The leaves are crunchy. The air is crisp. My toes are cold and when I wake up in the morning I don't want to crawl out from under the covers.
It's fall now, and coming soon to a neighborhood near you are ghouls, goblins and ghosts. All pint-sized and jonesing for Milky Ways and candy corns.
They'll saunter up, giggle a bit at your silly robotic coffin display with the corpse doing sit-ups and waving, ring your doorbell and calm themselves enough to sing in a chorus of “trick or treat.”
You'll unload every dentist's nightmare into plastic sacks with pictures of Count Dracula and Casper the Friendly Ghost, and as they dance away, one of them will curse you for not giving him a Swizzle Stick and toss an egg at your car. You won't find it until the next cold, frosty morning when you are going to work and the egg white has hardened over the door handle and your key won't go in.
It's also time to decide what you're going to be for Halloween. You could be a ghost, a convict or a princess. Perhaps a race car driver, or an astronaut. What have you always wanted to be when you grow up?
Some people go with more traditional and recognizable characters, like werewolves, vampires and hockey-mask wearing multiple murderers. Others find themselves in more obscure garb, perhaps that of Peter Sellers in “The Smallest Show on Earth” or Jeff Bridges as the Dude in “The Big Lebowski.”
If you go to a party, don't drink too much, but if you do, remember what the person you came with was wearing. You could get into a lot of trouble if you don't. And pray to God there aren't two of them.
And if you go to a party at which you know costumes will be worn, don't go wearing what you always wear. You won't fit in. It's like going to work any other day of the year and wearing a top hat and fake beard. It just isn't done.
Remember, everyone knows they look stupid. The least you can do is try to fit in.
Remember too, it's the harvest season. I don't say this so much to remind you to reap what it is that you've sown, but rather advise you not to park your car underneath seed-bearing trees.
You'll never know how many acorns can fall from a single oak onto very expensive cars until you live in a place where people park very expensive cars under oak trees in the fall.
Where I live, people do that. And I'm glad I drive a Honda, but I get more satisfaction from knowing better than to park under trees any time of the year.
If you go out trick or treating this year, make sure you are the appropriate age. People start to ask questions when you're six feet tall, and you'd better have good answers. And if you don't, wear something that makes you look younger, more distinguished.
When I was a kid, we wore plastic masks that had a rubber-band around the back and what amounted to a garbage bag with holes for your head and arms with a painted suit on it. I think one year, I was Superman. But the mask was a little big and I couldn't see out of the eye holes. So much for Supervision.
Another year, I was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (or maybe I was all of them) and thought I could take on the school bully at least on that day if no other.
Turns out, my plastic sword was a violation of school policy and my turtle mask wound up in a toilet.
This year for Halloween, try to be something that you're not if only for one night. And for God's sake, give that kid a Swizzle Stick before he eggs your car.
Michael Davis covers government for the Daily Herald. His column appears on Fridays. He can be reached at (770) 957-9161 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org .