Posts Tagged ‘trick or treat’

child

“I love profanity, but I think if it’s used too much, it just sounds a little trashy. I think it’s more effective when it’s dropped intelligently. I like intelligent profanity.”~ Katie Aselton

Never in my life did I think I would come across this situation. But I did. And it was less than an hour from when this blog post was started to be composed.

I live in a gated community. Which means anyone going door to door is a solicitor, and that’s just a big no-no.

This would also mean that neighborhood children who are out on Halloween night are not permitted to come on to the property to start knocking on doors.

Halloween is for all intents and purposes, closed down and forbidden on this property.

However, it is NOT against the rules here that residents and neighbors who have grandchildren and the like, that families can’t come visit their grandparents to show off their Halloween costumes. What IS against the rules is going door to door, begging for candy.

So then about an hour ago, as I sat here in the dark, trying to get myself into the spirit by watching old horror films on television and newer horror films on the Internet, was a knock on the door.

Not really believing that anyone would dare attempt to solicit sweets out of me, I opened the door to find myself in a big ole steamy pile of WRONGNESS.

There stood a tiny Red Power Ranger, begging for candy.

Of which I have absolutely NONE.

And so in a scramble to find something decent to give, because I had no candy. I grabbed a fistful of quarters and threw them into this beggar’s bag.

The clinking of quarters caught this little one’s attention and he reached into the bag to see what I put in. And found a bunch of change.

At this point was when HELL broke loose. Matthew_Getting_Mouth_Washed_Out_With_Soap

This bratty punk then said the following (and I quote verbatum) “Not money, its supposed to be candy, motherfucker!”

INCREDIBLE!! Who or where gave him this kind of knowledge of language??

I became unglued.

I went outside, feeling quite confident that I could have overpowered him and slam dunked him into a tree or a dumpster or something. But then an adult came along.

I asked if the child belonged to them and they said that the child was in fact theirs.

I told them about the conversation that JUST happened moments ago. Only to find the parent or guardian or whomever it was, lay into the child like a wicked stepmother.

Where are the children finding the ways to grow a pair to be like that and talk like that? Adults are bad enough as it is, and I’m tired of dealing with nasty and mean adults.

But now, children????

“Charlie Brown is the one person I identify with. C.B. is such a loser. He wasn’t even the star of his own Halloween special. “~ Chris Rock

As Halloween 2012 comes to an end and I am sitting here in the dark and sharing text messages with a sexy Vulcan, I thought that I would pause from that and share the story that I was explaining to the rest of you.

It has been wonderful not having to deal with random strangers knocking on my door and begging for candy and treats. I’ve not had to deal with that for many years. Either I have lived on very private property where the practice of Trick-or-Treating was frowned upon or lived inside a gated community. It has worked to my advantage.

The point of this post is to tell the story of the last time that I did have someone knock on my door on Halloween.

They were not small children, they weren’t even teenagers. They were full grown adults dressed up in homemade costumes. And they were going door to door looking for beer.

The smell of the beer that they had already consumed was heavy. Some of them couldn’t even stand up on their own… they were that drunk!

I sent them away. And told them not to come back. BIG MISTAKE.

They did. But because they were so intoxicated, they made so much noise that I knew they were coming up the street. And so, I prepared for their return.

Let me set up the scene here. Halloween night in Kansas. Snow is already on the ground. It was around 12:30 AM. The air temperature was 25-30°F. And a thunderstorm was in the area. Actually it was approaching. But it was raining with a little bit of lightning and thunder.

I ran outside and waited in the dark, trying not to wake up the neighbors. The drunks had gone to the local grocery store which was on the other side of the fence from the property that I lived in, and bought a bunch of eggs to take their revenge.

Yep, they were there to throw eggs at my home. Two of them got a few off, but it did very little damage as the shattered eggs landed on bricks. Nothing that I personally had to worry about.

But what they did not realize was that as it began to rain softly in the brisk and cold night air, I was in the dark with a garden hose. And I hit them all with the water coming from the faucet that was on the side of the building through a garden hose that was laying across my patio area. It had been there already and so they didn’t realize it.

I soaked their drunk asses to the point of pure moistness.

They all ran off into the night, cursing me and threatening that they will come back to finish the job. But I was ready.

It was about 3:00 AM and half of the determined group had in fact, returned. I had put away the garden hose but had made some arrangements for company. The local police department.

Sure enough, the eggs began to hit my home, and I called the direct cell phone to the officer nearest me. Within a few minutes, the police officer came up on them in the dark and rain and night and got up right behind them before turning on his swirling lights and the siren.  Some of them were arrested for trespassing. Others were charged with damage to private property or intent to cause damage. The others who ran got away with it but I never heard from them ever again.

So yes, that was the very last time I had ANYONE knocking on my door on Halloween. I hope all of you who celebrated with Trick-or-Treating and attended parties were all safe tonight. And I also hope that you had a lot of fun.

Until the next time.

 

Trick or treat, baby?

“I don’t know how long I’ll be trick or treating. Maybe I’ll be 80 years old and still trick or treating.”~ Kieran Culkin

I went to research the different customs across the world of Halloween. I thought like many other holidays, that certain countries celebrated Halloween on different days and such.

 But my research was thwarted and I began to dig deeper on this custom of “trick or treating”.

The custom of going door to door dressed in a costume, or “guising” has been done in the USA probably long before the 1950’s.

I honestly didn’t believe in the fact that trick or treating was solely an American tradition or custom. And I was right.

Trick or treating resembles the late medieval practice of souling, when poor folk would go door to door on ‘Hallowmas’ (1st of November) which is All Saints Day, receiving food in return for prayers for the dead on All Souls Day (2nd of November). It originated in Ireland and Britain, although similar practices for the souls of the dead were found as far south as Italy.

