So, it is November 2, 2009, which means that it is two days after Halloween. I spent my Halloween either lying on the couch watching college football, handing out candy to children and not-so-children, or watching other people hand out candy to children and not-so-children. I did not dress up willingly, although some people, mainly Sue Too and B-Town, made sure that I had some gaudy Halloween-type stuff on for at least a little bit.
Anyway, in the half hour or forty-five minutes that I was charged with handing out goodies to the people wandering around, and during the six or so times I actually got off the couch to see what was going on at the door, I was deeply, deeply disappointed. Seems to me that trick or treaters don't really know how to trick or treat anymore.
First of all, let me say this: I place the blame squarely and entirely on the shoulders of the parents. I don't even know where to begin. Parents have to teach their kids this stuff. First of all is basic manners, okay? I think that I only heard a couple of instances where the kids said and did all the proper things. Knocked on the door, said "Trick or treat!" and then said "Thank you" once their treats had been dispensed and went on their way. Most of the kids forgot either the first or the second part of that conversation, and I think that is probably because no one had ever made them do things right to get what they want. Either that or because most of the kids really didn't seem to be having fun, they only seemed to be in it for the candy.
Hmmm...I am going to blame that on the parents too. First of all, it is up to the parents to make sure that the kids do it up right in terms of atmosphere, and that includes costumes. Now, I understand that most families these days don't have a lot of time all the time, and that nicely folded and packaged Spider Man suit on sale for $9.99 at Pamida looks super cool, but half the fun of the holiday is coming up with a super sweet costume and making it with dad in the garage. Hell, Mike-a-licious wasn't talking on the Big Dave and Company Podcast about the Batman costume that he got from the department store when he was ten, he was raving about how great the robot costume his dad made for him was. That is because the parent was involved, it was something unique, and even if he didn't spend the time with pops it at least lets one know that pops cares. Making their own helps too, because then they get to go out and show off what they had done. This is not rocket science, people.
You want to know what else makes it better, Company? Go out with your kids. You don't have to go door to door with them and ring the doorbell for them or anything, but go house to house with them as they make their way across the neighborhood. I can't tell you how angry it makes me to see parents in cars accompanying their children while they trick or treat around town. Okay, if it is pouring rain all day long and you are hauling the brood around the neighborhood in the minivan, that is fine, I can maybe give a pass on that. But even if it is raining, or chilly, or windy, or there is a little bit of snow in the air, you should still be out and walking with your kids. I am sorry, but if you are in the car with the window open and sports radio on while your kids walk door to door, you are failing them, and they aren't having as much fun and they aren't in it for the right reasons. Sorry, get off your lazy ass and walk with them, push them in the stroller, carry them on your back. Driving around town with the tailgate of your Avalanche down from house to house is not trick or treating, it is taking candy without doing anything to deserve it.
Lastly, all the grown ups from everywhere have failed these children, because I don't know if you have noticed, but trick or treating doesn't occur at night anymore, and it rarely occurs on October 31 anymore. Usually it is relegated to the Saturday that falls nearest Halloween, and in most communities it has to go on in the afternoon. This is because 1.) parents don't go walk with their children like they should to keep an eye on them and b.) people can't just let the kids go have fun. The trick is largely gone because all adults take things like a smashed pumpkin or some toilet paper far too seriously. Especially on Halloween. I am not saying that flaming shit in a bag or eggs on paint are the best ideas, but there has to be a little trick or why bother with the treats? Am I right? Anyway, let's try to get it right for next year, shall we? I hope you all had a Happy Halloween!