On Gate Night the Kids Rule
Kids Rule On Gate Night
When I was a boy, we called the night before Halloween, Gate Night. Gate Night – also called, Mischief Night, Devil’s Night, Cabbage Night, to name some of the day’s monikers, was a night that called for kids to pull pranks.
I lived in a modest neighborhood in Pearl River, New York, some 33 miles north of New York City.
Some of the kids acted like vandals on Gate Night, smashing beautifully carved and candled jack-o’-lanterns, for instance. I had no use for kids like this and would chase (or challenge) any kid (or kids) who did this.
Nevertheless, I was fully committed to soaping up of car windows, launching rolls of toilet paper, unfurling like white ribbons in the air, into the trees and shrubbery. And, of course, filling up mailboxes with shaving cream was a must.
Some of the more daring among us would wire a couple of dry-cell batteries to the metal screen door of someone’s house, ring the bell, then run and hide nearby so we could watch, usually a Mom or Dad, come to the door and recoil when the low-level electric shock lifted them out of their slippers or shoes, or so we liked to think.
Now, honesty compels me to (happily) confess to my favorite prank. One that required a brown paper lunch bag, lighter fluid, matches, and enough dog poop to fill at least one third of the bag. Filling half the bag was even better. We placed the bag (with the poop) on the front steps, wet it with lighter fluid, lit it with a match, rang the doorbell, and ran, again to a nearby hiding place so we could watch the show, as it were.
More often than not, someone came to the door, saw the fire, and, without giving it a second thought, came outside and stomped out the fire. A firefighting act that invariably sent the warmed dog poop splattering in every direction.
When you’re a kid getting adults to, well, look foolish, is not always the easiest mission to undertake. Except for Gate Night.
On Gate Night, the kids ruled!