Halloween ’13

DSC02450Happy Halloween. Or if you’re from the Des Moines metro area, Happy Day After Trick or Treating Occurs. Yes we continue with the inanely stupid tradition of Beggar’s Night in which kids are forced by the local powers that be to trick or treat the day before Halloween. Not only that but they have to tell a joke. Yeah, the trick part of trick or treat in Des Moines is that they have to earn their candy by telling a joke. This, if you have not already surmised by now, I also consider stupid. I always kinda assumed that the trick part of the trick or treat was “give me some candy or my friends and I will egg your house.” But I prowling the streets trick or treating back in the late 70’s and early 80’s. People were still giving out apples and homemade cookies. Until somebody decided to stick razor blades in the apples. Or maybe that was an urban legend. Regardless, sometime during the first few years of the Reagan administration, fruit was no longer part of the Halloween madness. And madness it was.

I remember riding the bus home from school in ’79 or ’80. Had to be about 3:30 in the afternoon and parents were already taking their little kids door to door. Yeah, that early. And people were ready! They didn’t tell the kids to go away and come back later. They didn’t lecture them about running across their lawn. They gave them candy. Might even have been those candy cigarettes. Ha! Not that I want those to come back or anything but its kinda funny how its entirely unacceptable to manufacture candy cigarettes but its okay to use the IRS to for your own political agenda. Whatever. Back to trick to treating. When those folks answered their doors at 3:30 with a big bowl of candy were they excited? Well, no. It was 3:30. I’m going to go ahead and assume they were unhappy. Why? Nobody wants to hand out candy starting at 3:30. Idiot teenagers are still going to be showing up at your house around 9. And that’s a long freaking time to be camped out by your door before the internet and smartphones.

We’ve been handing out candy at our house since ’97. And yesterday was one of the least active trick or treating events we’ve experienced. Not sure why. But I’m okay with blaming the same folks I blamed last year. Anti-American funsmashers and helicopter parents. Sometimes they are one in the same.

Who in the hell are you people who hate Halloween? Fundamentalist Christians who think it’s a pagan holiday? Relax, it isn’t. Communists who think it’s disrespectful to the authority of the state? Um, FYI, not even the communists could make communism work. Or good old-fashioned grumpy a-holes? Because if you turned your lights off and sat at home watching TV while little hopeful children dressed up as their favorite superheroes and princesses walked by your house…you, my friend, have put yourself on a list. You know what list that is? It’s the asshat list. Not everybody goes trick or treating anymore. And local city governments almost universally limit the timeframe in which it happens to something like 6-8 p.m. So for those kids who still believe in George Washington, apple pie and the American tradition of asking for stuff from your neighbors, you just wiped you nose all over their happiness. Why don’t you go ahead and throw a flaming bag of dog crap at the Lincoln Memorial. Fly out to Pearl Harbor and dump some sewage on the USS Arizona. Because that’s what you’re doing.

Trick or treating might be the only way to save America. When I was doing it in the late 70’s the streets were packed with kids and parents. It was like a roving block party. And neighbors talked with each other. Pretty soon, after all that talking, they realized that Jimmy Carter sucked and Keynesian economic theory was asinine. As a result, Ronald Reagan was able to cut taxes, 70’s easy listening was replaced by hair metal and the three point line was added to college basketball. By your refusal to take part in your patriotic Halloween duty, you’re dooming America to a future of 70% tax rates, Seals and Croft and uncomfortably snug NBA shorts. And ain’t nobody want that…