The Mathematics of Halloween When Your Dad Uses a Wheelchair

“I’ve got an awesome idea for trick-or-treating this year,” I say to my 9-year-old as I roll into our kitchen, home from work.

“What’s that?” she asks, always eager to talk about Halloween.

“We’re going to go get me a costume,” I say, taking off my jacket, putting it on an empty kitchen chair.

“Cool – what are you going to dress up as?” she asks, pulling out her chair, sitting at the dinner table.

“I don’t know,” I say, “but here’s the kicker: I’ll dress up in a costume, and when you go up to the doors trick-or-treating, you point to me and say, ‘My brother is in a wheelchair, and he needs candy, too.’”

“I can’t do that,” she says.

“Why not?” I ask, pulling up to my spot at the table.

“Because it’s wrong,” she says, smiling.

“You’re the kid knocking on doors, asking strangers for candy – now that’s wrong,” I say. “Didn’t your mother teach you not to take candy from strangers?”

She tilts her head and just glares at me.

“Come on, it’s brilliant,” I say. “If we dress me up, too, we can get the same amount of candy in half of the time, or twice as much candy in the same amount of time as last year – it’s a math thing. And, some people might feel bad for me, your poor brother in a wheelchair, and give us double dips of candy – we could get exponential amounts of candy then.”

“Mom, Daddy’s trying to get me to cheat on Halloween,” she tells my wife who’s standing by the counter, preparing dinner.

My wife walks over to the table, and sets down my plate. “Leave the kid alone, and eat your dinner,” my wife says, always annoyed by my antics.

“Fine, maybe I’ll just go trick-or-treating by myself,” I mumble, looking down at my dinner.

“Good luck getting up the stairs,” my daughter whispers across the table.


Author: Mark E. Smith

The literary side of the WheelchairJunkie

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