On Saturday, we went to a Halloween party.
Very Early Digressionary Note: I love Halloween. Watching little kids lose their minds over free candy – getting excited about going out in the dark in their cute little scary costumes – is one of the things I really look forward to every year. More on this tomorrow.
The kids were all dressed up, they were having fun playing with each other, they were eating incredible food and, generally speaking, they were having a blast.
We hung out with friends we hadn’t seen in a while, we also ate incredible food, we enjoyed a few cocktails, and we had a great time catching up and chatting.
I even went all out in preparing my costume.
All out indeed.
Everyone else put far more effort into their costumes than I did. I congratulated them on their abundant creativity and imagination.
Whatever creativity and imagination I have coursing through my veins at the end of my workday gets siphoned into this fine little project (almost) every day.
Amazing, I know.
But I’m a firm believer that Halloween is for kids.
Dressing up is for kids.
It’s not for adults.
I agree with Lewis Black:
You are an adult, and you can dress up whenever you want to. You don’t need permission anymore! If you wake up next Tuesday, and you feel like being Batman, go for it! And then you go to work, and your boss will look up and go: “Who are you?” And you can say: “I . . . am . . . Batman. That’s who I am, who are you?”
Try it sometime.
You’ll be the hit of the office.
Anyway, we were all having a good time at the Halloween party.
Until Daughter Number Two started crying.
For over an hour.
And then we had to leave.
Well . . . she sat on the couch . . . tipped over onto the couch . . . straightened herself out, and promptly burst into tears.
She didn’t bump her head. She didn’t fall on anything. She didn’t cut herself. She didn’t choke on a couch cushion Dorito from Halloween party past.
These were all things I immediately considered.
We gathered all the parents ’round the screaming babe and formed ourselves a nice little ad hoc diagnostic committee.
It was a Halloween ad hoc diagnostic committee.
We collectively determined that she needed medical attention. Given the late hour, we knew this meant the emergency room. We sighed, packed up the kids, cut short our Halloween partying, said our goodbyes, and piled into the car.
It turns out black cats, even in costume form, really are bad luck.
My wife took Daughter Number Two to the emergency room.
Daughter Number One and I stayed home. I put her to bed, cracked a few craft beers, and watched the Leafs continue to humiliate themselves.
I should mention that neither of these things is a particularly good way to spend the rest of a post-Halloween party Saturday evening.
After several hours, a doctor – not a Halloween doctor, a real doctor (he’s an adult, you see, it’s not a costume) – proclaimed that Daughter Number Two had suffered Nursemaid’s Elbow. He performed an impressive maneuver – in thirty seconds – and sent them home.
Daughter Number Two made an immediate recovery. As soon as the doctor corrected her arm, she was fine.
When she tipped over on the couch, she caught her arm between two heavy cushions and, when she pulled it out, she strained her elbow.
We thought this was the end of our terrifying tale of Halloween party misfortune.
Until last night, when Daughter Number One tried to pull her sister up onto our king-sized bed and instead managed to pull her sister’s elbow out again.
By eerie spooky coincidence, the Leafs were playing last night too. I considered this when I decided to take my turn in emergency room Hell.
Of course, this immediately meant that the Leafs would rout the Sabres 4-0 in one of their finest defensive efforts ever.
I was supposed to go out to trivia night at the pub with some of my friends, but whether I was home watching the Leafs with a clothespin on my nose – as I’d done in the past – or waiting in the emergency room, I knew the night wasn’t going to unfold quite as planned.
Four hours in the emergency room seems a long time for a little girl to wait for a thirty-second repair job, especially considering she’d just been there on Saturday.
I mean, even Wal-Mart has a better return policy than that.
Eventually, the doctor listened to my story about the king-sized bed, apologized for the wait, and performed his neat little trick.
Much Later Digressionary Note: It’s not as easy as it looks. I tried and failed to simulate the technique from the video. It didn’t help at all. I worried I would break her. I stopped. I can’t even convincingly imitate a doctor for Halloween. A sad realization. My friend is a real doctor, but he’s much smarter than I am. For the record, I don’t think he dresses up for Halloween either.
Daughter Number Two cried a little more this time – the doctor told me the reaggravation was probably more painful – but she came through as she did last time.
I could go on and on about people going to the emergency room for obvious non-emergencies – which is the main reason we were there for so long on both occasions – but what would be the point?
People go for anything these days.
Stub your toe? Emerg. Fever? Emerg.
Need a tissue and the drugstore’s closed? Emerg?
But I won’t go on and on.
I’ve gone on long enough already.