Monday, November 01, 2004

Happy Halloween and all that.

I’ve never really been the Halloween type, you know? I would dress up as the requisite Ninja or Transformer outfit when I was a kid, walk around, get my loot etc., but then came the part that always screwed me: the candy. I would usually gather POUNDS of the stuff, and a week later, all of it would be gone. Well, all of it except for the SweetTarts, Raisin boxes (Raisins? Are You Insane???), and the lame pennies that old people always seemed to prefer over overly sweetened goodness. Or then there was the “homemade” treats that, while I’m sure were safe and probably very delicious, I wasn’t taking my chances.

But after a while, Halloween just loses its flavor, you know? For me, I can pinpoint when Halloween transitioned from a loveable, can’t-wait-for-it type holiday to something that was more loathsome. When I was in seventh grade (yes, I know – it’s kind of old, but I was fat and free candy was nothing to scoff at) I strapped on a mask with some black clothes and a plastic knife and hit the houses with my friend and his younger brother.

And their mom.

Which is fine, she was more than welcome to walk around with us…no big deal. Until we hit the first house, where she proceeded to unstuffy from her jacket pocket a skull mask. She put it on and from her other jacket pocket, removed a bag, much like our own. I was horrified. Never before had I seen this type of thing happen. A grownup? Dressing up to get candy? Isn’t there laws or something forbidding this kind of thing? I was actually nervous and ashamed at the same time; this was OUR thing…we’re kids. You had your chance!

Anyhow, once she was settled, we head up the pathway to the door. We knock and say the requisite “Tricker Treat” (how many people actually enunciate the “or”?) and the old lady (I swear my mind is telling me that she was a nun, but I don’t know if that can be authenticated at this point) begins doling out the candy. She drops one into my friend’s trash bag, then his brother’s, then their mother’s and then, mine. But then she stops. And then she looks at me, begins to size me up, you know?

Then she gets this disappointed look on her face and says, “You’re too old.” She then slams the door and turns off her porch light. She probably died that night, and it was directly correlated to her little heart being broken because she saw a tall kid (the same age of his friends!) with a mask and assumed the worst.

See, Halloween almost has a height restriction on it if you’re a kid. My friend’s mom was shorter than me at the time, so it was assumed that because I was the tallest person there, I was the guardian. It’s like the reverse height restriction at Disneyland.

A company needs to invest in a themed sign that people can put out on their pathways leading up to the doors that says, “You must be under this height to receive candy.” They should standardize this height, too. So that freakishly tall kids and annoying 17 year olds don’t get their candy. It could be a comically illustrated goblin or witch or monster that was at once friendly to the ones under the height limit, but at the same time, creepy and scary to those at or above the height limit.

Oh well, till next year!

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