200 Words with Paul Dini #37 – Halloween

October 31, 2008

Mr. Adams, the owner of my local toy store, hated three things — toys, kids, and selling toys to kids. That was especially true at Halloween, for he would never allow kids to try on costumes unless they bought them first. “The size listed on the box is the size of the costume.” Adams would sneer. “If you don’t know your size, I can’t help you. No refunds!” Consequently, there were many under or over-sized G.I. Joes and Wonder Women stumbling through Orinda each Halloween, either popping at the seams or gathering their costumes behind them like flame-retardant wedding gowns. One year some kids from my grade school staged a revolt. Storming Adams shop, they tore open costume boxes, quickly scrambled into costumes that fit and made for the door with the screaming shopkeeper hot on their heels. I was told that the sight of Mr. Adams chasing the crowd of tiny Wolf Men, Steve Austins and Sabrina, the Teen-Age witches through the parking lot was something wonderful to see. I know it had a life-altering effect on Mr. Adams as by the next Halloween he had turned our town’s one toy store into a stationary shop.


Paul Dini is the Emmy and Eisner Award winning writer of Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series, Detective Comics, Countdown among many, many other things. You can find him online at either kingofbreakfast.livejournal.com or http://www.jinglebelle.com/.



  1. That was just fantastic

  2. Whatta bastard!

  3. Why would he run this shop if he hated kids so much?  That’s like a diabetic owning a candy shop, who, ever time some one comes into buy candy, chases them with their cane (because the doctors had to amputate their leg) screaming "THis is what candy makes you!  Crippled!  LIKE ME!" 

  4. I truly love the Paul Dini articles of iFanboy.  🙂



    the Tiki 

  5. @CatEyedFox – people are stupid. I was with my dad and my little sister buying her school supplies and I was sent to buy a specific notebook so I went to a store called Bambino which means Little Boy in Italian.

    There was an old guy working there behind the counter and a fat lady helping the customers. I entered that store and went to the notebooks section and looked through them to find that specific notebook and I was right next to the old guy but the fat lady still looked at me like I was going to bolt with a handful of notebooks and  bankrupt them and she was standing in a wy that would assist her to block my getaway. Anyway I searched through the notebooks and couldn’t find it so I put everything back and the old guy yelled at me to put it right and I told him it’s organized and he got mad and huffed and puffed his way to the notebooks and arranged them in some weird system I never understood like someone with OCD.

    I left that shop and never returned… it’s a school supply shop for kids with some toys like those bouncy balls with pictures of Disney characters etc and it’s called Little Boy.

    There are of course other managers and workers of shops that seem to not want you to but there – a post office manager that treated me like an ass and called me a small child (he asked me how old I am to suggest to me not to act like a baby) and a guy and a girl that ran a book store after the great woman that ran for a long time left. They treated you like they are giving you a privilege to but in their shops which is a chain shop and is like any other chain shop – same prices and same selection. They didn’t stay there long…

    This people are out there… 

  6. This story reminds me of a very short Ray Bradbury tale.

    Thanks for another smile, Paul.