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Trick-or-Treat - The Fucking Bluebird of Goddamn Happiness [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Zoethe

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Trick-or-Treat [Oct. 29th, 2004|04:05 pm]
Zoethe
[Current Mood |irateoutraged!]

I talked to my sister yesterday. Her kids had just gotten back from Trick-or-Treating.

"What?" said I, looking at the calendar.

"Yeah," she replied. "Warren had its Trick-or-Treating tonight. And another community nearby has its at 2:30 on Saturday, and then there's another community that has it Friday night."

"B-but," I stammered, "Halloween is on Sunday!"

Then today I got an email in another group list asking what time Trick-or-Treating was in Cleveland Heights.

Time? After dark. On Halloween. is this a trick question, like who is buried in Grant's tomb?

When did Trick-or-Treating unionize? Does it have dues, maybe three fun-size Snicker's Bars? Pay is clearly in candy, but are their benefits? Worker's Comp if a teenager mugs you and steals your candy bag? Major medical and dental to cover health problems incurred from all that junk food?

When I was a kid, Halloween was having a fight with your mother because she insisted that you wear your coat over your costume,* then staggering around the neighborhood mostly blind under a plastic mask with tiny slits of eyeholes that never quite went over your eyes, your nose damp from your hot breath. It was hoards of children on their own, the adults all ensconced at home to hand out candy. If you were over six years old having a parent along was humiliating.

No one told us when to go, and no one told us when to stop. We ranged afield until we'd exhausted ourselves and the candy supplies, then dragged our loot home.

The notion of punching the Trick-or-Treat clock just takes all the wild spirit out of it. And Trick-or-Treating at 2:30 in the afternoon?

Please.



*So traumatic was this disappointment that when Erin reached Trick-or-Treat age and we were living in Fairbanks, Alaska, I made her fairy princess costumes roomy enough to go over her snowsuit. An added benefit was that they were dress-up clothes for a couple years afterwards.
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Comments:
From: tessbelle
2004-10-29 08:08 pm (UTC)
I know what you mean, it's weird. I think Cleveland's is Sunday...but really, who the hell knows anymore?!?!
That's a really good idea about making the costume big enough to fit over the coat.
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[User Picture]From: rev_tobias
2004-10-29 08:13 pm (UTC)
I blame Bush! *g,d&r*
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[User Picture]From: rhyo
2004-10-29 08:13 pm (UTC)
I've a couple friends that live in small towns in the South (West Virginia and Alabama) and in both places, Halloween is "moved" so it doesn't fall on a weekend. Why? No idea. It IS the Bible-Belt, though, and I bet that has something to do with it.
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[User Picture]From: greybeta
2004-10-29 11:19 pm (UTC)
In Southern Baptist churches, there are no Halloweens. There are only Fall Festivals.

I kind of laugh at it.
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[User Picture]From: theonlykow
2004-10-29 08:14 pm (UTC)
People are strange. The only reason we didn't trick-or-treat on the proper day was due to weather.

And the only weather that kept us inside was the deadly kind. Tornados and deadly hail and such. Snow? Rain? Wind? We'd take it all on.
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[User Picture]From: roniliquidity
2004-10-29 08:18 pm (UTC)
A snow suit fairy is the most adorable thing I've heard today.
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[User Picture]From: miripanda
2004-10-29 08:19 pm (UTC)
I dearly remember that, scouring the neighborhood for someone over 12 to accompany me and my pack of 8 year old hoodlums. Definately remember the coat fights. My brother was such a suck-up - he was a fighter pilot, so he was delighted, to wear his bomber jacket. He got his comeuppance when I found every single hiding place within 5 minutes and took all his almond joys. I remember fondly the hiding places too...hiding those reeses so well that come christmas, a few fell out of your stocking onto santa's feet.
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[User Picture]From: ashna
2004-10-29 08:22 pm (UTC)
I always made myself costumes that were warmer. Layers that could go under and such. Made sure jackets were NOT nessisary.

