Mischief night was often better than Halloween, which was usually spent trying to keep the damn mask on straight so I could see where the hell I was going. I certainly couldn’t see into the pillowcase (no plastic pumpkins for this boy!), even when I had to dig out the UNICEF box.
But Mischief Night was street clothes and full permission to go out armed to the teeth with toilet paper, ivory soap, Crazy Foam (my dad used Noxzema cream to shave so we never had a handy can of shaving cream around). We were not hooligans in the distruction sense; eggs were not allowed, nor spray paint, nor aqnything that required any sort of ignition from matches. IN the morning it was always kewl to head out fro school to see the trees festooned in white (not snow, thank you), as if every single tree in the neighborhood was the victim of a demented MayPole dance gone awry.
Then of course there was soaping up the car windows. Most of the smarter neighbors locked their cars in the garage but for the faithful, unwise or just plain ignorant there was the vigorous application of Ivory Soap (pretty much of a bitch to clean off at 7 AM on a frosty October Morning)(I apologize for being so parenthetical here) and Crazy Foam which looked kewl going on but usually disintegrated by sunrise.
The primary suburban Mischief Night activity, though was the ringing of the bells…doorbells that is. See this was the sixties and even though the world was in it’s birth pangs of chaotic upheaval, this was a mostly innocent time. We weren’t setting people’s dogs on fire, or smashing windows or pouring dirt and sugar into gas tanks (kids don’t try this at home).
Naturally there was always one hot head neighbor who chased the kids, swearing, because his car was soaped, not realizing that his tirade would earn him additional visits once things had settled down a bit.
AHHH…those wacky 60’s