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Happy Hallowe'en from the world's worst dad

There's been a lot of coverage in the press this week about how much of another American import Hallowe'en is becoming, with one victim of this being the very British festival a few days later that is bonfire night. Elf an sayftie have a lot to answer for the demise of our ritual burning of the poor Guy Fawkes as we British, as a nation, take part in our favoured pastime of honouring failures.

But, when in Indianapolis…

Last year the big fella had a skeleton mask and t-shirt, both of which have been worn throughout the year. The mask is nothing more than printed card with a thin bit of elastic cord tied round the back. Amazingly, given it's been in his bed, thrown around our own local landfill site (his bedroom), and generally had a good hammering it's in pristine condition.

School had a Hallowe'en day on Thursday, so in he went in the t-shirt and mask. Home he came in his t-shirt. The wind caught his mask while they were outside and, well, let's say after a bit of wind and a drizzle of rain there's little hope for it.

"Not happy at losing my mask"

Poor fella was gutted. I listened to this on the phone in the afternoon. Not "Hello, Daddy" or anything normal like that. Straight on saying has was not best chuffed.

I spotted my chance. I left work a little early, called in a couple of shops, came away with a full cloth black hood with white mesh face with a black skeletal face painted on the mesh. Brilliant! And only 49p too! Appealed to both the Dad and tight-fisted miser in me. Arriving home I awaited my normal greeting. Alas, it was not there.

"Not happy at losing my mask"

OK, son, take a look in my jacket pocket. The excitement was there in his face. His eyes opened, the pupils dilated, I could even hear a heartbeat across the kitchen. Go on, pull the zip. The excitement built, he reached in, pulled it out, opened it up and… I pinpointed the exact moment when it all went wrong. From there the heartbeat went back to normal, the eyes closed, the frown came out.

"Want my other one, the one that blew away"

I have well and truly had my first lesson in how all dads are a disappointment to their children. After this it gets easier to take, that's what I'm telling myself to get through it.

Thankfully the big night itself went better. My first ever pumpkin carving was quite good - the big fella compared it with a neighbour's pumpkin and gave a fair critique, and one visitor did say it was the best they'd seen that night. With a new full skeleton suit for both boys we scared the neighbours good and proper. He even learned a couple of skeleton joke for good measure.

Why did the skeleton cross the road? Because he was going to the body shop.
What musical instrument do the skeletons play? The trom-bone

A few kids who came to our door went away scarred (that's two "r"s there) for life after seeing MOTS with her mask on. What's that, you left your mask in the kitchen? Ohhhhh….

In the true spirit of things our next door neighbour parked his car across his drive such that the front was hard up against the hedge at one side and the boot against the hedge at the other. Nobody, but nobody was getting through there. Skeletons and ghosts, however…


However what? Did you leave something under his car bonnet as punishment? When the engine heats up...?

We're waiting for mischief night, we'll get our own back!

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