Yesterday afternoon I was out in the front yard, putting up my "fall" display, which consists of some Halloween pumpkin buckets strewn in the grass.
A bunch of kids were riding their bikes in the street, swerving to cut through a neighbor's leaf pile, when I heard a little girl yell, "Hey! Get back here! I'm hurt!"
I looked up to see a little girl who had evidently fallen off her bike and was lying in the street. I really didn't think too much about it - I mean, no cars had gone by in a long time, so I knew she hadn't gotten hit, and she wasn't screaming bloody murder, so I figured she couldn't have been hurt too bad. The other kids circled back to her, and a neighbor came out of her house and helped the girl to her feet, and that was that.
Until a little while later, when her brothers came back to see if they could find her teeth.
That poor little girl had evidently faceplanted into the street so hard that she knocked herself silly, losing several teeth in the process.
Man, it makes my teeth hurt just thinking about it. Poor kid.
Oh, and then! And then!
A few hours after that excitement, I was inside puttering around when I glanced out the front window and noticed a couple of little boys, maybe six and eight, riding their bikes up onto my lawn. They hopped off their bikes and were looking at my craptacular pumpkin display when the older boy grabbed one of the pumpkins, hopped on his bike, and went tearing up the street.
I went flying out of my house in my sock feet and tore across the lawn, yelling, "Hey! HEY! GET BACK HERE WITH THAT PUMPKIN!"
Oh my lord I wish you could've seen the look on those kids' faces. The one with the pumpkin turned his bike around and sheepishly pedaled back down the street to me, bless him, while the little one just stared up at me, open-mouthed, like he could not believe what had just happened. "It was his idea!," he lisped, pointing to the older boy. "It was his idea!"
Pumpkin-boy hopped off his bike and, head down, put the pumpkin back on the lawn.
"Dude!", I said, and I couldn't help but smile a little. "Dude, that's not cool! You don't take stuff off of people's lawns! Those pumpkins are for everybody to look at! You don't take stuff that doesn't belong to you!"
"Okay," he said, dejectedly. I predict a life of crime.
The little one, who by this time had decided that I wasn't going to eat him for lunch after all, regained his composure and started to tell me about "the lady in the green house on the next street up who has a GUN in her house and will SHOOT you if you step on her lawn!"
"That's good to know", I said as they hopped back on their bikes. "I'll make sure not to walk on her lawn."
I foresee a massive invasion of toilet paper and eggs this Halloween. I'll try to remember to park the car in the garage that night. 'Cause, you know, they start off swiping pumpkins, and next thing you know they're hot-wiring cars ...