Thursday, November 01, 2007

Rules of Halloween Engagement

Last year Craze went on a tear at Halloween (you can read all about it in my 11/1/06 post). This year, we had even more spooky decorations casting a green glow down the street. Mini tortured heads floated in the breeze of our front porch. A glowing man appeared to be trying to claw his way out of our front lawn and eerily lit skulls were dotted in front of our bushes.

However after a long day at work, Craze was cranky when he donned his Dracula cape and ghoul mask to hand out candy to the local kids. And for the most part, the trick-or-treaters did nothing to lift his mood. Many were really quite annoying. So, as the evening wore on, he came up with his list of rules for proper trick-or-treating. Here they are:

Rule 1) Only one visit per person. You can't keep coming back to the same house multiple times to get more candy. And that means you, Brian (our 9-year-old neighbor who not only came back twice, but possibly FOUR times)!

Rule 2) No costume. No candy. Since when do people just get to come to your door for free stuff without making the least little bit of Halloween effort? At the very least, stick a cheap-ass pair of Dracula fangs in your mouth. Jeez! Every time one of these costume shirkers came ringing the bell, Craze would just look at them with dismay and say sarcastically, "What are you?"

Rule 3) No skanky-looking adults (pretty much all 30-40 year old men) sans kids claiming that they're collecting candy for their kid who's in a car (somewhere out of sight). Please. Are you really that hard up for candy? You can get a Jumbo Bag of peanut butter cups for $2.50 at K-Mart. Is your financial situation so dire that you need to get your candy fix by knocking on strangers' doors (uncostumed no less!) and claim that you're collecting out of the goodness of your heart for your non-existent child? Weird and pathetic.

Rule 4) Along the lines of Rule 3, what's up with parents who come up to the door with their kids and an extra bag? Some claim that they are also collecting for another unseen child. Some say it's for "the baby" (and why the hell is your baby eating candy, ma'am?). While others just mumble something undecipherable under their breath and you just know that they are getting candy for themselves. What the?!?

Rule 5) Do not ring my doorbell after 9 p.m. looking for candy for the sleeping toddler in a stroller on the sidewalk that you're dragging around the neighborhood. If the kid conks out, stop ringing doorbells and TAKE THEM HOME and tuck them in bed. What's wrong with you people? It's way past their bed time.

Rule 6) Proper Halloween etiquette should be followed at all times. That means when we open the door, you actually say, "Trick or Treat!" and hold up your bag for me to deposit your treat. Don't just stand there looking at me with an annoyed expression as if I'm not giving you the candy fast enough. Once you get the candy, say "thank you." We spent our hard-earned cash on candy. The good stuff, mind you, not the crappy candy we hated getting as kids. You get it for free. The least you can do is offer a word of thanks. Especially if you're over the age of six (or sixteen, as we saw in several cases last night).

Rule 7) Show some enthusiasm. Craze loves it when kids are delighted by all his decorations and his own scary get-up. He'll enthusiastically complement the kids' costumes, too, and frequently talk to them in a funny, monster-ish voice. It cracks up the kids and their parents. When you show that you love Halloween and really get in the spirit, fun ensues. It's a win-win for everyone.

Note to Self: Six jumbo bags of candy are enough. DO NOT BUY NINE as you did this year. It's just overkill. And give extra candy to the kids who are living up to the true spirit of Halloween. God knows we don't need leftover peanut butter cups hanging around the house. Or more precisely, making their way into your mouth and eventually onto your behind.

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