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Trunk (or Truck) or Treat

Posted by Jedi Cool , 01 November 2008 · 1,549 views

After my husband dropped off his son at his cousin's to apparently cash in on their better trick-or-treat opportunities, he returned home to hand out candy. At the apartment complex where we lived up until May of 2007, we rarely had trick-or-treaters so he had never been able to appreciate the joy (or perplexity...see his companion blog) of handing out candy.

We live in a house now and trick-or-treaters are a delight now, for the most part. He refused to abandon this newfound tradition of decorating our house and handing out candy. Again, see his blog.

I, however, went over to the local elementary school where my church was sponsoring "Trunk or Treat". Here's the deal: our church is adopting this school, in a manner of speaking. Today, for example, members of the church will be going over to clean classrooms and bathrooms. But Trunk or Treat is one of our church's traditions. In the past, it has been held on the church grounds, but it was decided to hold it in the school's parking lot this year in keeping with our adoption theme.

Cars are decorated with various themes and leave their trunks open where kids can come get candy. They go from car to car with their parents and their costumes. In this way, they don't have to run the streets and risk getting hit by cars or abducted by strangers.

This was my first year and our Life Group (Bible Study group) had decided to enter a couple of cars. I suggested to one couple that we do a shark theme. We decorate their gray car by putting white teeth on the upper and lower portions of the trunk, add eyes to the back side of the vehicle and toss a red blanket inside for a tongue. I dropped off a red blanket at their place earlier this week.

I took off work early to make it to the school on time and was looking around to see where our entry was. I'd expected to see about ten cars, but was shocked to see about 100 parked in the parking lots with trunks open. It was incredible. A firetruck and police car were on hand to monitor the event. Cars were parked side to side in rows with incredibly-creative themes:

* The '50s diner complete with fascimile menu that fooled me into thinking it was an actual concession stand. Classic music played.

* The NASA rocket (fake, of course) sitting next to one truck and the church members dressed as rocket scientists.

* A "Charlie Brown Christmas" theme with a little Christmas tree and Snoopy laying on his doghouse.

* A massive Star Wars-themed one which several people dressed as SW characters. This one included a large sheet on which "The Empire Strikes Back" was being projected.

* My pastor and his wife, tossed rubber snakes and bugs in their trunk with him dressed in a fedora and leather jacket going as his parody character "Indiana John".

* A Wizard of Oz-themed car with people dressed as Oz characters.

These were just a smattering of what was there, including a "Head of the Class" car with members alternating sticking their head through a box where the candy was located, a truck on which the tailgate was let down and a real working train set was operating, A "Singin' in the Rain" car where musicals were playing and everyone was dressed in yellow slickers and sported umbrellas. This was in addition to the various Indianapolis Colts-themed vehicles.

And the shark. I spotted a shark from afar. The other members of the group were going to decorate so I was excited to see our group's attempt. This shark that I saw was glorious, covered with gray paper, eyes on the sides, teeth on the top and bottom of the trunk and....fins! I was so thrilled I raced toward it, ignoring a couple of people. The man standing in front of the Shark Car was someone I didn't recognize. I was puzzled.

Then I looked to the left. There were the two members of my group with their own plain gray car, staring at what was apparently someone who had the same idea we did. We all agreed that we could not outdo this, so we went over to the other car our group had volunteered. It was a plain blue pickup truck with a couple of bales of hay in it. I couldn't help but be underwhelmed. To be fair, this was everyone in the group's first year to do this so we weren't familiar with the creativity quota needed. To make matters more amusing, we had been allowed to wear costumes at work yesterday and, since I'd come straight from, I hadn't had time to change out of my costume - a Star Trek: The Next Generation medical/science uniform. I looked odd standing there with a pickup truck and hay. I decided our theme would be Redneck Trekkie. It mostly worked, but I'm sure we didn't win the contest for most creative trunk. Our group leader made jokes about our vehicle being "Truck" or -Treat instead of Trunk-or-Treat.

Church members pushed shopping carts along with huge bags of candy - all of which had been donated by our congregation over the last few weeks - to replenish trunks that were running low. The place was packed with kids and their parents from the area. In fact, since the school is down the road from my neighborhood, we suspect this siphoned off some of my husband's trick-or-treaters. Iron Man was popular this year, as well as Star Wars (predominately Jedi, Darth Vader and clone troopers), most girls were in variations of princesses, fairies or witches. I saw one Hulk, one Batman, a couple of Supermen. Some kids in scary masks.

There was a bonfire out in the field with a table set up dispensing hot chocolate. I saw one family from church in which every member - adults and children alike - were dressed as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

At about 9ish, I walked back to my car with a family of visitors who expressed their appreciation for a safe place to let their kids get candy. Despite all of the mishaps, this was worth it.

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