What Not to Do on a Hayride

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By Maddie Sokoloski

As the bitter cold of the October air nipped at my bare legs protruding from my scratchy skirt, I walked from the last house offering trick-or-treat candy.  Quickly, I scurried, alongside my three siblings and three of our friends to my mom’s car.  The seven of us jumped into it, hoping for some refuge from the chill. We shut the doors with a snap, leaving the cold breeze to tap at the doors and leave its frosty breath on the windows.

“Let’s go to trunk-or-treat,” my mom said as she drove us from the house.  We cheered with excitement.  

In my hometown, we have an event on Halloween called trunk-or-treat.  After we go trick-or-treating, we go to the parking lot of a building in town.  There, we always find a dozen or so cars with trunks wide open, handing out goodies to the kids. Year after year we discover the same people; stingy folk who always give us nuts or apples instead of candy, people with full blown haunted houses in the trunks of their cars, even some firemen with their truck who hand out chocolate and fire safety coloring pages.

After making our way through the rows of vehicles, the trick-or-treat‘s and thank you‘s ringing from our chorus of mouths, we went inside to warm ourselves up and bring our numb fingers back to life.  My mother got herself a cup of coffee, causing us to turn up our noses with disgust.  We searched through the buffet of drinks and desserts set up on the table (as if we needed more sugar.) After tearing through an impossible amount of sugar cookies and orange soda, we went outside to wait for the return of the hayride.

When it arrived, a cluster of people climbed down from the trailer so the next group of people could get on.  Within that group was the seven of us, some kids we recognized from school, and an assortment of bored parents accompanying kids who were too little to ride by themselves. Once everyone was in the trailer and sitting patiently on hay bales that tickled my legs, we set off.  A few kids waved at their parents, some people cheered, and the adults still looked incredibly bored.  

Until that day, I had never been on a hayride.  So I didn’t have prior experience to know that hayrides are incredibly boring. Usually, people go on hayrides to go sightseeing, look at parts of a town they never bothered to explore.  We, on the other hand, grew up in our tiny town and everyone had already seen it. It was too dark out to see anyway, so we decided to have some fun.

That’s when the screaming started.  

My siblings, our friends, and I started yelling our hearts out singing songs from various TV shows and infomercials. We sang the theme song from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, even though we only knew one line of the song. We repeated those same four words over and over again, much to the annoyance of all the unfortunate parents.  

‘Shut up!” screamed a boy who went to school with my sister.  She stuck her tongue out at him and sang louder.  He stuck his fingers in his ears and tried to yell louder than us, beginning his endless loop of “lalalalalala.”

Ten minutes later we got off of the hayride, everyone practically ran away from us, shooting dirty looks as they did.  The seven of us hopped off peacefully and walked over to find my mom.  We told her about the hayride, each of us interrupting the others.  When we got to the end of the story my mom looked appalled with our behavior.  Gathering up our candy, we left pretty soon after that.

We were never allowed on that hayride again.

Maddie Sokoloski is a Sophomore at Barbara Ingram School for the Arts

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