I can only think of one good thing that comes from this so-called holiday we’re about to celebrate and that’s the classic horror movies that make their once a year appearance on Turner Classic Movies. Other than that, unless you’re selling candy or cheap costumes, what good is Halloween?
This crazy celebration of all things nonsensical got its roots long before plastic Nixon masks started to be imported from China. Some say Halloween was originally a day set aside to celebrate the end of summer. Unless you live on the equator, I can’t find many reasons to celebrate such an event. Others say Halloween got its start as a pagan holiday, much like Administrative Professionals Day.
On Monday, schoolkids all across the country will get dressed in crazy outfits, whether they want to or not, and parade around their school while parents gawk, snap pictures and talk about the one kid who’s costume isn’t as good as the rest. Along the line, someone will trip and fall a lawsuit will ensue and our school taxes will go up.
After dinner, parents will march their kids around the neighborhood begging for candy. Some of the more hip parents will pack their kids into the mini-van and head to a neighborhood ten miles away “where the rich people live” in a quest to get better sweets. Later that night, their efforts pay off as their kids can’t sleep because they’re hopped up on sugar and have vomited at least twice.
I remember Halloween as a kid. I remember bitching about the dentist the next street over who handed out tooth brushes instead of sweets. I remember being afraid to eat the candy I collected because someone may have put a razor blade in the Snicker’s bar. And I still remember which neighbors gave out the dollar bills and which gave out the pennies.
Holidays are all a little crazy I guess. We associate Easter with a rabbit who lays eggs. Christmas with a fat man who glides effortlessly down chimneys. Valentine’s day with a chubby, naked guy and Thanksgiving with football and tryptophan.
It’s funny that we don’t want to break the news to our kids that there’s no such thing as Santa or the Easter Bunny until their 18, but it’s fine to scare the pants off them with ghost stories and pranks that will lead to a lifetime of bedwetting all in the name of Halloween. I guess it all falls into that category called, “the joys of parenting.”
While you’re out warning your kids not to trip over their costume, or not to go to old man McGreevy’s house because he does put razor blades in the Snicker’s, I’ll be home with the porch light out, my Depends on, and the television tuned into Bela Lugosi.
He does play a mean Vampire.