Dom Joly: Rescuing my puppy, indeed – there's an evil trick for you

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The Independent Online

I really don't like Hallowe'en. It's too close to Guy Fawkes Night and it's an American thing brought over here to sell more "merchandise" and, worst of all, I have to meet my neighbours.

In America, according to Stacey (an expert in everything North American), kids dress up in all sorts of costumes, and not just the ghoulish get-ups we get over here. So my poor daughter, Parker, became a curious-looking dog while my son, Jackson, was a Power Ranger. Having put the fear of God into them about the dangers of talking to strangers and taking sweets off them during the rest of the year, they were then dispatched around the village to knock on strange doors and demand candy.

Stacey went with them and I was left at home to "greet" the trick or treaters. Stacey had left a huge tub of sweets by the front door and had lit up a couple of carved pumpkins by the gatehouse. She's so good at these kind of things – a proper mum – whereas I'm a bit of a party-pooper dad. I hate answering the door, anyway. I'm trying to think of the last time that I answered it to anything that resembled good news. It's always some dodgy youth looking for "gardening" work, Tory councillors, people asking for money, someone from the church, a man selling big boxes of "organic" frozen food who knows that if he gets Stacey she'll buy from him, but he fears me ... nope, there's nothing but bad news comes to my door.

The idea, therefore, of me having to disturb my evening of television-watching to let gangs of Burberried youths size up my place for burglary purposes while I handed them free sugar was too much. I nodded away as Stacey left her instructions, with one eye on the telly – 'Ninja Warrior' was on any minute now. "Yes" I'd listen out for the bell, "don't worry, goodbye, have a nice time...". The moment they were gone I scuttled out of the house, blew out the candles in our pumpkins and turned the outside light off. Back inside I extinguished all the house lights but one and closed the curtains.

I was safe and cosy and happy. I cracked open a fine bottle of Château Musar and settled down for some peace and quiet. Ten minutes later there was an almighty hammering on my door. I ignored it but it got louder and I could hear a youth screaming, "Trick or treat."

I suddenly got paranoid about what they might do to if I ignored them and I caved in – I opened the door to a gaggle of witches and skeletons screaming at me – "Where's your sweets, give us treats." I handed over the bucket and their clammy little hands dived in greedily. That was it. I wasn't answering the door again and they had taken enough booty for me to be able to convince Stacey that loads of people had come round.

I flopped out on to my beloved sofa – Nagano, the fisherman, had made it to round three of 'Ninja Warrior', this should be good... then the knocking started again. I ignored it. It got louder and louder – about seven or eight pairs of devil hands hammering on my poor door. Jesus Christ, leave it out would you? I tried to concentrate on the telly but the noise got louder. Eventually I peered out of a side window – it was the same pesky kids.

I briefly thought about going upstairs and pouring water over them but instead I bravely hid behind the front door and started shouting at them: "Fmvn off, go away you little bastards, you've had enough, I'm warning you...".

I'd totally lost it. Then the door bell started ringing. I flung open the door and let rip.

"If you little fmvners don't fmvn off right now I'm going to get a fmvning cricket bat and give you a fmvning good kicking." Then I noticed a parent among them, looking at me in total amazement. She was holding our puppy Oscar by the collar.

"Is he yours? He ran out when you last opened the door. We didn't want him to run off." I was so ashamed. I grabbed Oscar, mumbled apologies and closed the door quickly. I'm just not cut out for social events.

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