by Casey White
November 14, 2002
It turned out to be a very cold night, but I bundled up under my blanket/Yoda-cloak, and with pail of candy beside me, with a 1/2" dowel rod in one hand (you know, the one Yoda used to hit R2-D2,) and with a light saber in the other hand, I sat on a milk crate in the corner of my front porch, near the door. Soon, my first guests appeared, running across the lawn from the house on my right. They rang the door bell. I came to life, "YOU seek CANDY, take you to it I will." I must say my impression was fairly good, having practiced in the car on my way home from work. These two were probably 7th graders, in a hurry to fill their bags, and quickly departed without much comment.
I waited on the porch for several minutes. I could see steam from my breath escaping the eye and nose holes in my rubberized, yet realistic, Yoda mask. The eye holes are built into Yoda's eyebrows, so they are narrow slots, and difficult to see through. More tricksters arrived, with father close by. "Thank you," they said. "Use the Force, young Jedi's," I advised. Their dad said, "That was cool," as they walked down my driveway.
At this point, I adjusted my gloves, as my fingers were getting cold. While doing this, I managed to poke Yoda's eye with the dowel rod. This was really close to my real eye, and I started to feel like I was not using the Force.
A group of girl teens, probably 8th and 9th graders, dropped by. I was thinking my script was going pretty well, until they were about to leave when, with brutal teen honesty, they exclaimed, "Yoda, your mask is drooling at the bottom!" Indeed, the cold moisture was gathering inside my mask, and was dripping out at the neck. "Drooling not make one great," I said. Probably doesn't make these candies look too appetizing either. I decided to move into the house.
I thought this would be a good change, as I could get down on my knees, and then open the door, surprising my Halloween visitors with my nice, charming character from one of their favorite movies. My next customers were a two-year-old boy and his three-year-old sister. As I opened the door, the little boy started screaming in terror, running to his parents out in the darkness, who started to laugh. I convinced the sister to take an extra candy for her brother, but had to break with my Yoda impression in order to get her to come close enough. She was pretty shook up, too.
Wanting to see this thing through, I continued the show, and watched the kids and parents come and go. Most enjoyed my little entertainment stop, but I'll tell you that the best three minutes was when a whole group of 4th and 5th grade boys came along. Probably 9 of them, all in a bunch. They loved it! They all leaned in closer, and had big smiles on their faces. In fact, after I had run through my entire set of Star Wars lines, and had given each one their candy, they stayed and started a conversation with Yoda. They were peppering me questions, trying to see if they could continue a fun time. It was their best moment of the evening. And it was MY best moment as well, offsetting the poke in the eye, the drool, and the traumatized kid.
But next year? Maybe Mr. Rogers. I could stand to do something more human. And without a mask.
About the Author:
Casey White is looking for a substitute people watcher for two or three future articles while he is on vacation. If interested, please e-mail Casey or the Editor of Partial Observer.
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