Attack of the Little People
I just survived an evening of being harassed by short people pounding on my door and demanding free food. And now have to wonder about many things.
My first thought is: why aren’t the Republicans all over this? As a group they’ve been enthusiastically attacking what they call “entitlements,” demanding an end to handouts (to people, not corporations). No welfare. No Social Security. No Medicare.
Really, what bigger handout is there than Halloween? Millions and millions of people across the country just showing up at doors with their hands out (literally). At house after house they shout the same intimidating demand: “Trick or treat.”
If the Republicans seriously think that entitlements are bankrupting our country, they need to jump on this. After all, have you seen the price of a bag of decent candy? Free candy is probably the gateway to a life of dependency on the public dole. Children are learning in their cribs that they don’t have to work hard and earn their own way, all they have to do is show up and people will give them stuff. That is not the American Way. And think about the cost of the health issues related to all that sugar! (Especially without a national health care system.)
So Cantor and Boehner can proselytize and look for photo-ops with kids gone wild while Paul Ryan gives a Power Point presentation which establishes once and for all that he really is a battery-operated Ken doll.
Meanwhile (and before they stamp out the tradition) I’ve learned that people who choose to participate need a refresher on the basic rules governing the process called “Trick or Treating.”
1. You must wear a costume. Merely showing up and holding out a sack is referred to as extortion or theft by intimidation.
2. Is a corollary of #1. If you think you don’t need to wear a costume then you are too old to be trick or treating. (Or if you are over the age of fifteen).
3. Dressing infants, toddlers, and pets in costume might be cute but it does not entitle them to candy, especially when it will likely choke them because they have no teeth yet. Age minimums apply (see #4 below which indicates probably at least age 4 – perhaps age 3 if sufficiently precocious).
4. Unless you are old enough to easily climb my front steps, ring the doorbell, and shout “Trick or treat!” by yourself, you are too young to be trick or treating. (And it is not all right for your parent or sibling to ask for candy for you as you sit in a stroller on the sidewalk unless you are disabled and my front door is not accessible.) Please note I did NOT say children should not be escorted by an adult. So please don’t send me lots of angry comments telling me I’m a crazy person for saying so. I may be a crazy person but it’s not for that reason. In fact, I think all children require adult supervision on Halloween. It might prevent some of the things I mention in numbers 7 and 9 below.
5. Parents, please try to guide your children toward appropriate costume choices which are also not poor role models. “Hooker,” “Sexy Anything,” and “Gangbanger” come to mind. (Just so you know, real gangbangers don’t usually wear boxers covered with pink cupids. ) And refusing to drop $50 on a costume they will never wear again is not a bad thing.
6. Look for and use doorbells. Merely tapping at the door will reduce your take for the night. As will not waiting for more than a nanosecond for someone to respond. Grownups are not only hard of hearing, they are slow. It might take us 3 to 5 seconds to get to the door. Unless we have a butler. Who would open the door more quickly but you’d never know because if we were rich enough to have a butler you wouldn’t be at the door because the gates would be closed and the hounds would be out.
7. If the house is one where the adults are insane, meaning they left a huge bowl of candy on the porch with a “take one” sign next to it, only take one. Yes, I know the adults are insane but it’s probably because they had children. And yes, I know it’s unfair to a young child whose character has not yet been tempered sufficiently to develop the necessary strength to resist such an irresistible temptation. Resist anyway. Taking more than one is wrong. And you never know if the residents are hiding, waiting for a greedy child to grab the bowl, causing a trap door to open and sending the hapless victim to his or her doom because all those Grimm stories had to come from someplace.
8. “Thank you” or “No thank you” are much better choices that “I don’t like that kind.”
9. Do not kill the pumpkins. You know who you are and you know what I mean: snatching poor, unsuspecting jack-o-lanterns off people’s porches and smashing them in the street. They aren’t yours. Leave them be, even if they are shrinking and turning black.
10. Homeowners: this is Halloween. If you choose to participate (which is completely up to you but if not be sure to turn off all the lights so the kids won’t know you’re really home and just being a cheap bastard) for crying out loud get some decent candy. (I’m talking the good stuff not those bargain bags of Tootsie Rolls® and Sweetarts® – which, not surprisingly, is what our governor passes out.)