A Six-Pack of Empties

After a big night of Halloween celebration, I began November with a six-pack of empties.

HOLD ON! Don’t be thinking I celebrated last night’s holiday by drinking a six-pack of beer. Despite the title of this post and the featured photo, my celebration involved nothing more than handing out candy to kids and scaring them half to death with my Coronavirus costume. *[See footnote]

The title merely refers to the challenge proposed by Nancy — empty things — and I only posted that picture of Surly’s Axe Man IPA because Scott “Scooter” Anderson seems to think I owe him one. I don’t remember making that promise, but if he and Rocky come to Minnesota after returning to the USA, then I will pay up.

Besides, if I HAD consumed a six-pack of Axe Man, I’d be in the emergency room today instead of riding my bike and taking the following six pictures of empty things.

Empty parking lot

Empty Stadium

Empty playground

Empty dining pod

Empty swimming pool

Empty Porta-Potty (after The Reckless Mr. Bing Bong was done using it.)

[Footnote: The Feeshko and I were conflicted as to whether to participate in the usual Halloween trick-or-treat ritual this year, but we talked to a few neighbors who were going to do it while wearing masks and making social-distancing adjustment to their candy-delivery-systems. And the clincher was our next-door neighbor who said she and her husband, a teacher, were going to do it because kids have been deprived of so much this year and maybe a normal Halloween might bring them a little joy. Damn, I’m a sucker for the old “bring a little joy to the children” argument.

So we threw a bunch of treats on a table and instructed the kids to just help themselves to ONE. I expected a low turnout but we had our usual 350 trick-or-treaters. I think I saw 350 cases of joy too.

Unfortunately, I had less joy because not a single kid recognized, nor was scared by, my costume. One parent did mention the viruses crawling all over me, but he thought it was more funny than scary. (At least it scared Mr. Grumby and Hoopeston Rich.)]

Hi. My name is Greg and I ride my bike a lot. That is to say, I ride my bike almost every day. I go on long rides and short rides. Sunny rides, cloudy rides, and rainy rides. I like commuting, errand-running, day-tripping, overnighting, and touring on my bike. I ride on city streets, highways, gravel, single track, and snow with equal enthusiasm. Sometimes I ride fast and sometimes I ride slow. I try to keep my feet on the pedals at stop lights and I do not dismount when I hop up on a curb. I have a roadie bike, a mountain bike and a touring bike. I try to accept any challenge a bike ride can throw at me without complaint. But I don't like bugs.

15 response to "A Six-Pack of Empties"

  1. By: Scooter Posted: November 1, 2020

    Mmm, Axe Man! Sounds like a brew that should have come from Oregon, really. Makes me think of Sometimes a Great Notion.

    • By: gregblood Posted: November 1, 2020

      Oh yes, Ken Kesey. I sometimes like to think of myself as a Merry Prankster.

      • By: Bill Stone Posted: November 1, 2020


        As to Sometimes a Great Notion: “Never give a inch.”

        Meanwhile, isn’t there a new TV series about Nurse Ratched? We saw One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest on TV a few months ago, and I was shocked and amazed to see how young and attractive Louise Fletcher looked now that I’m a really old guy.

        • By: gregblood Posted: November 2, 2020

          I heard the new Nurse Ratched show is more sadistic and more graphic than “Cuckoo’s Nest.” I’m not a bit interested. I thought the Louise Fletcher version was about as perfect of a portrayal as can be. And you’re right about Louise. I think we talked about this before, but I couldn’t believe how charming and smart and beautiful she was in her academy award acceptance speech.

          I kind of wish I had named my bike “Further” instead of “The Reckless Mr. Bing Bong.” “Further” is a great name, and also it would be a lot easier to type that name into my touring journals.

  2. By: Suzanne Posted: November 1, 2020

    350 trick or treaters? Incredible! You certainly did a good deed.
    Nice “empties”, too!

    • By: gregblood Posted: November 2, 2020

      A lot of people have the same reaction when I tell them we had that many trick-or-treaters. There is a family up the street who REALLY takes Halloween seriously — lots of ghosts flying around on wires, old horror movies being projected onto the garage door, big bonfire, loudspeakers blasting the sounds of creaking doors and people moaning and screaming, family members chasing kids around with chainsaws that look all too real, etc. They’ve been doing it for years and now a bunch of other neighbors have gotten on the bandwagon. (Including us, though our theme leans more toward the whimsical side.) So kids come from all over town and even from neighboring towns for the spectacle. It’s a pretty cool thing to be part of.
      Only two blocks away, people have reported getting maybe 30 trick-or-treaters.

  3. By: Lednar De Nalloh Posted: November 2, 2020

    Did the Axe-man bring out your inner Viking?
    Just wondering, do children throw eggs at your house or other tricks or is that just a Hollywood thing.

    • By: gregblood Posted: November 2, 2020

      EVERYTHING brings out my inner Viking, especially on the weekend of a Packer-Viking game. Now, I admit, we Viking fans haven’t had much to cheer about so far this year. That’s why yesterday’s whooping of those Cheeseheads was so, so satisfying. Sorry to gloat over our overwhelming destruction –in true Viking fashion — of your favorite team.

  4. By: NancyG Posted: November 2, 2020

    We didn’t have any Trick or Treaters this year, but have had as many as 100 one year. Normal number is about 40-50. Houses in our neighborhood had lighted decorations and treats on an outside table for the ghouls to take their own treat.

    • By: gregblood Posted: November 2, 2020

      Yes, putting the treats out on a table worked out well for us. That was one of the suggestions provided by the CDC. One of our neighbors sent candy bars down a length of roof gutter into the kids’ bags. I also heard of people using extra-long tongs to hand candy to the kids.

  5. By: BobinVT Posted: November 2, 2020

    Guess you can’t go wrong with a beer from Surly. Seriously, your post made me check out Surly Brewing Co. Looks like a nice selection. We had maybe 15 or 20 trick or treaters. Our whole neighborhood did the ‘candy out on a table’ routine. And congratulations to those Vikings. I knew they were going to win, because before the game all the commentators said the Packers couldn’t lose.

    • By: gregblood Posted: November 2, 2020

      Even our local sports broadcasters, who are usually very positive about the Vikings, gave them no chance of winning the game. And Surly really is an outstanding brewery. I just hope they aren’t getting too big and too “corporate.”

  6. By: The Navigator Posted: November 2, 2020

    Please, please tell me you’ve been down that red slide previously or on this trip and didn’t let Mr Bing Bong have all the fun. That slide looks awesome – except for the static electricity you’d pick up by the end (unless that isn’t a problem in the humidity of MN).

    • By: gregblood Posted: November 3, 2020

      I didn’t ride the slide on that day, but I have gone down it in the past. That was at least 15 years ago though, so I guess it’s time to try it again. Maybe I’ll make a movie about it for a future Cycle365 post.

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