Remember chain letters? You know, those letters that were sent to a number of people asking each recipient to send copies with the same request to a specified number of others. These evolved into chain emails pretty much requesting the same thing usually promising some great fortune or misfortune as it were. Well, my friends, it is time to discuss a Halloween tradition in the Arden/Carmichael area known as “boo”-ing.
Boo-ing is, and I quote from myfolsom.com (what the…you say? me, too):
A Boo-Gram is a mysterious note, left on neighbor’s doors in the middle of the day. The note is usually a poem of sorts, and a large “Boo!” decoration for their front door. The decoration serves as a means of communicating to other neighbors that this house has already been “hit”. By Halloween, it is not uncommon to see Boo-Grams lining up and down the street on all the doors in some neighborhoods!
Now I understand the intent of these offerings, I guess, to spread cheer and warmth throughout one’s neighborhood and to get everyone in the spirit. You know, of a holiday based on death and evil spirits and fears of all sorts. But that’s for a different post.
What really got me going, however, was this:
Accompanying the Boo-Gram is a collection of goodies, determined by the giver. The goodies may vary from small Halloween treats, to kid’s toys. The magic of these Boo-Grams is the reciprocation of this gift, as it is expected that when you are “Boo’d”, you must “Boo” 2 other neighbors as well (after all, if you don’t like your “Boo” gift, you can always re-gift to another neighbor!).
Adventurous types “Boo” their neighbors in the broad daylight or early evening hours, as it increases the possibility of getting caught… those familiar with the famous “doorbell ditch” prank of their childhood years will be happy to know that this tradition lives on, though the recipient gets a fun gift in the process.
You mean, rather than a flaming pile of dog feces? Hmmm. Still seems like I’m trespassing, but ok.
Now don’t get me wrong, the OnTopofIts will be walking the neighborhood with their little one just like the rest of you come 10/31, but I can’t help but draw a correlation between those chain letters I mentioned earlier and these Boo-grams. Are we being experimented on? What happens to me if I don’t “Boo” two of my neighbors? What if I forget the code? 4, 8, 15, 16…