The crazies are running the nut house!

I love Halloween. I think I actually like it more than Christmas and Thanksgiving and the 4th of July.

The problem is that I'm getting older, so the things I like about the day aren't the same things I liked as a kid. Now I like the smell of cinnamon, the taste of hard apple cider, the sound of football games and marching bands, the crispness of the air, the darkness of the evenings. I like the feeling our house gets when we have prime time television shows on and the furnace kicks off and it's dark outside. I like seeing leaves on the ground and overcast days.

As a kid, I liked candy and The Great Pumpkin and dressing up. I still like the idea of dressing up, but each year I make a pact to start early on the costumes and each year I forget that I made that pact. Not since college (and the much referenced Mystic costume) have a made any real attempt at dressing up.

This year, with the long hair, there were several options. Mrs. A thought I should go as the cowardly lion. I'd get an orange suit and grow my beard out. There was also talk of stuffing a dirty tee-shirt, growing out the chops and go as Hurly from Lost. I was quite in favor of renting a nice Lord of the Rings outfit and going as Eomer, though that would have required a really obscure costume and possibly a level of Eastern European sex appeal you can't find at Party Pig.

So this year I went as the long haired father of two. Mrs. A manned the orange and black bedecked homestead, armed with a bowl full of brightly packaged sugar, whilst the offspring and I set out to conquer our block. LMA was Wonder Woman with a pink jacket and Yogi was a mini Frankenstein. He stayed in the stroller the whole time, perfectly content in being chauffeured everywhere in the warmth of felt. She, by contrast, turned each open door into a chance to chat with the neighbors. The first few houses she actually sang the full song, "Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat. If you don't, I don't care, I'll pull down your underwear." It made for a good first house, but I had to put the kibosh on it real quick.

So we made a lap of the street and headed home after LMA decided the two goodie-bags (one for her, one for her brother) were too heavy. Plus it was getting chilly. It had rained hours earlier and a cold front had moved in, so the evening was perfect for an early romp around the block.

Arriving safely back home, we dumped the candy into a big bowl, fed the children, sent them to bed, then Mrs. A and I divvied up the loot and watched a movie. We were visited by a large amount of trick-or-treaters, mostly little kids in really adorable costumes.

Then there were the punk asses.

Now I know I'm going to lose a few of you, and most of you don't care about kids anyway, but I have a problem with older kids and trick or treating.


They don't wear costumes.

They're not polite.

They take handfuls of candy.

They don't even say trick or treat.

Mrs. A didn't want to talk about it because I was ruining the day for her, and she was right. I was being a bit grumpasaurus about it, but come on. I had one guy at the door, maybe 12 or 13, just stand there for about 15 seconds without saying anything. Finally I said, "Whataya got?" He kind of looks confused like he woke up on my porch wearing a costume (a cape, oOOooOoOOo) and had no idea what day it was. After a second he snaps-to and says, "Oh, right. Happy Halloween?"

Yeah, yeah. Take your handful of candy and be off with ye, scallywag.

Am I wrong on this? I don't think it's the kids fault, I think it's the parents. They just say, "Yeah, go out and get some candy." Well don't they? Prove me wrong. The little kids, the toddlers and babies in strollers and 6 year olds I don't have problems with. They are adorable and sweet and polite and more often then not, a little scared. Because it's dark and spooky and they're outside at night with weird noises and they are excited and want to do this right.

The older kids have lost the magic.

So do me a favor, next year, if you see your kid heading out the door with a crappy $1 mask on the back of his head, tee-shirt and shorts and an old pillow case, keep him home and go buy a few bags of candy for him. Or plan on having a little party for his friends. I don't want to come off sounding like a curmudgeon, but there's got to be some civility, even at that age.

No comments: