www.whyville.net Oct 23, 2011 Weekly Issue

Veteran Times Writer

How to Boo

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If you're from the same place I've grown up, you know how it feels when you hear the doorbell ring one October night, and see a bucket of treats on your front porch. Excitedly, you will grab the goody-filled container and find the white sheet of paper in it. Already knowing its contents, you'll unfold the paper and peer down at the picture. On it will be a ghost saying, "You've Been Booed."

In my town, Halloween is a big deal. Everybody dreams of the day when we can dress up in our crazy costumes and get free candy. As I've gotten older, I haven't trick-or-treated as long or as intensely as I have in the past, but I have kept up with the town-wide tradition of booing.

I am guessing that the majority of people out there do not know what booing is, since most newcomers to my town have never heard of this October tradition. Because of this, you should probably know how to start booing instead of learning how to be booed.

To start the booing process in your neighborhood or town, you need to be willing to spend a little money or time on preparing treats. The treats can be homemade or store-bought, depending on which method of booing you prefer. The key is simply to stock a bucket, gift bag, or reasonable container with the goodies.

Once you've filled your container with treats, you need to prepare a boo-letter or boo-poem. In the past, we have almost always received this poem:

"The air is cool, the season fall,
Soon Halloween will come to all.

Ghosts and goblins, spooks galore . ..
Tricky witches at your door.

The spooks are after things to do,
In fact a spook brought this "Boo" to you!

The excitement comes when friends like you,
Copy this note and make it two.

We'll all have smiles upon our faces,
No one will know who "BOO-ed who's places!

Just two short days to work your spell,
Keep it secret, hide it well.

Please join the fun, the seasons here.
Just spread these "BOO's" and Halloween cheer."

If you would like, you can create your own boo-letter or poem. As long as you get the general boo message across, you're going to do just fine.

The next step is to print out a ghost picture. The one that I have seen the most of around town looks like this:

Once you have put your boo-letter and ghost picture in your treat bucket, you're ready to start booing. Whenever my brothers and I boo people, we wait till it is pitch black outside. Then, we go hunting for a good house to boo. When somebody is booed, they are expected to put up their boo sign in the front window, so we make sure whoever we choose to boo does not have a sign. After selecting the perfect house, we scope out the place to see if anybody is in the front windows. If so, we'll have to wait just a bit. If no one is seen, we'll creep up the front steps, place our bucket on porch, ring the doorbell, and RUN FOR OUR LIVES.

Almost always, someone instantly comes to the door. Last year after booing a house, a little girl came to the door and screamed with excitement that they had been booed by a ghost. Her little brother cried, but overall, it was a pretty successful and classic case of booing.

Now, in order for the booing process to spread throughout the town or neighborhood, the family I booed would need to copy two copies of the ghost sign and boo-letter. They would also need to gather up some treats of their own, and buckets to put all the goodies in. Then, they would boo two families, who would hopefully boo two other families, and so on and so forth.

The year that my family started the booing process, we booed five different families to get the town going. Booing this many houses would not be absolutely necessary, but it does help the process get going fast.

Booing is a great way to bring some pre-Halloween fun into a neighborhood or town, with hardly any work needed. It's always exciting to find that goodie-bucket sitting on your porch, and it is fun gathering up treats to give to other people. Whether you are the boo-er or boo-ee, I'm positive that this October tradition will be a hit your whole community will enjoy.


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