That Halloween is my favorite holiday is an understatement. My husband calls our house (above) my biggest Halloween decoration. Of course it’s haunted, as though the house rolled its eyes and was like “Oh, God, this one will want ghosts.”
When I was a little kid, there was one lady in our apartment complex who gave out full-size candy bars. I could walk you to the exact apartment door today, 40 years later. She held out a silver tray and let us choose from among the best brands: Hershey’s, Reese’s, Kit Kat. While every other house tossed some lame Tootsie Rolls or Sweet Tarts in your plastic pumpkin, this woman gave the gift of quality candy, and choice.
So now, I’m “that lady.” We have 300 trick or treaters every year, because the house sort of screams “Halloween.” I dress up in a costume to give out the candy, and people take pictures of their kids with me like it’s Disneyworld. I love it. Here are some do’s and don’ts of trick or treating, from my experiences with thousands of kids over the years:
Wear a recognizable costume. Don’t make something homemade that’s like your favorite character from a book and everyone has to ask what you are. It’s annoying. Also, I’m not even going to ask because there’s a line down the sidewalk. Move along, Obscurity McYouTube.
SAY “TRICK OR TREAT?” I know, it seems obvious, doesn’t it? Apparently not, because I’d estimate only 10 percent of kids actually utter the words. Sometimes I just stare at them for a second to see if they’ll say it. YOU HAVE ONE JOB, trick or treaters. Don’t just stand there and look at me for a handout. You’re not a hobo (unless you’re in a hobo costume, in which case: well played), you’re a trick or treater.
No, you can’t have two, greedypants! Are you insane? These are full-size candy bars! Choose one, and make it kinda quick if you don’t mind.
Parents: cut the cord. Let the kids walk up to the spooky house by themselves. They need some independence in their lives. At some point, you have to stop fast forwarding through the scary scenes in movies, too. Jesus, we’re raising a generation of wussies. Being scared is fun. Let them.
Parents: no, dressing up your newborn infant as a princess does not mean you should get a full-size candy bar for yourself. Buy your own damn Kit Kat at the Royal Farms, what do I look like, a candy food shelter? Now, if you’ve taken the time and effort to dress up yourself in costume to take your kid trick-or-treating? Then yes, have a candy bar. Nice effort.
Teenagers: go home, you’re 16. The town rules say 12 is the age max; maybe 13. If you’re a teenager not wearing a costume, and you come to my door on Halloween night, I will ask if you are here to wash my car or if you’d like to babysit at eight when town trick or treating hours end.
Do not come to my house at 8:05 pm. Making it through 300 trick or treaters is exhausting and costs a fortune. There’s no fashionably late on Halloween. I’m done at eight. Boom. Lights out, door locked. Buy candy at Wal-Mart.
Say thank you. Once again? About 10 percent of kids. Not sure when parents stopped teaching manners, but seems like kids would say it, and they don’t. Happy Halloween, brats!