miniature Village People parade of the emergency services. The other parents admired the shop-bought outfits, then they got to me. A collective “oh” and the bright smiling look you might give while chatting to your Big Issue sales person. Pah.