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Sandy Creates Some Very Confused Adults

 I got the call from my soccer teammate soon after the power came back on Wednesday morning. He’s got two young kids and he’s divorced, so he needs to schedule his weekends carefully.

“Hey buddy, what do you know about Halloween?” he asked. (It was only after asking this that he told me about the pine tree that almost crushed his house.)

Well, my kids are older, and in 12 years living on a busy road in New Jersey we’ve never had a single visitor on Halloween night, so trick-or-treating wasn’t exactly on my mind. I was still waiting to hear from my partners up in Basking Ridge and Hackettstown, who hadn’t gotten power and cell service back up, and probably wouldn’t until after this weekend.

But then I thought about my friend’s young kids, and realized it was October 31. So, given the luxury of power and a hi-speed router, I consulted the almighty Google. And found almost nothing. It was like Halloween didn’t exist. I called my friend back and let him know I’d ask around.

Later that day came what for a school kid must be devastating news: Halloween had been postponed. Governor Christie signed an executive order officially moving Halloween to Monday, Nov. 5. And one-by-one, the various NJ townships made declarations about whether they’d abide by the order. My town of Hopewell fell in line that afternoon.

I called my buddy. Since his ex-wife was going to have the kids this weekend, he got to tell his kids that, when he got them back on Monday, he’d be able to take them trick-or-treating.

But then PSE&G repaired some of the lines, and on Thursday half of the township was back up. And that spawned the rumor than folks were going to take their kids out on Friday night. I called my buddy and let him know that HIS WIFE would by taking them trick-or-treating.

But then, when we got the call from the school district cancelling school on Friday (completing Sandy’s full-school-week-wipeout) the message also reinforced that the town was still officially following the Governor’s mandated schedule. I called my buddy and let him know that HE would be taking his kids trick-or-treating on Monday.

And then, this morning, yet another announcement came that, since PSE&G was anticipating restoring power to the rest of town today, perhaps Halloween might be on Saturday night after all. I called my buddy and asked him to stand by for an announcement.

You want to understand Sandy’s devastation? OK, explain this to a kid: Halloween won’t happen tonight, because the adults need to keep you safe. It’ll be next week, so you’ll go with your dad. (I know it’s hard, but the Governor says so.) Oh, wait, forget what I said, your mom will take you tomorrow night! (Yay, get your costumes ready.) But then again, no, the school district just postponed it again, so it’s with your dad, next week. (There, there, you’ve got to be patient.) Unless – hey, the power’s back up! – it’s tomorrow! (That is of course unless we hear on Saturday that it can’t go on.)

Watching the adults deal with Sandy must be just plain scary.

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