Tonight is Halloween. For those of you unfamiliar with the holiday it’s a beautiful time of year where small children are encouraged to pretend to be someone else and come to the homes of strangers and ask for candy.
Ironically the other 364 days of the year we spend telling children NOT to take candy from strangers, especially ones that have a corpse or bloody appendages on their front porch.
Hey it’s never too early to prepare kids for the phenomenon of mixed messages and confusion to all things adult as we usher them into their puberty. It will be a bitter sweet night for the wife and I as for the first time in 16 years we had neither our son or 12 yr old daughter to walk the blocks with as they collected enough goodies to keep dentists in business for years to come.
(On a side note they say the Celts invented Halloween and after a little research I found out the “Celt” is an ancient Gallic word meaning “ cavity creators”.)
Our kids are with friends this time and so we will sit on the porch and wait for the kids to come up and seek to reap their reward. As much as the missus and I don’t have in a lot in common generally in this one thing we were united; No one got even one tootsie roll without uttering the magic phrase, “Trick or Treat”.
Last year many kids would come up to us not saying a word and simply open their bags as though we were obligated to give them their desires. It’s like the holiday version of teaching kids that entitlements are part of being American.
It’s bad enough that the holiday implied that if you don’t give us candy there will be hell to pay, but now these narcissists believe even following through with the ritual of saying 3 words is too much to ask.
As they stood there we would ask “what do you have to say” and normally the response was …”uhhh, please?..no thank you?…even a couple “happy Halloween!”
It took them a few moments to get it and normally I would start it with a “ tri..tri…trick…?” like I was trying to coax something legible from someone who had suffered a brain trauma and was only now realizing they weren’t Scandinavian.
Eventually they would say “Trick or treat” and we would feel like we had actually contributed something beautiful to society by keeping not only tradition alive, but also common courtesy. My next assignment is to try to get their parents to use their turn signals. A much more difficult task and one where perhaps a rotting corpse or a dancing skeleton may actually come in handy!
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