(Almost) Everyone Gets
Alex's quick guide to dealing with Trick or
Q: Everyone gets candy? Really?
Q: Kids without costumes?
A: Yes. Are you seriously going to punish a
few kids because their parents failed to dress them up? Give the
kids participation credit. Trust me, they'd rather have a
costume. And different parents.
Q: Kids who stare blankly?
A: Yes. But you make them say the magic
words first: "What do you say?" I better get a sing-songy "Trick
or treat!" or the parents get a dirty look and an awkward silence that
even the ESL population will understand.
A: Yes. Because it isn't for the baby.
The baby doesn't even have teeth to rot out yet. So who's it
really for? Yep: Mom. I don't care what else you have in
your candy bowl, give her some chocolate because that's all she cares
A: Yes. You are never too old for
Halloween. You get candy until you're old enough to give out
candy. Besides, most teenagers will be parents next year, so let
them enjoy themselves until they have kids to take Trick or
Treating. (Note: If there's a latency phase in the Trick or
Treating life cycle, it was in your early twenties when you were at a
bar dressed like a slutty black cat/nurse/witch/cop instead of ringing
or answering doorbells.)
Q: Even the teenagers without a costume?
A: Yes. At least they showed up. You
do get to tease them though. The default is "I love your
costume! I totally get the ironic 'too lazy to wear a costume'
costume!", but a well-timed "Great Justin Beiber costume!" will render
a teenager impotent, which is otherwise thought to be impossible at
Q: Homeless people?
A: Yes. Technically this is a tax-deductible
donation. And consider this: There are worse avenues they can
take for empty calories. Besides, they worked all year to make
their hobo costume as authentic as possible.
Q: Kids who show up before dark?
A: NO! Tell them to come back later.
Trick or Treating starts at dark. Ghosts don't show up on film
during the day. The cursed don't turn to werewolves until the sun
sets. Angry mobs don't storm mad scientists' castles without
torches to light their way. Aliens never abduct anyone in broad
daylight. You'd never make a deal with the devil at the
crossroads at noon, and you don't call him the Prince of
Brightness. Covens don't convene over brunch (except on Sex
and the City). The boogie man doesn't hide under the
ping-pong table in the sun room. Ozzy doesn't sing "Bark at the
Sun." Mussorgsky didn't call his work "An Afternoon on Bald
Mountain." The Phantom of the Opera doesn't ask Christine to help
him make the "The Music of the Light." Rocky Horror
doesn't open with a song about the "Mid-day Matinee Double Feature
Picture Show." It isn't called Daydream on Elm Street.
The Morlocks didn't come out at dawn to snatch tasty Eloi.
Lovecraft didn't pen "The Whisperer in Sunlight." Poe didn't open
"The Raven" with "Once upon a morning dewy." And it would be
ridiculous for vampires to come out at twilight. No one would
write such a story. They'd be the laughing stock of the literary
world! It'd make for horrible movies too. What would be
their power? They'd sparkle?
Point is, Trick or Treaters are creatures of the night. There's
no excuse: Halloween is on a Friday this year. It's not a school
night, so you have plenty time to let the kids run the streets.
Remember what happened when Icarus got too close to the sun? It's
not a metaphor. I will burn your (fairy/angel/bat) wings! I
want Trick or Treaters, but not before the jack o'lanterns are lighted
and I've got the fog machine warmed up. Everyone gets candy...
but not until dark.