Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Cancelling Halloween

The fallout from the October Blizzard is not all from the trees.  And trust me, this was a real blizzard.  12 full inches in Worcester between midday Saturday and early morning Sunday.  Around 3am the power went off.  The tree that did it still lies across Old Lancaster Rd, tangled up in its wires.  It was a long night by lantern light here at Del Boca Vista.

The towns of WoCo have cancelled their Trick or Treating, citing darkness and danger.  We can’t have that on this Night of Spooky Nights.

My argument is not about cancelling some Holiday I don’t care about.  It is truly dark and the sidewalks (if we had them) are all splintery.  What had me scratching my head was the notion that the city owned Trick or Treating to start with.

Ron-Swanson-620Is this something I wasn’t aware of when I was a candy beggar?  Or was this another corner of Nat’rl By-God Amerrca that we went and legislated?
If I trust my American History to Vincente Minnelli, then I know that Trick or Treating was invented by Edwardian hooligans armed with flour, and led by a fearsome Margaret O’Brien (dressed, of course, as a hobo).  It is the holiday when children run the streets dragging gunny sacks of hard candies, and the occasional dead cat which Huck and Tom could bring back to life with an incantation.  Teenage sleuths solved mysteries and creepy neighbor houses came creaking to life!  I also believed in a world where the society of children began their day at a tribunal called the bus stop.  So I don’t know what goes on anymore.

I did notice when towns began designating Trick or Treat day.  “We’re having ours on Friday,” say the neighbors, or heaven help us, Saturday afternoon in broad daylight.  The only think more senseless than Trick or treating in a COAT is Trick or treating in SUNGLASSES.  If Halloween were on a Saturday, you outlasted the last porch lights, you candied yourself into a stupor, you stumbled into church the next day looking (for once) like every one else blinking in the bright stained glass light.  If it was a Wednesday, it was the peak of the week.  The cafeteria had cupcakes.  If it was Friday, and you were on the brink of your teenhood, you had to choose between the last damn free thing in life…. or the football game.

So who is this Sanctioned Date rule for – you can only go door to door for candy on this designated day?  Or you can only GIVE CANDY TO STRANGE CHILDREN on this designated day?  (Here is your requisite Straight Dope look-up on candy in need of xrays).  So, if kids show up at my door on October 14th yelling Trick or Treat, can I throw the book at them?  Is it a misdemeanor or a felony to leave my porch light on with a plastic pumpkin full of “fun size” through December?

This is a moot argument.  I haven’t given out candy since before the turn of the century.  Kids pulled up in cars.  It gave me fits. 

hobo party  Hobos are awesome.


  1. I also gave up on Halloween treats at the front door when the "kids" were bigger/taller than me and driving their own cars!! I try not to be at home because my 'automatic' lights come on when my front door is approached and the doorbell keeps ringing. Sometimes it is best to plan an alternative party for the kids as many churches in the area did this year. Happy November 1. M

  2. It was spooktacular here. Had three - yes, one, two, three - 12 to 13 year olds, one of whom assured me that yes, he did have a mask. Foolish me, I said, "Hey? no costumes?" A complete bust. Did I remember to mention it poured rain.

    So, I guess the Trunk or Treat participants last Saturday lucked out. Halloween just ain't what it used to be!

  3. Out here the kids trick-or-treat in droves, each child accompanied by both parents. The safety precautions taken (in 1% neighborhoods) are astonishing. Both the kids AND the parents wear glow sticks, often matching and the crowds are noteworthy. One parent waits at the end of the driveway while the other parent goes to the door with the child. Of the precautions, one parent shrugged and said "Hey, it's a pedophile's Christmas." --


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