Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The "Maggie Scale" of Autumn Decorations

You’ve heard of the Richter scale, right? That’s the way people in California know how big and how powerful their latest earthquake was . . . or something like that. It’s rated in levels so they know how bad it all was.

This weekend, while taking a long walk with Maggie, we started noticing that every house is decorated in different “levels” of autumn attire.

Maggie started ranking each house according to the “Maggie scale,” which isn’t quite as scientific nor as elaborate as the Richter scale, but you get the idea.

"Ooh, that one's a three," she would say.

Or, "Four, definitely a four. Look at that mask hanging from the tree. Yuck!"

So, in case you haven't begun decorating for autumn (although you should have by now), Maggie's scale might just be of help to you.

Maggie’s level 1: No autumn decorations at all. Not even a mum plant in a pot sitting by the front door. Nothing. Nada. Niet. Come on people, do something!

Maggie’s level 2: “Kind of like our house,” she said. Fall decorations, mums, a few pumpkins. All tastefully done, of course. This is the level to which the tasteful holiday decorator should aspire (if I do say so myself).

Maggie’s level 3: Halloween begins to creep in here. “Cheerful Halloween decorations,” Maggie called them. Any house with a carved pumpkin or a not-too-scary-looking witch outside of it would fall into this category.

Maggie’s level 4: Ghoulish. This is the “creepy” category. Houses with graveyards and skeletons in their front yard. Houses that don’t speak “friendly” in any way, shape, or form.

Why anyone would want a graveyard in their front yard, unless you live next door to a church, is beyond me.

Why anyone would want to scare the little kiddos away is also beyond me since the best part of Halloween is seeing the kids in your neighborhood who just yesterday were sitting in strollers come to your door and say “Trick or Treat” in their biggest kid voices. And then I get to “ooh” and “aah” over their costumes and ask them how their mom is doing and how school’s going and end up embarrassing them to death.

Makes you wonder which “Level” house is worse on Halloween . . . the one with the creepy skeleton guarding over the graveyard . . . or mine.

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