Sunday October 21st, 10 p.m., Will is locking up and for whatever reason, he decides to open our front door. There he finds a brown paper bag with “Boo! :)” written on one side. Upon careful inspection, he finds a poem detailing the contents of the bag: 1 handful of candy, 2 pouches of apple sauce and 2 pouches of gummies. There was also a ghost print-out to post in our front window and instructions to pass the boo on.
My husband was completely horrified. “You really need to find out who left this bag on our porch!” He insisted. “Text the neighbors.” I did as I was told but sadly our friends next door knew nothing. I assured him it was probably harmless and most likely came from the HOA as part of a community celebration. I was having a really hard time believing holiday dittos and treats were the work of a psychopath.
Will however, was not so easily convinced. “Until we know who left this bag, it stays at the top of the pantry.” he relented. If it were entirely up to him, the bag would have been trashed immediately.
The next morning, our friend had asked her mother about the bag. She claimed to have received a similar bag last year with the same instructions. It had come from the HOA and was perfectly safe. I relayed the message to Will. Despite the news,”Throw it away.”
Days later, I was on Pinterest searching for Halloween activities to do with the kids. This boo bag had been pinned several times over and it occurred to me, this might be a North/South thing.
If we had received a bag like this at our apartment back East, I would have grabbed it with the salad tongs and chucked it straight into the dumpster. The bag could poisoned. It could contain a small explosive or self inflaming poo for all we knew. In fact, the DC Metro Authority blasts hourly warnings to report any abandoned packages and has for years. Boo bags are not only abandoned but their anonymous nature renders them suspicious.
The South to my surprise, doesn’t seem to share the same psychological damage as those who directly survived the 9/11 attacks and the subsequent terror plots to follow. Strangers down here are just friends we haven’t met yet and if it doesn’t look suspicious, it isn’t. The problem is that mental illness is not geographically exclusive to the Mid-Atlantic region.
That may sound slightly paranoid but for us, it’s a very real threat. If you’re going to Boo Bag the neighborhood, you might want to post a flier letting everyone know what’s up and what should be in the bag. If these are being passed among actual friends, delivering in person or a simple to:/from: label would do the trick.
My point is that times have changed. We need to be more cautious and more aware of one another if nothing more than to keep our kids safe. With that in mind, Happy Halloween!