First, this isn’t about reminding anyone that Halloween is my birthday. I know the subtitle of my blog includes the term ‘self-aggrandizing’ but I’m just not self-centered enough to bother with sticking a random birthday reminder into a serious post about Halloween.
Now, show of hands, how many people have already gotten costumes for their kids? Go ahead, raise your hand, I’m watching.
Okay, so I’m just going to assume that those of you that didn’t raise your hands are irresponsible parents or simply not parents. For the rest of you I have to ask, did you buy a costume for Halloween or one for Elmo’s Candy Begging Day?
I know I’m repeating myself from last year’s Halloween post, but I am firmly of the opinion that Halloween is the night for scary stuff. Costumes should be of the undead and those who work closely with them. Monsters are acceptable, if barely. Monsters that are of a well-known variety of puppets that also include a famous frog and pig do not count as acceptable. Monsters are not monsters if they aren’t scary, no matter what the books ‘The Monster at the End of This Book’ and ‘Another Monster at the End of This Book’ have to say on the subject.*
I’m sorry, but I just can’t take the threat of a Trick seriously from a kid dressed as Rapunzel. I mean I am particularly easy to annoy with children whining and screaming, but I’m sorely tempted to see just what Trick a six-year-old girl in a wig that’s tripping her every third step can do that would annoy me.
To be clear, I am talking about Trick or Treating, not Trick for Treating. I don’t know what those people in places like Des Moines were thinking. I understand making the kids say ‘Trick or Treat.’ to earn their loot, but asking them to juggle or do cartwheels? Honestly, I don’t want to spend the time to watch each kid who comes to my door perform and then act like I was impressed. I like the simple mechanics of:
Munchkin01 yells ‘Trick or Treat’.
Munchkin01 takes candy and runs off to repeat mechanics at next door.
Performing some trick means I get to know the kid a little better. Maybe I’m mean or maybe it’s just my Asperger’s, but I really don’t want to know your kid. Let’s just say I don’t go particularly out of my way to make nice with OPKs.(Other People’s Kids.)
Back to my point. If the tradition is that we dress as scary things to fool the evil spirits, then exactly how does dressing as a princess, a football player or a red earless teddy bear accomplish this?
There are other scary things out there if you want to be creative. Last year I went as a Mime. My wife went as Sarah Palin. Both are quite scary, right? Okay, so political scary things require the right audience. maybe your particular audience is more scared by Barack Obama in his second term.
If you’ve already purchased a costume, ask yourself this: How could I zombify it?
So, to further the return of Halloween to its roots, I propose this: Give extra candy to the scary costumed munchkins. Make an extra point of voicing appreciation for scary costumed munchkins. I’m not saying to withhold treats from the Disney costumed kids, just give them less or save the popcorn balls for them. You know, popcorn balls, the cheap treat you hand out to claim participation, knowing full well that they are going straight to the trash when the responsible parents check the kids’ candy sacks.
Whether you embrace Halloween as the day when the veil between the worlds of the dead and the worlds of the living weakens or as a thinly veiled Elmo’s Candy Begging Day, have a Happy Halloween.
* For more Amazon links, check out my Currently Available Published Works tab at the top of this page. I should be adding to that list here shortly.
PS. if you see a cute little redheaded butterfly with lights on her wings, give her extra candy. I could probably argue how every butterfly represents the death of a caterpillar, but let’s skip that part. My wife saw a butterfly costume online while we were in the process of hatching the 3 million butterflies we raised this year and had a momentary lack of self-control. The 3 million is an exaggeration, I think there were only a couple hundred. Okay maybe about thirty.