Originally posted November 1, 2011
In the 16 years I’ve lived in San Francisco I’ve never been in a “destination neighborhood” for Halloween trick or treating. Until now. Last night we ran out of candy not once, but twice. It was awesome.
Leading up to Halloween, our neighbors warned us of “tons of kids” and “bags of candy gone in minutes.” We ignored their warnings like a diabetic with a plastic pumpkin full of booty, and settled for just a few pounds of candy.
We were overrun. Swamped. Slammed. It was awesome. We ran out of candy in under 30 minutes, got some candy from a generous neighbor who understands actual planning versus the pathetic excuse for planning that passes in our household, and ran out of that. It got so bad at one point that I resorted to holding up a piece of candy for kids to see, shoving it into their bag and shouting “Happy Halloween!” while I palmed the candy back out so I could “give” it to another kid.
Part of me wants to believe that our neighborhood is so popular with trick-or-treaters because there are so many families in the ‘hood. Part of me wants to believe that it is because we are close to a school, and lots of families want to be close to school on such an awesome night of fun.
The rest of me knows that our street is really popular because of Uncle Ceasar, our neighbor who lives at the end of our cul de sac. Ceasar and his partner are great neighbors. They always say hi to the kids, and are always giving all of the kids on our block gifts for the major holidays. Three days after Easter Ceasar tracked down our son to give him the foot-tall chocolate Easter Bunny he’d been holding on to for him.
On Halloween, Ceasar and his partner give out Hershey’s Giant Bar candy bars. Nearly a half-pound of hallelujah! for hungry little ninjas, princesses and pirates. Kids who had been here before would rush through all of the houses on our block, just itching to get down the street to Ceasar’s. Screams of, “He’s back! He’s doing it again! He’s giving out the big bars!” echoed up and down the block until he ran out candy (long after we did, I might add).
Ceasar isn’t just Legendary in San Francisco, he’s become Mythological. Urban Mythological, even. When we tell people where we live, those who know say, “Oh, you live by the guy who gives out the huge candy bars!” and then they launch into some story that has nothing to do with reality, but is extremely entertaining. Some of my favorites:
“I heard he wasn’t going to hand out candy bars this year because he moved.”
“I heard he wasn’t going to hand out candy bars this year because he and his partner broke up.”
“I heard he wasn’t going to hand out candy bars this year because he went bankrupt.”
I plan to collect these in greater detail leading up to next year. Until then, I hail Ceasar for making our little neck of the woods that much more awesome each and every Halloween.