Oct 31 2008

Halloween (now)!

Published by at 3:03 am under I Don't Get It,Why?!?

If you were a little kid in the 70s, or even up to the mid 80s, you probably have similar Halloween memories to mine. You would start planning your costume around November 3rd shortly after eating five pillowcases filled with candy over the previous three days and when Halloween finally did roll around you would trick-or-treat for hours. I easily, without exaggeration, walked about 140 miles while trick or treating each Halloween. Keep in mind, if my costume called for it I would walk these long miles in bare feet (i.e. barefoot hobo, barefoot zombie, barefoot cowboy, barefoot Batman).

My parents would remove the window from the front door to more easily hand out candy to the never-ending line of trick-or-treaters who would show up on our stoop all night until they finally were forced to turn the porch light off at 10:30 or 11:00. They always, ALWAYS, ran out of candy and my dad would quickly drive to the store to buy more.

It was Halloween motherfucker and it fucking RULED!

Sadly, tragically really, those days are over. Last year I moved to a house after living in an apartment the city for 15 years and I was ready for a long night of answering the door to a chorus of little voices screaming “TRICK-OR-TREAT” in unison but the doorbell rang twice, exactly TWICE! First, four cute little kids dressed as Spidermen and princesses rang my bell, YAY! Then an hour later two teens dressed as two teens rang the the bell and demanded candy. Happy fucking Halloween.

I ran into my 9 year old neighbor today and asked if she was excited about Halloween. She shrugged. I asked what she was dressing up as and she said “we are not allowed to dress up at our school.” I curled up into a ball and cried until my tears formed a puddle around me.

I know I sound like an old man complaining about “my day” but come on, what’s the deal? I know what the deal is, parents think their kids are going to be poisoned or razor bladed or whatever. This fear is baseless and not anchored by fact whatsoever. Creepy loners don’t put razor blades in apples and they don’t hand out poisoned candy. It just does not happen.

I honestly feel sad for these kids. Halloween was second only to Christmas when I was growing up. Maybe someone should create an “Extreme Trick-or-Treat” game for Xbox so kids can sit at home on their fat asses all night.

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12 comments so far

12 comments to “Halloween (now)!”

  1. Kaotiksymphonyon 31 Oct 2008 at 8:39 am

    I couldn’t agree more, I love Halloween, it’s my favorite day of the year, I always dress up to go to work, sadly there are just a few people out of the 3000 that work in my building who does…
    My neighborhood is also totally boring, it’s full of kids but no one gives out candy, so we have to take the kids to a different neighborhood to go trick or treating…

    Where has the Halloween spirit gone people? so sad…

  2. You Just Made My List!on 31 Oct 2008 at 9:47 am

    I think the reason it is still so popular with adults my age is because we have such fond memories of Halloween. Kids today don’t know what they are missing.

  3. SanFranon 31 Oct 2008 at 12:01 pm

    I grew up on Cape Cod, and yes – Halloween was a big deal for kids and parents both. I still have great memories of my uncle next door and my dad battling it out every Halloween – he’d come over and put shaving creme on the screens, my dad would retaliate with his barbasol can or some other tactic.. One year, my dad waited in the bushes with the hose. That was the end of that!

    When I went to college in the northern reaches of Vermont, I was shocked.. SHOCKED with just how big Halloween was there – talk about a community event – literally, hundreds of kids, costumed to the nines, parading endlessly up and down the streets.

    After college, I lived in a number of places including Manchester, NH, Lowell MA and come halloween, hey – where’d it go? We did have some epic parties in the old Funeral Home mansion we lived in though. Then, I moved out of urbania and lived about 30 miles NW of Boston in a little farm town, not unlike Vermont – but my house was on a dirt road, named Old Lantern Lane, with no lights, that dead ended at Lost Lake.. When we were kids, we’d have been ALL OVER THAT SHIT – extra spooky bonus points for the hard to find shadowlands.

    Now, we’re in San Francisco, and it’s great to have the celebration of families back. We sit on our front steps, the whole neighborhood, drink wine, confabulate and hand out like a million bits of candy.

    I think that it comes down to a trust factor. Here in SFO, people know their neighbors, make eye contact, and by and large, have a firm sense of community. I do often wonder where ‘trust’ wandered off to – perhaps down some unlit road that dead-ended at a dark, cold lake, never to be seen, at least until some hapless fisherman drinking PBR from a can dredges it up one sultry august night.

  4. guilty noodleson 31 Oct 2008 at 3:37 pm

    My kids start talking about Halloween in August… then the catalogs of costumes roll in and they pour over them to decide which one (they prefer store bought than handmade).

