Night of the living fed.

I don’t know when it happened. But somewhere along the line, I have grown to hate Halloween. In with homeownership and life insurance and utility bills. Out with Lick-M-Aid, UNICEF boxes and caramel apples.

I think this metamorphisis has something to do with all the dreaded adult costume parties I am forced to attend each year, and the $30 worth of candy I know I’ll be handing out to the little ingrates who will rifle through the bowl and take more than one piece.

Lest I officially turn into a crotchety old fuck, I must try to conjure up what Halloween was like when I was eight. The fun-size candy bars. The suffocating plastic masks. The scent of crunchy leaves, popcorn balls and bonfires hanging like heavy canvas in the crisp nighttime air.

Before we all were introduced to Michael Myers or Damien or Carrie, Halloween was innocent and pure. It was one magical night in which we could trot from door to door without having to sell magazines or popcorn. We could all be someone else — a princess, a Stormtrooper, Holly Hobbie, or a hobo. Oh yes, who could forget the dreaded hobo costume. That was the year Mom put off the costume search until October 30th, and all that was left were the XXS costumes.

My older brother and I would run home from school, eager to don our masks. We’d prance around the living room in full regalia, too excited to eat dinner or sit down for even one episode of Sanford and Son. Every chance I got, I’d preen in front of the bathroom mirror, wondering what it would be like if I could only look like Snow White or a Care Bear all the time.

When the blackness finally blanketed the day, we’d cowboy up and head out. None of this 4:00 – 6:00 bullshit you see today. Pansy asses, the whole lot of them. I’m half-tempted to hand out mini toothpastes to anyone who darkens my door before 7:00. Or what about these kids who are hovering at your door just as you’re getting home from work? They deserve apples — sour green apples. The kind that give you the shits that make your bunghole burn.

Candy fiends that we were, my older brother and I would go out for hours. Miniature marauders in masquerade, searching for the sugary booty that was our birthright. When we finally got too cold to go on, or we noticed that only the big kids dressed in black trenchcoats were lurching about, we’d race home.

Once in safe confines, we’d dump out our plastic orange pumpkins to sort out our loot. Snickers, Milky Way, M&M’s — ANYTHING with chocolate was premium. Lifesavers, Tootsie Rolls and candy cigarettes was second tier. Bringing up the rear was the reject candy — Bit O’ Honey, Dum Dums, Sugar Daddies — all ASS. These morsels would be relegated to the bottom of the pumpkin, only to be eaten when all other rations had been inhaled. For most kids, this was well into December.

Upon sorting their candy, all good children would would eat a piece or two, and then hand their pumpkin to Mom for placement atop the fridge. Me, I’d eat all the good stuff, right there in front of the TV as an episode of “That’s INCREDIBLE!” played out. Incredible, indeed.

Yes, it seems the rubber band on my mask had snapped, as did my attempt to stretch my candy supply for more than a few days. I’d be well into Good N’ Plenties before I’d finally plateau and swear off candy for at least another year.

Hmmm. Now that I think about it, maybe my current despise of Halloween isn’t so much dread as it is me coming off a 30-year sugar high. Now THAT is a bit scary.

13 thoughts on “Night of the living fed.”

  1. If we hate Christmas we are considered Scrooges what are we when we hate Halloween? Maybe weenies? I hate it too. I think there should be a law (since we have laws for everything) that you couldnt trick or treat if you are over 10. I get so pissed when a pack of delinquent teens shove their grubby hands into my candy bowl. ( I know they are delinquent because two of them are my kids)

  2. Should you ever want to nip the multitude of trick-or-treaters in the bud, give out TOOTHBRUSHES too. We did that one year, trying to be wiseasses and low and behold the rumor spread and next year we only had 10 kids at our door. It was glorious to not have to get up off the couch enjoying a pre-sweeps rerun every 5 minutes.

  3. Why would you want to come off a 30 year sugar high and ruin a good thing?
    Wait til little one is old enough to dress up and be excited about it… so cute, little kids in costumes.

  4. OH HOW I LOVE THE TOOTEPASTE IDEA! That is if I did anything at all. I totally agree that it has completely lost its pizzazz. I don’t even turn on my outside light so they don’t come to the door anymore. Of course there is usually a few that ignore the “lights on” rule that I had when I was a kid..for them I answer the door telling them that I have already passed out all of my $20.00 bills and that she should have come sooner, yes they come earlier the next year, but I still tell them the same thing. I’m waiting for them to be waiting when I get home from work so I can then tell them that I haven’t been to the bank to get the 20’s yet and to come back, of course when they do, I’ll be out already..I’m mean, I know. For the kids that I like I have resorted to making up a few really good treat bags these kids know who they are and know to come see me when they are done with the rest of their rounds at the end of the “bewithing hours”.

  5. Thanks for the nostalgia!

    Don’t forget the candy corn pumpkins! If you ever wanted to find out if you had a cavity, you’d bite into one of those!

  6. I’ve been reading a while, and really enjoy your view on everything.

    Anyway, I just laughed out loud at the tier system. That was the system we had as kids too. Funny, but, I never thought that other kids felt the same. LOL

  7. what wonderful memories. halloweens were truly magical when i was a child (though i do remember hysteria about razors in apples and so forth). now it’s all about the expensive costumes and the greedy children whose parents demand why exactly can’t junior have three handfuls of the candy. *sigh*

  8. This is going to be the first Halloween in years where I live in an actual house in an actual neighborhood where kids go trick-or-treating. We’ve been informed that previous owners of our home always provided spiked cider to the parents, so I have stocked up on the necessary ingredients. That’s fine. What’s not fine is that I know you’re right about how the kids will behave, and that anticipation is starting to sour me on the whole business. I’m handing out Skittles first, and if all of those go, THEN I’ll break into the chocolate. And ONE APIECE, GODDAMMIT!!!

  9. Back in the States, I could expect 50 kids to hit my suburban door–and I have to say I loved it. Second only to holding my own kids hands and taking them trick-or-treating on a cool night with lots of stars.

    Here in Belgium, I haven’t seen any Halloween decorations out and wasn’t planning on taking my kids trick or treating. But much to my surprise, tonight (Saturday night), three Dutch children showed up at my door in costumes with candy bags. I had to do a mad scramble to get some candy for them. All I had was Laffy Taffy, which I know is Tier III, but they were out of chocolate at the Embassy store and I wasn’t even sure I’d have trick or treaters here. That’s my excuse….

    At least I didn’t give out the albino Reeses cups. So WRONG!

    V-Grrrl

  10. The first year we were in our house, I gave out Hershey bars. Not the snack size or the fun size, the actual full-size bars. The word spread and I had to go out mid-evening to get more. I am 95% sure we had repeaters and then later we had some teens in hooded sweatshirts. When I asked them what their costumes were, they said, “Oh, we’re homies from the ‘hood.” Riiiiiiiight.

    So the second year I handed out those little boxes of raisins. Believe me, I did NOT have to make a mid-evening run to stock up. And I got to feel virtuous for handing out a healthy snack. Heh heh.

    Aside from supply-side trick-or-treat issues, I love Halloween. It’s my favorite holiday.

  11. Dum dums. Yeesh. Those sick flavors like pineapple and banana…when I took organic chemistry in college, the first thing we learned to make was chemical pineapple and banana flavors. The whole lab smelled like a f*ing cheap ass Dum-Dum.

    Here it is such a namby-pamby Christian area that half the kids go to “Harvest Festival” because Halloween is Satanic, doncha know.

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