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“It is much more important to know what sort of a patient has a disease than what sort of a disease a patient has.” - Sir William Osler

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    Thursday, November 01, 2007
    NaBloPoMo, Here We Go

    To explain the title: apparently there is this blogging idea, or site, called National Blogger Posting Month. The idea is simply that you post every day throughout the month of November; I heartily applaud it, speaking as a recalcitrant blogger. It should inspire or prod me to post more.

    So, last night was Hallowe'en, yes? Up till last year my Hallowe'ens were extremely quiet, living as I do in a neighborhood where there are not a lot of little kids. Last year one of my partners in The Firm invited me to help her and her husband hand out candy, dinner thrown in. It turned out to be the epitome of the warning that "there is no free lunch" -- or dinner, in this case. She lives in Hancock Park, which is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Los Angeles, and one of the few "Old Money" locales in this city. It is a beautiful, but in no way a glamorous neighborhood - no movie stars live there, at least none that I know of. Bankers and such, however, do. Somehow the word has gotten out that (in addition to being a safe neighborhood) the Hancock Park denizens are generous types and decorate their houses a lot, and as a result families from all over the city drive or even bus their kids in to go trick-or-treating. The population density on Hallowe'en night, as a result, rivals that of Hong Kong or Manhattan.

    Last night was my second year helping to hand out candy. As far as I'm concerned this beats the West Hollywood Hallowe'en Parade by a mile, not that that isn't fun, but this can be accomplished in more comfort. Plus, you get to see the cute kiddies' costumes as opposed to the guys in chaps and no pants with their uglies hanging out (no exaggeration; I have been there and seen that). A quick poll showed that Disney princess outfits among the girls are quite a hit, and Spider-Man (both red-and-blue good and the all-black BadSpidey) among the boys are big. Ladybug costumes and Tigger onesies for baby girls and boys were the big winners, also fairy costumes with flashing lighted wings for little girls. We saw a few Simpsons outfits and some very good homemade ones - most notably a Rubiks' Cube - and a couple of bad ones. A standout in the latter category was the pregnant trick-or-treater in a clingy black dress, and I wish I were kidding. I mean, I'd be the first to admit that I trick-or-treated a few years past when I should have quit, but that was ridiculous. Another was the overgrown ghost in a sheet - not a traditional sheet, though; it was a flowered sheet in DayGlo colors, and did I mention he was at least six feet tall? I leant against the door frame giggling helplessly after he left.

    Quick statistic: we went through 3600 pieces of candy in three hours. (Though we handed out 3 pieces of candy per petitioner.)

    "In MY day," I grumped, "each kid got only one piece." "Well, we're generous," shrugged my host, so I bit my tongue. After all, it wasn't MY candy.

    No candy cigarettes were to be seen though (sigh, they were my wicked favorites as a kid). I guess some things are just beyond the pale these days.




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