    Last year, we not only had a TON of teenagers (most of them not dressed up), but a mom came to the door with her purse open, begging for treats. She came around a second time an hour later. And another teenager complained I didn’t have any gum!

    What’s with global warming ruining Halloween this year? My three year old is going to be a purple dragon (full on fleece costume, with mittens and hood) and he’s going to boil to death!

  5. You Just Made My List!on 31 Oct 2008 at 3:42 pm

    I think kids are lucky today. I seem to remember freezing rain almost every Halloween when I was a kid. One year I wore a homemade papier mache mummy head and thanks to the rain it just turned to a soggy, gluey mess on my head. There still was no chance of me taking it off, I was committed to Halloween!

  6. Paul in Saint Paulon 31 Oct 2008 at 4:02 pm

    Well, the elementary school where I work allows dressing up, which is mostly fun, but it’s not so fun to see 11-year-old girls wearing the slut costume versions of Little Red Riding Hood and Dorothy from Oz, not to mention the standard naughty French maid in fishnet and high heels. When did this unfun shit trickle down from bad college parties? In contrast, my favorite costume today was a girl dressed as a swashbuckler. (They can’t have weapons, so sadly, there was no sword.) Also, we’re not allowed to have candy, so the kids gorged on pizza and every salty snack imaginable. They’ll be even fatter as a result, but with a greater likelihood of high blood pressure. I agree: Halloween just isn’t what it used to be.

  7. You Just Made My List!on 31 Oct 2008 at 4:14 pm

    Paul, Seriously? Kids wear slutty costumes at that age. That’s so creepy. I also think it’s funny that they can’t have candy but are encouraged to stuff their fat, slutty faces with pizza.

  8. Neishon 31 Oct 2008 at 7:59 pm

    I use to go out and trick or treat and bring my neighbours’ kids with me as a favor to their parents and a way for me to get free candy without being the only like 18 year old still doing the rounds.

    But now I’m at university and all they do here is take their mini skittles and dump them into their vodka drinks and celebrate that way.

    I miss dressing up and actually doing trick or treat or going to Boo at the Zoo 🙁

  9. mary-sueon 01 Nov 2008 at 4:55 am

    I did heavy duty trick or treating as a a kid until I was about ten, and my hyporeligiois parents decided that celebrating halloween was devil worship and we were banned.

    I dressed up tonight for the first time in 12 years. I made a jack-o-lantern and dug my hands into goopy pumpkin innards. I got free candy.

    My inner ten-year-old is squealing with happiness.

  10. rxon 01 Nov 2008 at 11:12 am

    that is super sad. NOT ALLOWED to dress up!? what the hell! i would wear costumes to school all the way through the month of october. we all did! my sister and i would trick or treat through 3 different neighbourhoods and run around with our friends and jump in leaf piles on quick breaks from candy-gorging.

    i’m STILL totally obsessed with halloween — i do the rocky horror picture show and that’s where the grown-ups who love halloween go. the costumes were incredible and i chucked candy into the audience during ‘science fiction double feature’ and they were going crazy trying to get some. these were grown-ups that were halloween loving kids.

    halloween needs to be a statutory holiday.

  11. Bennon 02 Nov 2008 at 12:30 am

    Halloween doesn’t suck.
    There are still parents that let their kids go out by themselves and get candy. For example: Maysville MO. If you drive around on Halloween night there, you’re going to be traveling for about an hour to go across town (less than a mile). I go all out there at my grandmother’s house. Spiderwebs; dead bodies on the roof and in the trees; me, hiding under vehicles scaring all the people that come by; all of it. Halloween can still be fun.
    And besides, you’ve got to be in a house for a little while and get to know some of the people in the neighborhood before the kids will go to your house for the kandy. At least, that’s how it was with me and the apartment I live in.

  12. awesomejaredon 01 Nov 2011 at 12:07 am

    I just got out of high school, and i never grew up in the 70’s, but I’m pretty sure Halloween SUCKS nowadays. When I was a Freshman, I went out until midnight (being my first all-night skirmish on the candy), and I went with a group of my friends. Tainted by all of my very early Halloween nights, I was ready to turn in by 8:30, and most of my friends were too. The ones that didn’t want to turn in (the cool kids) encouraged me to stay out longer. By the end of the night, all of the early kids, including myself, I might shamefully add, were ready and willing to throw ourselves down onto the bed and go to sleep.
    That was in 2006.
    I went trick or treating with my little cousin tonight and finally decided that Halloween is very close to the end of its days, due to all of the kids that are kept inside at home because of the razor apples and poisoned candy.
    Oh, and by the way, the razor apples and poisoned candy really do happen. Maybe not where you live, but where I live (the epitome of suburbia) it happens all the time.