Monday, November 5, 2018

Move Halloween? Not a Trick, But Not a Treat

trick or treaters

Congratulations on surviving another Halloween. However, it may have been [“werewolf howling” sound effect]

Your LAST! [“Evil laughter” sound effect!]

On a WEEKNIGHT! [“Thousands of good-looking column readers scratching their heads” sound effect. If unavailable, substitute “crickets chirping.”]

A national movement is afoot to move trick-or-treating from the last day of October – that’s the 31st every year – to the last Saturday of the month – that’s the fourth or fifth one, depending on El Nino, La Nina and immigration laws.

Around the time your glucose levels reached their 2018 peak, about 40,000 people had signed a petition beseeching President Trump to move the ghost-and-goblin day in the name of safety, stress-reduction and good ol’ family fun. You know, the three things the world most closely associates with his administration.

The petition claims 3,800 Halloween-related injuries occur annually, adding that children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on the holiday. It then states, without citation, several statistics that prove most parents should not have been allowed to breed in the first place:
  • 82 percent of parents don’t put “high visibility aids” like reflective tape on their kids’ costumes.
  • 70 percent don’t accompany their children trick-or-treating.
  • 65 percent don’t discuss Halloween safety with their children.

In the name of unverified statistics, I’ll offer you my own: 86 percent of moms and dads ignore their candy-hording children because they are drunk on pumpkin ales and the prospect of getting it on with each other in naughty maid and sexy actuary costumes. The other 24 percent are bad at math.

The petition organizers conclude with “51% of millennials say Halloween is their favorite holiday, why cram it into 2 rushed evening weekday hours when it deserves a full day!?!” Note that these are “millennials” not “parents.”

As a Gen-X father of two, I can assure you whippersnappers in Harbor Point that Halloween, for kids, starts several weeks before Oct. 31. There’s the initial tortuous day of costume shopping in hells like Part With Your Money City. Then there’s the morning spent picking through a pumpkin patch. The afternoon spent carving jack o’lanterns. The subsequent evening spent in the ER. And let’s not forget the parties in the school classroom. The costume parades on the school grounds. The inevitable trips to the dentist. Parents like me should start a petition to contain Halloween just to two rushed hours on a weekday.

If the idea of moving the holiday at all intrigues you, remember this: This petition comes not from concerned (or even neglectful, drunken and lustful) parents. It originated with the Halloween & Costume Association, aka the Halloween Industry Association which we as a nation, you’ll remember, were warned about in 1961 by Dwight D. Eisenhower. Yes, the HCA/HIA – Moving holidays to save lives and allow our members to sell more flammable fake cobwebs to stretch across your home’s exits.

Halloween is Oct. 31 for a reason. Not that I know that reason but some are saying it’s a long-standing tradition having to do with honoring the dead on the night before the ancient ritual of tossing out all the Almond Joys in your possession because coconut the devil’s candy. Do you want to mess with the ghost of Milton S. Hershey? I thought not.

But historical facts mean even less these days than in the past, and they certainly didn’t prevent Americans from previously moving for convenience’s sake other special events. Witness: Memorial Day, Hanukkah and, annually, tens of thousands of colonoscopy appointments. Haven’t we messed with the calendar makers enough?

I say yes. Let’s leave tradition in place and, hey – moms and dads – let’s do a better job of watching out for your little trick-or-treaters. You can start by giving me all your pumpkin ales.

1 comment:

  1. When Halloween falls on a weekend, fewer people are home to answer the door for the trick or treaters. Many more people go to parties or to family member's homes, so it's way more lame on a weekend day. People have such short memories. Keep it on the 31st!


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