It Wasn’t Easy Being Green
by Pat LaPointe
Many people might call Mom “creative.” As a witness and often the “victim” of her creativity, I would define it as “wacko.” One would need no more proof of this distinction than her “idea” of a fun Halloween. Like many bungalows in the ’60s, ours had a mail shoot in our front closet. Mail would go down the shoot and was retrieved by opening a small door in the closet.
Mom thought how much fun it would be for someone’s hand would come out of the mail slot to hand out the candy. I, of course, was that someone she had in mind. She “prepared” my position by removing coats from their hangers and piling them on the floor, thus creating my seat.
But she wasn’t done.
“I have a great idea,” she exclaimed. Come into the kitchen.” She had a small bowl of green dye used for frosting cakes.
“Let’s color your hand! You’ll really freak out the kids! It will wash off.” I knew it wasn’t worth the effort to resist. In minutes I was green from the tips of my fingers to my elbow.
Mom was right. The kids freaked out when a green hand gave them their treats. This was fun until Denis, the neighborhood brat came to the door. He quickly took the treat and proceeded to spit in my hand. I crawled out of the closet, opened the front door, and tried to chase after Denis. He was gone, and I was done being the green hand.
After I washed with soap and dish detergent, the dye barely faded. It was then that I remembered that the semi-formal Junior dance was the next day. I spent the next twenty-four hours scrubbing my arm. Still, the green barely faded.
There was no time to buy long gloves. I spent the evening explaining that the green arm was not a wardrobe enhancement.