The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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October 28, 2013

Murray: Put a fork in Halloween, the kids have grown up

For a minute, I thought I was still going to get one more year out of them.

The boy had been scouring the Internet for porkpie hats and hazmat suits, doing his best to cobble together a Walter White costume (the main character in the TV show “Breaking Bad.”)

But when we turned to the girl to see if she’d be up for one more year of trick or treating, it was all she could do to pull her face away from her iPhone to laugh a little and say, “I don’t know. I just feel like it’d be a little awkward. Plus none of my friends are going.”

Of course it’s awkward. It’s Halloween. What else could it possibly be if not awkward? And it’s true, none of her friends are going. She is, after all, 16. None of the boy’s friends are going, either. They’d ditched trick or treating a few years ago when the cool bug hit them, too.

So I’m left with memories of years gone by. And I have to say, Halloween is tough to beat for straight-up fun.

Last year, the two of them teamed up on a current events costume that had moms and dads in every house flashing a knowing grin to the parents: He was a ballot box, she was ballot (a full-on legal-looking ballot with every race any voter would be voting on that year, from president right on down to whatever that Soil and Water Conservation District thing means.)

Costumes have always been a creative endeavor in this house, and more often than not, they're homemade. Not homemade by me, of course. My wife gets all the credit for coming up with such doozies as the box of popcorn, the box of puppies, the crayon, the hippie, Pac Man and the little ghost that chases him, and others.

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