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My Charlie Brown Halloween

When I was a much younger little brewer in training, the fall holiday season inevitably meant waiting for the Charlie Brown specials to come on tv. Mind you, this is/was before the VCR and now DVD player became a common household item. Today’s kids have no idea what this is like. Each Sunday, Sydney and I get up in the morning and watch all sorts of recorded shows on our Tivo. Mickey Mouse Club House. Check got that. Backyardigans. Check them too.

But it wasn’t always this easy. When we were growing up, you actually had to look in the TV guide to see when the “specials” and holiday shows were scheduled to be on TV. God forbid you were doing something that night because once they were gone, it was wait until the next month. It started each fall with It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. To this day, it remains a classic.

I was reminded of this on Halloween this year as Sydney and I set out to go door to door and Trick or Treat. Sydney was dressed all in black and went as a Kitty Cat for her 3rd Halloween. This year, she was old enough to carry her own candy basket, ring doorbells and say “Trick or Treat.” She also learned that being young has its merits. Typically this meant an extra piece of candy.

But back to Charlie Brown for a moment if you will. As Sydney and I were going door to door in our Condo complex and raking in the candy, I had a poor old Charlie Brown moment. We approached a door and rang the doorbell. This was just as Halloween is scripted. While she was receiving her candy, a group of sensible Collegiate Aged young men were partying on a neighboring balcony. They motioned that we should knock on their door. So we obliged. When the door opened, there was the obligatory exchange of Trick or Treats and Candy earned for such rapport.

There was also a “Hey man, you look like you could use a beer?” (I guess I really looked thirsty)! And, while this may come as a surpise but in my infinite wisdom, I had allowed myself to leave the safety and confines of my house, on a Friday night mind you, without a beer. These dudes sensed my pain. And so one of them procured a can of America’s (er Belgium’s) finest Lager Beer. And so it was that I began to feel like Charlie Brown. Sydney and I backed away from the Condo, looked into her bag at the new candy bars and that’s when it hit me.

I had become Charlie Brown. My duaghter was getting all the kick ass treats and I got the proverbial rock- a can of tepid Budweiser. ARGH!!! So I did what any sensible Blockhead would do and I opened the can of warm American (er Blegian) Lager mouthing the words “we know of no other beer in the world…” No kidding!

We marched on to the next houses and at each stop, I found myself, like Charles Brown, hoping for better. “Oh please oh please, let this one have Sierra Nevada.” And then there was nothing. Well except for that Rock I received at the last house. We advanced on the next row of Condos. “Oh please, oh please, let there be a can of Maui Coconut Porter.” And when the door slammed, I watched as Sydney marveled at her new found bounty all the while I was left muttering about this stupid rock.

By the time we reached the last set of Condos, I was convinced that the beer Gods would shine on me again. I mean they had to right? Just like Linus in the Pumpkin Patch, the beer Gods would rise up and offer me something, anything better than the rock I was currently toting around our community. If Sydney had known what her Daddy was going through, she might have screamed at me like Sally did at Linus that night.

But it wasn’t meant to be. We ended our jaunt through the neighborhood with nary another beer in sight. I returned home with a daughter beaming from ear to ear obviously ecstatic to have learned the true meaning of Halloween. Apparently Halloween is the one night every year where everyone gives you candy and daddy stares into a can of Budweiser and mumbles “Good Grief, all I got was a stupid rock.”

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