Obviously I’ve been terrorized all month by the punch bowl full of peanut butter cups three cubicles down. It goes without saying (but why waste an opportunity?) that on October first most calorically-conscious co-workers, having labored under austerity measures ranging from five frozen lunches a week, to rice cakes, to hourly venti-water re-fills, officially free themselves from hoping merely for the monthly birthday celebratory sheet cake, and consign themselves to the grip of The Holidays. But today was something completely different, the likes of which I have never, in all my vast blobishness, ever witnessed. Certainly, I harbored no misconception thinking folks would leave it to the wrapped candies that have been haunting around here all month. I had every expectation of cupcakes, cookies, maybe an ice-cream social or adult beverage. What I wasn’t prepared for was a Happy Halloweenie.
That’s right. We had a HOT DOG BAR. At the office.
There were chicken, or turkey, or beef dogs, all grilled-to-order on a griddle set up in an abandoned cubicle. There were four kinds of potato chips, two kinds of Fritos, and every kind of relish under the sun. Of course there was potato salad, and there was even homemade spinach dip. Three kinds of soda, but at least someone exercised the restraint to buy the small cans (like THAT is where the line is here?).
Because why waste your daily allotment of calories 3576 through 5834 on the second half of a can of Coke when you could enjoy – WITH your hotdog – a side of homemade chili? Just in case you’re not in Texas (and for that I’m truly sorry), you’ll need to know that chili just ain’t chili without cheddar, sour cream, onions, and more Fritos. So you may be thinking, as I’ll admit that I was, “Ok, ok. I get it. Hallo-WEENIE. That’s cute. But aside from the vaguely orange glow of the chili, there’s really not that much Halloween spirit being imparted here. Other than, of course, the fact that each passing course brings me closer to looking like Charlie Brown’s Great Pumpkin.
But that’s where you’d be (dead?) wrong. Because the people here, my ghastly co-workers, were not content to fulfill their pot-luck assignments by merely showing up with the dish. They characteristically drove home their point by arriving, not with a bread basket, but with a bread casket. Complete with crypt keeper. And full, FULL, of homemade spinach dip. I defy you to find yourself more terrorized by any other spectre this all hallows eve. And now, like a middle-schooler returning to the fifth-grade haunted house, I’m enjoying a sunny afternoon stroll down to the intersection of Memory Lane and Elm Street, where the ghosts that used to terrorize me – a mere bowl of Reese’s Cups . . . HA, laughable now – are now somehow comforting.