A Halloween Story

Halloween is not a big deal in Australia although retailers would like it to be – anything to make more money.  There are more costumes and Halloween themed treats in the stores than there used to be but still nothing like the US.  I’ve visited the US at Halloween and I thought it was awesome!  I don’t like over-commercialisation but the degree to which people get into Halloween really blew my mind.

Locally, there is a shop that caters to homesick Americans by importing hard to get American products and for the last few years, they have sponsored shop-to-shop trick or treating in their local shopping area.  My kids like doing it and scoring a huge haul of lollies so we dressed up and headed out.  It was all going well until it started raining.  For a town that suffering its worst drought ever, it really sucks when you get rained on when you’re trying to do something outdoors.  But that isn’t what made me angry.

It was almost inevitable that some evangelical would feel compelled to push his “Halloween is evil” message and sure enough, it happened.  This guy may as well have had a neon sign over his head saying “I’m a dork who wants to spoil people’s fun” – he was that obvious.  He sidles up to me while the kids are saying “trick or treat” to a shopkeeper and says:

FREAK: “Do you know what the origins of Halloween are?”

ME: “Yes, it’s All Hallows Eve, the day before All Saints Day.” (thank you, ten years of Catholic education)

FREAK: “Did you know it commemorates druids slaughtering new-born babies?”

Now, I have learned a few skills in my life… but that day I brought out one of my special skills: my look that says without words: “Listen here you pathetic dweeb, I’m out here enjoying time with my kids and you’re about to cross a line.  Get the fuck out of my face right now or I’ll be conducting a little experiment to prove whether your ugly face is stronger than the tempered glass in that shop window.”

I’ve spent years perfecting that look and all the work was apparently worth it.  Captain Shit-for-brains walked away rather quickly and the kids and I continued trick or treating in an idiot-free manner.

And as a community service, here’s a video that shows why you shouldn’t let kids loose with a huge bag of lollies:

7 Comments

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7 responses to “A Halloween Story

  1. Here are some comments that ended up attached to the wrong post by WordPress:

    Gruntski said:
    Halloween is not something usually celebrated here in downtown Yass, for some reason…
    Have fun with your kids sugar rush….You are going to have fun trying to get them into bed tonight…
    My Response:
    It’s only a matter of time my friend, out culture is being overwhelmed. And I had to stop their lolly intake about 4 hours before bed to stand a chance!
    SUROOR said:
    Halloween is a big deal in the Middle East too! Of course, it gained popularity after the Gulf War when Americans moved to the Gulf. At the moment, many countries in the Gulf are all black and orange and Christmas trees (even real ones!) have already made their way into stores.
    My Response:
    I remember all the black and orange coloured treats in the US… it’s such an unattractive colour combo to eat.

  2. Eventhough the kids at work are confined…..we had a volunteer who baked cookies and made each of them a halloween bag of candy. They were really excited.

    Each room had a pumpkin that they got to carve. The designs were great. They had a contest and the winner gets to go to a cafe outside for dinner. Isn’t that cool?

    I decorated the door of my office. It has bats coming out of it(among other things). The connotation of course being that anyone who goes in will surely come out crazy as hell. 😀

  3. That was hilarious. Braught back memories of walking for hours with my dad and brother thru our neighborhood. My brother and I were alowed to stay out only until we couldn’t carry our pillow cases anymore. Yes… my brother and i were deviant children, we were greedy. But the candy tradeoffs that happen during the following weeks at school were nothing but pure fun and yes… we got those sugar highs too!!! lmao

  4. I had to add you to my links list you make me laugh so much and get angry! Emotion is glorius!

  5. Sandra: sounds like you’re managing to have fun🙂

    Jessica: fun times! And I’m glad you can see I’m celebrating emotion rather than simply being negative.

  6. If I’m not having fun my ass is OUTTA THERE!

  7. I read your this post yesterday but I didn’t have time to watch the video. That was supremely hillarious!

    At work, we had a man come into our restaraunt/store, stop upon seeing all the Halloween items, and exclaim, “I thought this was a Christian store!” Now, while the owners may be Christian and sell a lot of Christian items at Christmas (and some at other times), it is not a “religious shop”.

    While I respect that some practices of this holiday, hundreds of years ago in Europe, had its origins in a mixture of the suspicion of evil spirits, witchcraft, and longer ago Druidism, Halloween is a non-religious recreational holiday. So when this guy did that, it totally threw my boss for a loop as to how to handle this customer without apologizing.

    I am glad you had so much fun on your Halloween activities. I don’t have a problem with the commercialism of Halloween because it does not have any higher purpose to begin with (Christmas is another story).

    Trick-or-treating as a kid was interesting, mainly because the people I went with tended to be a group of elementary-to-high-school students (trick-or-treating was not exactly the coolest thing for a high-schooler to do, and our group was mostly boys, too). For a long time, people used to get really creative about it. They would give out toys, baked goods, fruit and other items, though the candy was always the majority. Unfortunately, the ingenuity has gone out of the art of giving treats due to concerns about some freak possibly putting poison in something.

    Instead of trick-or-treating, some people go to haunted houses (often done by community groups or colleges) or on “haunted hay rides” or similar things. Many of them are far better than those haunted houses they have at amusement parks.

    When I first heard of “haunted hayrides”, a family farm in Worcester County, Massachusetts, called “Davis Farmland” was so overloaded the first year, we were going to go after dark and then we had to cancel because people from half the state went fanatical over it. By 7 o-clock at night the lines of cars waiting to get in were so long to get in that they began to turn hundreds of cars away because they would already have to operate past midnight. It’s calmed down a bit now, as the idea is not so new and quite a few farms do this…it’s a great way to earn income in the off season.

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