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I am the oldest of three brothers and as with all ‘older brothers’ in the human race I loved teasing my siblings with every chance that manifested. AND as consequences would have it, there were plenty of times when I reaped what I had sown but in retrospect I am satisfied that it was well worth it!

I had a knack for telling the ‘youngins’ tales that they would believe even after scrutiny and being told I was full of BS. Maybe the universe was on my side with the rugrats or maybe we were all getting a lesson.

One fine Halloween, I was put in charge of pumpkin carving which was a traditional act in my family. Pumpkins were never wasted – seeds were roasted and salted and some excellent pumpkin pies were the result of all the mess and bother. There were of course traditional family stories connected to Halloween many of which my brothers had not yet heard which gave me an edge.

My brothers always loved this task and I decided to make a fun event (cough, cough) out of it by making my bro’s favorite lunch complete with hotdogs with all the fixings, a can of Coke and some chocolate cookies for dessert.

I called the kids and as usual they were slow getting to the table for their food. Usually this was the fault of the older of the two who always found a reason to drag the other one into some imaginative play. Yes, he had ‘potential’. The younger one had no excuse but always figured his older sibling would take the rap for what they had done and that he was safe.

As I watched them from the kitchen window, I saw then throwing rocks over the hedge between our yard and the neighbor’s yard. The game apparently was to hit our neighbor’s newly carved pumpkins which he had left on his picnic table before transferring them to his front porch. They were having a grand time with each hit “on the big one” and I figured I had better call them in in short order. I called them once again using my stern voice as my plan was now ready to be launched.

They finally came to the table and sat down talking excitedly about the pumpkin craving they would soon be enjoying. The older brother sat down exclaiming, “Oh boy! Hotdogs!”

When he looked at his plate his face dropped.

“Hey?” he proclaimed.

I was busy doing dishes at the sink and turned around in my wily way and addressed him.

“What is it?” I asked.

“My hotdog had a big bite out of it!” “There is a dirty old pumpkin seed in my bun too!” he complained.

Sure enough his hotdog did indeed have a big bite out of it.

“Very funny,” he said to me accusingly.

“I didn’t touch your hotdog.” I replied.

The younger had an extremely disgruntled look on his face.

“You didn’t give me a hotdog. All I have is an empty bun with mustard and ketchup,” he whined.

I pretended to inspect his bun and scratched my head for effect.

“This is strange. Let me get you some hotdogs.”

I cleared away their dishes and gave them each ‘new’ hotdogs.

The younger immediately began eating his lunch but the older brother was skeptical.

“I am not eating that,” he said

“Why not?” I asked.

“Cuz you are tricking us again.”

“Dude – it’s a hot dog, your favorite, if you don’t want it I’ll eat it.” I replied.

And I did.

“Give me one!!!” he demanded in an annoying voice.

And I did.

“This hotdog had a bite out of it!!!” he yelled.

“Well!” I said, “What were you two doing before you came in here?”

The younger brother slouched in his seat and cowered.

“Just playing,” The older retorted.

“Oh really? What were you throwing over the hedge?”

With that the younger immediately spewed out the whole rock throwing affair.

“Did you hit any pumpkins?” I asked seriously.

Reluctantly they both told me they had hit the biggest pumpkin.

“OH NO!” I exclaimed in disbelief, “The BIG ONE???”

Neither of them said anything but sat there wide-eyed.

“I sure hope you didn’t do what I think you did especially since we are having hotdogs for lunch!”

Now, they were really wide-eyed.

“Don’t you know about the Spirit of Halloweenie?” I asked quietly.

They both shook their heads.

“Let me explain – it is an evil spirit that possesses craved pumpkins and looks for boys who do bad things. Halloweenie loves hot dogs too. He follows the smell of them cooking and if there are boys doing bad things he hones right in on it. That must be what happened.”

The older brother forced himself to be brave.

“Well he can have my dumb hotdog. Besides what else can he do? Huh? You’re making it up!!!”

“Legend has it that if he smells hotdogs and eats them he will come back and get whoever did something bad. No one knows exactly what he does but it isn’t good. You know he is coming if you hear a loud knock at the door after your hotdog has been eaten. Then you better pray”

“You are full of sh*t!” the older yelled.

At that moment there was a loud bang at the backdoor.

The kids took off running with the speed of light.

Our father walked in the back door struggling with a large box that he had banged into the door.

He walked in and looked around questioningly.

“Where are the kids?” he asked.

“I think they are praying,” I answered.

Dad cracked a big grin after seeing the half eaten hotdogs.

“Halloweenie?” he asked.

Moral: The Universe works in wonderous synchronous ways.

Tipping my hat off to ya!