"The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry."


I wonder how Scottish poet Robert Burns knew about 2020 way back in the 18th century?


Let’s face it, not much has gone as planned since right around the 13th of March. When the first Friday the 13th of 2020 came around, it came around with a vengeance.


We need look no further than Halloween to see how all of this has played out. Or not played out.


Halloween was supposed to be epic this year. Oct. 31 falls on Saturday night, and there will be a full moon, which only happens once in a blue moon — which we will also have this year. A blue moon, for the uninitiated, is when there is a second full moon in the same month — which we will have next Saturday unless The Lord returns for us before then and, given the way this year has gone, I’m not ruling anything out.


Plus, Georgia was supposed to be playing Florida to decide the SEC East on Halloween as well. The last four times Georgia played Florida on Halloween, the Gators won 27-3, 41-17, 38-7 and 26-24. You have to go back to 1931 to find a Bulldog victory over Florida on All Hallows’ Eve. Jeff Dantzler could have told you that off the top of his head. I had to look it up, but maybe it is a good thing we are playing Kentucky on Kroger Field on Saturday instead of Florida in the Stadium Formerly Known as the Gator Bowl.


At any rate, Halloween is not shaping up to be the holiday we expected it to be when the ball dropped in Times Square on New Year’s Eve.


In fact, there is widespread discussion all across the country as to whether Halloween should or should not be canceled this year — at least the trick-or-treat portion of the holiday. I am sure there will still be plenty of adult parties where alcohol flows more freely than water over Niagara Falls and costumes are as skimpy as hair on a billiard ball.


In some communities, trick-or-treating has been banned altogether. In other areas, it has been left up to the discretion of individual neighborhoods. Where we live, the decision on whether to participate has been left up to individuals. What a novel idea — allowing people to decide for themselves what to do.


At any rate, I am sure that the evening will not be as anticipated, and I am glad that Halloween was never canceled when I was a child because it was a night that I looked forward to all year. My friends and I had free rein in our little mill village. We would dress in homemade costumes, which ran heavy toward ghosts and hobos because they were the easiest to make, and most of us visited virtually every house in town. By the time we returned home to count out our loot, our paper sacks would be bulging with Tootsie Rolls, Butter Fingers, bubble gum, Pixie Sticks and the like.


Back in those days, some people actually gave out homemade treats, like fresh baked cookies or popcorn balls. Every now and then someone would toss an apple into the bag. I don’t know a single mother in today’s world who would let their kid eat a homemade cookie or popcorn ball someone put in a trick-or-treat bag.


Of course, I don’t think many people will be bobbing for apples this year, either, but we looked forward to doing that all year, too.


The only real controversy I remember in Porterdale concerning Halloween was the year it happened to fall on a Sunday. There was a great hue and cry among church people as to whether trick-or-treating should be moved to Saturday night. I think the church crowd lost the argument because there was one family in Porterdale with a color TV, and word got around that their treat was going to be to invite each child who came to their door during the "Wonderful World of Disney" to come inside and watch for five minutes.


These folks lived on Elm Street, right down from our house, and I went home three times during the hour and changed costumes so I could keep coming in and watching the show. I had a thing for Tinker Bell. I still do, come to think of it.


Maybe I’ll dress up like Peter Pan on Saturday night.


Or maybe I will turn off my lights and go to bed early.