Dynamic Duos and “The Guy with the Hoe”


Today makes seventeen halloweens. And I have very little to do with any of it.  I’m now the comfy lady who comes to the door and gives out candy.

But for the years when I was in charge of costuming, I loved dressing my kids as dynamic duos for Halloween.
Mario and Luigi, Buzz and Woody, Ketchup and Mustard, and my favorite – Batman and Robin. In the rankings of birth order, it would have made sense that Tuck would be Batman and Tyler would be Robin, but they didn’t have a Robin costume in a size 3T.  So the little one got to be Batman, and I did not consider the ramifications.

Tucker told me this morning that he believes this photo documents when it all began: when Tyler decided he would be the real hero, and he deemed Tucker to be his sidekick.  It starts early.

This year, Tyler is Shaggy, and Huckleberry is his Scooby Doo. Tuck will be dressed as a Chick-Fil-A employee tonight, complete with working an actual shift. Because costumes come and go, but eventually the car insurance payment comes due.  Joke’s on you, Shaggy.  The Chick-Fil-A employee can buy his own candy this year.

There were some dark years when Tyler was obsessed with the Grim Reaper. Except he was little and couldn’t remember the word scythe, so he kept asking me to let him be “that guy with a hoe.”

Just take a minute with that.

Every year, starting around September 29, he started campaigning to be the messenger of death (a.k.a the guy with the hoe).img_3821  In turn, I would ask him to please think of almost any other invention of himself. He began his arguments, I began my rebuttals, and we entered the annual autumn dance that I did not love.

When Peter entered stage left in the great love story of our lives, he asked me one night, so casually, “So, what’s this about? What does he want?”

“Oh, this happens every year. He wants to be the Grim Reaper again.”

“And you don’t want him to?”

“Not especially, no. There are just so many other choices, and I don’t love that one.”

He nodded his head, and I thought he had heard and understood me.

At dinner that night, Peter said, “Tyler, I love the idea of the Grim Reaper. I think you’d be a great one.”

Tyler perked up with great interest, and I gave Peter the side eye of great betrayal.

Peter said, “I will totally make that happen for you. In fact, what a great chance for you to study acting. You just have to follow some simple steps to get into character. I’ll tell you what: let’s get all the Grim Reaper movies, and we’ll have a movie marathon this weekend. You can study the character, his actions and gestures, motivations, and then you can really embrace the integrity of the role.”

Silence from the Reaper-to-be.

Then Tyler said, “Peter. Do you even know me? I would have nightmares for days.”

“Pal, you would have nightmares for years. But if this is who you want to be, if this is the character you want to play, then we can make it happen.”

It was the end of the discussion. And Tyler has never again asked to be “the guy with the hoe.”

Tricia Lott Williford

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  1. Hey Tricia, I always appreciate your posts and read almost every one. In case you have a webhelper, I wanted to give you a heads up that when I read your posts on my phone, there’s some weird coding at the very top. I took a screenshot that I can send you if I can find your email.

    • Yeah, I’m seeing the code issue in the menu on desktop as well, Chrome browser. Disappeared when it went to a new page to leave a comment.

  2. Well played, Peter!

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