So yesterday was Halloween, and though I know I’m too old to trick-or-treat I really get into being trick-or-treated. Or mostly just the giving of treats. No kidding, I’m almost as giddy about it as I think I was about T-or-T’ing when I was a kid! Like the other day I was thinking about what Halloween would be like if I did have a kid, because I’d be a single parent so then I’d have to decide between taking the kid T-or-T’ing or being there for the T-or-T’ers in my neighborhood, and where as most sane people would only think about it for three seconds before automatically knowing that they’d take the kid out for candy I’m the one who starts wondering “who else could I get to take the kid door to door?” because I so hate the idea of being that dark house! That dark, crappy house with no candy at all! Who among us has not hated the dark, crappy house from which we get no candy-joy?
Anyway, I really love Halloween and I rush home after work to light my punchman and make sure the bowl is full and by the door and well-tossed (a sugar-salad, if you will) and to unlock the (normally locked because I never use it because the side door has a carport and so HELLO?) front door and all that stuff. And then I sit and eagerly await the first bing-bong of costumey-goodness!
Last night I realized that part of my love of Halloween is it’s one of my chances to get a barometric reading on our nation’s youth. Here’s how my brain sees it: “if the kids who come to my door on Halloween are mostly cool then we’re all gonna be OK.” And by “we” I mean the whole dang world. And by “mostly cool” I mean clever costumes and they know to yell “Trick or Treat!” and when you say “one each please.” they take ONLY ONE, rather than sneaking 2 or more and forcing me to have to say “Dude, there’s more than one there. Drop the extra, dude.”, and they say thank you and, if they’re VERY cool, they even shout out “Happy Halloween!” as they’re rushing to the next spot. This, to me, is evidence of a well-raised society and proof that we’re all gonna be ok, my friends. It’s a simple theory, but one that works for me.
Based on my criteria I’d say the future looks pretty bright! My groups were very good about saying the right things, I only had to bust 2 over-grabbers (who were pretty young, so I cut them some additional slack) and there were many superheroes, which makes me very happy. More than a few of the grups (grown-ups, for those of you who didn’t watch Star Trek reruns forever, ever, ever) were generous in their praise of my Bert punchman, which made me preen and offer them candy. My favorite costumes were the little kids dressed as Scooby Doo and Daphne (though sadly I was the first person who’d recognized Daphne – what a sad comment on my generation!) and I was ever so glad to see how many of the grups were dressed up too!
Of course, just when you think you’ve received your proof that the future is gonna be excellent, along comes the Douchebag Patrol to poop on the end of my night. Round about 10:30 last night I got a knock (ok, so a POUNDING) on my door and I open it to find 2 high school kids (I’m guessing 16ish?) standing there. They have no costume. They have no bag. They have the lamest, least-inspired “trick or treat” I’ve ever heard. And they’re asking for, nay DEMANDING, that I give them candy! Now I have no rules about “too old” or “too late” – if my punchman is glowing then I’m still open for business, and as long as you have a costume you’ve satisfied my only real requirement for gifts of candy. I’d give a funsized Snickers to a 40-year old investment banker so long as he’s got a pink wig and fishnet stockings on!
However, to quote comedian Greg Behrendt, “is this no-costume-candy-give-away-day?” I don’t think so! I told these hooligans (yes that’s right, I said it. HOOLIGANS! And they were totally hooligany too!) to take a hike, they were not getting my candy. And they fought me about it! Heck, they were incredulous that I would say no! Phrases such as “This bites!” and “Come ON man!” were yelled. Yelled! At my closing door! Like they were somehow entitled to candy just because they didn’t have a car or bike and had to walk home from whatever criminal behavior they’d been enjoying and took the time to knock on a door. With no costume!!
And then, just in case I wasn’t hating these total wankers quite enough, they capped it off by throwing Bert. Busted his noble Bert face right down the middle. Broken Bert. I knew they were gonna do it, but by the time I had the realization he was already sidewalk décor.
So in summary, I think the world’s mostly gonna be ok. But I’ll be our current governmental administration used to roll up on houses w/out costumes and demand candy. And break punchmans. I can totally see them doing that, can’t you?