Though being in vancouver the umbrella tended to be a bit annoying. ^^;;
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[User Picture]From: lysana
2004-10-29 08:23 pm (UTC)
And how's this grab you? I saw an article in my local paper talking about one upper-class secction of San Jose, CA where they see hundreds of children every year. Why? Word got out that they give out the really good stuff, like full-sized bars of chocolate. Parents drive their kids out of their own neighborhoods and into that one. Part of the point of trick-or-treating is neighborhood contact, or so I thought.
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[User Picture]From: miripanda
2004-10-29 08:40 pm (UTC)
I think it definately depends on the neighborhoods...where I live now is safe by itself, but it's close to a bike path that has been a venue for some really unpleasant activities. I don't blame parents for wanting to compress the experience, although I say if you're going to do it, at least go to an amusement park where they'll have hay rides and stuff.
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[User Picture]From: miripanda
2004-10-29 09:36 pm (UTC)
True...but I imagine that with today's obesity statistics, many parents are thinking..hmm...childhood tradition that could end in kidnapping, violence, bullying, getting lost, or getting fat...versus a 45 minute stop at a local strip mall where I can buy some damn tequila to get me through the weekend....

Sorry about the hayride thing. I seem to remember some nice programs in Oklahoma from my days there...although I guess a two hour drive seems extravagant for a 20 minute "haunted hayride". My favorite one though, was somewhere outside Tulsa, when a "dead body" swinging down from a tree conked my dad in the head nearly knocking him unconscious. THAT'S scary.
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[User Picture]From: dream_labyrinth
2004-10-29 08:40 pm (UTC)
That is sad, actually.
Sometimes I wonder whether trick-or-treating really was safer before, or whether parents are just more careful, and probably close to paranoid today.
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[User Picture]From: kimmaline
2004-10-30 05:39 am (UTC)
I read somewhere or other that the whole "razor blade in the apple" thing my parents had so terrified me with as a small fry was actually an URBAN MYTH. And that there has only been something like one documented case of someone poisoning stranger kids with Halloween candy...but that there were a number of cases where parents had poisoned their own children and tried to blame it on the Halloween candy.

Damn. We were safer back when I was a kid, alone, at night, with NO REFLECTIVE TAPE ON ANYTHING.
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[User Picture]From: dream_labyrinth
2004-10-30 09:04 am (UTC)
Oh I didn't know getting poisoned was what people feared for their kids. I'd thought it was more like fearing the kids might be kidnapped or something.
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[User Picture]From: kimmaline
2004-10-30 06:15 pm (UTC)
That is a very good point!
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[User Picture]From: kashmera
2004-10-29 08:39 pm (UTC)
The bit about doing it on different nights that gets me is that some kids get 'confused' about what they're supposed to do.

The incident that springs to mind happened when I lived in an area with a lot of kids that played outside in the street. I was walking back to my house and heard one child yell to another 'what've you been doing?' to which the questioned child replied 'I've been trick or treating again'.

Again?!

I never quite believed kids who came around on nights before the actual date with some excuse, but this blatant admission was an eye-opener.
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[User Picture]From: miripanda
2004-10-29 09:37 pm (UTC)
Ooh ooh..please do that! I imagine the beginnings of a revolutionary spirit in the baffled minds of 8 year old lemmings!
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From: stevietee
2004-10-29 08:54 pm (UTC)
My home town started doing that when I was in high school -- the weekend before or during Halloween, they'd have "Safe Trick Or Treating" in the downtown square, sponsored by the police department, in the middle of the afternoon.

Then again, my mom made us stop trick-or-treating when I was in 5th grade, and dragged us to musical concerts at the local college instead, which was torture for a little kid on Halloween night!
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[User Picture]From: dawntreader90
2004-10-29 08:58 pm (UTC)
6th grade was the last time my mom let me trick-or-treat. she said i was "too old." if i thought i could get away with it, hell, i'd STILL be going out! :)
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[User Picture]From: amberfox
2004-10-29 09:22 pm (UTC)
My dad is 6'3". We've had kids come by who are taller than he is even though it's several inches up into the house. (Yes, they still get candy. ^_^)
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[User Picture]From: barelyproper
2004-10-29 09:30 pm (UTC)
so long as they bothered to actually wear a costume my father would give them candy, after scaring the b'jezus out of them by popping out of one of several hiding places dressed up as a wolfman.
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[User Picture]From: hoppers
2004-10-30 02:33 am (UTC)
They do a safe trick or treating here too, on Saturday night. Or local fire dept. is having their haunted house tonight and tomorrow, but Sunday is the real deal. We don't trick or treat much in our own neighborhood, most people shut off their lights and don't answer the door. I take my son to another town, where I grew up, and set him loose there. He's 9 and I still don't let him totally alone, just hang on the street he's on. We found a great church to trick or treat at. They have games, inside and out with great prizes, a free chili and hotdog feed, and movies too if you want. It's fun to go there after hoarding candy, and get warm!
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[User Picture]From: dawntreader90
2004-10-29 08:57 pm (UTC)
i can understand a community saying that trick-or-treating must end by 9 p.m., especially since halloween is on a school night.

but yeah, the 2:30 in the afternoon variety on a thursday, a full three days before halloween is idiotic.

we don't get too many trick-or-treaters because we live on the third floor in an apartment complex right across from a townhouse complex. it's much easier to get candy when you don't have to climb stairs. they cart kids to our neighborhood by the vanfull. they line up to drop them off on one street and line up at the end to pick them up again.
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[User Picture]From: miripanda
2004-10-29 09:39 pm (UTC)
I loved it when I was little and lived in an apartment complex though..it was like having a castle of servants ready to give you things, and for one night out of the year it wasn't in my imagination!
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[User Picture]From: kuangning
2004-10-29 09:08 pm (UTC)
Most of the hullaballoo is that Hallowe'en falls on a Sunday. A lot of folks think that, Sunday being the Lord's day, and Hallowe'en being evil/demonic/Satan-glorifying/whatever, have made a huge fuss about the day. It's stupid, but there ya go. More candy for the kids, I guess.
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[User Picture]From: amberfox
2004-10-29 09:24 pm (UTC)
In my opinion, anyone who says, as one memorable woman did, that Halloween is unsuitable for Sunday because it's the Devil's holiday and kids will get confused is insane. Look, either it's the Devil's holiday and you shouldn't be celebrating it at all, or it's just a party for kids and it can be whenever. Pick one and stick with it.
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[User Picture]From: kuangning
2004-10-29 09:30 pm (UTC)
I agree wholeheartedly. But then, I was one of the unfortunate children who wasn't usually allowed to go trick-or-treating because my father blew his top and lectured us for hours on end about witchcraft every time the subject came up. Instead, my sibs and I were forced to go to church "fall celebrations". No costumes, no good candy, hour-long sermons, and then some (usually lame and embarrassing) games. So I'm biased heavily in favour of "let the damn kids have their fun."
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[User Picture]From: miripanda
2004-10-29 09:38 pm (UTC)
Did you get to go to a "taffy pull?" A lamentable, and decidedly unsanitary activity I was subjected to during a Halloween party at a Presbyterian church waay back in the day
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[User Picture]From: kuangning
2004-10-29 09:44 pm (UTC)
No, I missed that, thanks be.
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[User Picture]From: amberfox
2004-10-29 10:01 pm (UTC)
Church "harvest celebrations" have become very popular locally to "get away from the pagan associations of Halloween". Um, guys, hate to tell you this, but the trick-or-treating thing? That's the secular Halloween. The pagan one /is/ a harvest celebration. Being me, I find this hilarious.
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[User Picture]From: kuangning
2004-10-29 10:02 pm (UTC)
Yes. *wrysmile.*
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[User Picture]From: finding_helena
2004-10-29 09:54 pm (UTC)
When I was a kid in Virginia, we had trick-or-treat like normal human beings. Then I moved to Ohio and they had that Beggar's Night shit going on. Now I live in Kentucky just a few miles from Ohio, and my boyfriend, who grew up here, says that they have normal trick-or-treat here too. I am forced to conclude that Ohio is just weird.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-10-29 10:43 pm (UTC)
Ohio is just weird.

That is definitely true. [g]
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[User Picture]From: cindyg
2004-10-29 09:55 pm (UTC)
Heh. Where I live (Manila, Philippines), in my particular part of town, the more well-off kids hardly need to walk. They're taken around the village in their minivans to collect their candy.

On the other hand, it's been a given for all the folks to meet up at the village park as soon as the sun goes down, for a bonfire and food stalls and costume awards and such. So while different from the Halloweens of my day, it's not all bad.

The grownups go out for costume parties in all the posh hotels and clubs. Then the next day, November 1, the entire country can almost literally be found at the cemeteries for All Saints' Day -- a time for family reunions, socializing, prayers for the dearly departed. A weird practice, but one kept alive as part of Filipino Catholic tradition.

^__^
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[User Picture]From: aehallh
2004-10-30 12:31 am (UTC)
Yep. Trick-or-Treat was yesterday in Warren and Champion. My (almost) 13 year old daughter came home from school yesterday and said, "Mom, Trick-or-Treat is tonight, six to eight." And, low and behold, come about 5:30, cute little children dressed in a variety of store-bought costumes were wandering the street in front of our Champion house with their parents as bodyguards, seeking candy. Sadly, we'd planned on buying candy tonight (Friday) for the weekend. So, we had no candy to give.

I agree completely with your sentiments. I want them to give back Halloween, the way it was meant to be...instead of this tamed down, processed version of it. =o(
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[User Picture]From: kimbyrle
2004-10-30 01:41 am (UTC)
I know! It bugs me that trick-or-treating has become Trick-or-Treating. I wonder how long it will be before communities start having corporate sponsorship for their annual Trick-or-Treating (tm).

I always wanted to be a fairy princess or a ballerina or something else equally floaty and delicate when I was little, and it really cramped my style when Mom forced me to wear a turtleneck under my costumes. Nothing says "swanlike elegance" like a bright orange neck and cuffs peeking out from under your leotard.
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[User Picture]From: hoppers
2004-10-30 02:39 am (UTC)
OK so, my mom made me this awesome ET costume. It was fantastic, if I ever find the picture of it, I'll post it. I had the red finger and everything. Only thing was, to make it huge and "poofy" she used a matress cover. Or several of them. This thing was at least 3" think, mask and all! We went to a friends house to undress me so I could cool off before trick or treating again. I can garentee no one had a cooler costume that year.

My son went as a school bus when he was about 3. I think I got my moms insane bug for creating costumes no one else will have. :-) Of course now he's older, and it's not "cool" to have a unique costume.
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[User Picture]From: devilishdestiny
2004-10-30 06:30 am (UTC)
ugh. it's called Beggar's Night here in the Des Moines area.
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[User Picture]From: susitna
2004-10-30 03:31 pm (UTC)
You made me a fairy princess costume? I'm having trouble remembering what i was for most halloweens, except when I was a robot, cause that was awsome. I'm a schoolgirl this year. Woo hoo!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-10-30 08:10 pm (UTC)
You don't remember the pink princess dress that you wore for years in dress-up? And I made you a blue one, too, besides the American Girls costume that I made you.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-10-30 08:14 pm (UTC)
And I made you a Jedi costume, back when you couldn't find anything Star Wars. Remember the lightsaber I fashioed you out of a glo-stick that wouldn't glow because it was too cold outside?
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[User Picture]From: moderate_excess
2004-10-30 04:27 pm (UTC)
When I was growing up, we went out after dark just as you described, wandering about with no parental supervision or flashlights or reflective tape. We got candied apples and home-made rice crispy treats (there were no packed ones back then) and we loved them all. The change happened gradually, and I will never forget the look on my mom's face when her lovingly prepared caramel apples were declined with a grimace of distrust. This whole business of over-regulating children's lives is such a sad thing--the first time I ever heard of a "play-date" I was genuinely shocked and appalled. I still am.

Down here in New Orleans, my experiences with Halloween trick-or-treaters has been mixed. I have had the cute little kids in costume accompanied by their parents, and then I have had the roving gangs of kids with no costumes who grab candy out of your hands and insult you. I even had some who grabbed the glass bowl I had my candy in, smashed it against the door frame and then sauntered off to look for the next sucker willing to give them anything. I called the police, because they were milling about in the street, shouting and blocking cars and generally acting like little thugs. I think I would not let my kids go trick-or-treating here by themselves, but not for fear of poisoned candy or razor blades or adults luring them into cars, but because of kids like those.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-10-30 08:12 pm (UTC)
Talk about taking the fun out of the evening. I've had bigger kids come by, but never had them be rude or mean.

I don't get people....
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