A Soul cake is a small round cake which is traditionally made for All Saints Day or All Souls Day to celebrate the dead. The cakes, often simply referred to as souls, were given out to soulers (mainly consisting of children and the poor) who would go from door to door on Hallowmas singing and saying prayers for the dead. Each cake eaten would represent a soul being freed from the depths of Purgatory. The practice of giving and eating soul cakes is often seen as the origin of modern trick or treating as we know it today.

So in general, the practice has been going on for centuries.

The custom of wearing costumes and masks at Halloween goes back to Celtic traditions of attempting to copy the dark and evil spirits or placate them, in Scotland for instance where the dead were impersonated by young men with masked, veiled or blackened faces, dressed in white.

Modern traditions of trick or treating vary in its custom. In some places, children are required to perform or entertain with a joke or to sing a song before the treat is actually given to them.

So it isn’t uncommon for other places to actually have the children WORK for their treats.

After the age of ten, there was one house that I definitely had to work to get to the front door. The family always intended on scaring children to the end of their wits. But if they made it to the door, they were rewarded with their own can of their favorite carbonated beverages. (The husband worked for the Coca-Cola company at the time.)

I went when I was fourteen. I was rather successful. Then I tried again at sixteen and was turned away with the common response of “Aren’t you too old to be doing this?”.

I found it ironic to be asked that question when I was met at each door by an adult who was already dressed in THEIR OWN costume!! I thought “how ridiculous!”.

After that, I focused more on scaring the crap out of children that came to MY house looking for treats instead of begging for it. I just was never any good at it.

I would continue to dress up for Halloween throughout my teenaged years. But the older I got, the more I became lazy. Probably the last time anyone dared to ask me, “What are you dressed up as?”, my automatic reply was “A schizophrenic.” Some got it, others found it tasteless.

Definitely in the 21st Century, there are no children performing. The standard greeting of “Trick or treat?” is just followed by the dispersing of treats and then depending on whether the child is polite or not, a verbal “thank you” was given and then it was off to the next house to repeat the process until that home was emptied of its bounty. Or it got too late in the night and it was in fact a school night.

So yet again, the roots of tradition are quite fascinating. No child in America today is praying or singing for the dead for cakes, that is for sure.

“One man’s transparency is another’s humiliation.”~ Gerry Adams

Last night was the annual October showing of the cartoon, “It’s the GreatPumpkin, Charlie Brown.”, one that I would have to say that has been a part of my life each and every October. And each time I am reminded of my childhood memories of Halloween and Trick-or-Treating.

Sufficed to say that even in my adult life, I have watched that cartoon every October ever since I can remember and have missed it, but once in my life time.

And with those childhood memories comes a tale of a child’s Halloween nightmare.

Living on a circle drive, my parents were very serious about us, their children, not to wander too far down the block on either side. But one year for Halloween, we were actually “smart” enough to have gone all the way around the entire neighborhood as fast as we could without the parents wondering where we were.

Naturally this was back during a time when Halloween or parents were concerned with the dangers of children being out at night. Still though, when we went out each Halloween, we always had an adult with us, whether it had been my father or mother. But this one year, we were left to the supervision of the two elder siblings to watch over us in the night as we went door to door begging for candy.

For years, our neighbors were kind of predictable. We knew which neighbors gave out healthy stuff like boxes of raisins, and we knew who had “the good stuff” which was chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate. Not to mention bubble gum. Our favorite house actually was the one who handed out the bubble gum. Not to say that its better than chocolate since that is a matter of opinion, but those neighbors across the street and one house over, had that gum in a candy dish– all year long. We knew it was a for sure bet.

But this particular tale would have moved my childhood into the next chapter of Halloween activities as our small-sized plastic pumpkins with the handle on it would prove not to be enough from the bounty that was inevitably before us. If we only were smart enough at that young of an age to have used our pillow cases!!

It just so happned that year on Halloween  on that same evening, or late afternoon, there was a wedding and I went with my father and younger brother to that wedding. We knew that there would be a reception, and let’s face it… when you are that young, the dream of having wedding cake as well as assorted salted nuts and those pink, yellow, and green colored mints added on to the piles of candy that would have been taken during the night was a child’s wet dream before they even knew what one was.

Needless to say, my father did not allow us that dream.

We had a choice: Wedding reception or Trick-or-Treating? We thought that we would get more out of the evening if we went home and went door to door. We were SO right!!

Also with the underestimated candy luggage was the action of doing away with the old standby Halloween costumes that were easy to slip on, like a shirt with a mask that was held together by a thin rubber band and tiny holes for the nose to breathe out of and of course the eyes to see. That Halloween, we did not have to dress up like a character from Scooby-Doo or a princess or whatever it was that we had. I think a Frankenstein monster, we had one too? I don’t recall. What I did remember was actually being “grown up” enough to wear the make-up and paint.

So we went out. We skipped over those who were bearing fruits and nutrition-filled food, as well as those just handing out caramel apples and went straight across the street for our gum. That year, we got TWO pieces of gum and we thought that this was the beginning of a marvelous adventure.

Door to door, house to house. Both sides of the street. And then we had reached our “limitations” to what we were used to. Going any further in the neighborhood was unheard of, but the elder two siblings said “Let’s Go!!”.

We left nothing unchecked. Each and every house was struck. Several neighbors that we never saw face to face or even knew as neighbors would definitely remember our faces as we stomped across front yards and cut across lawns to get to the next front door faster from the house before.

Our lousy plastic pumpkins were full before we even made it half way. The thought of going and knocking on strang doors started to bother me, so I every once in a while I would surrender my candy-filled pumpkin and tell my brother, “I don’t like this house. It’s creepy and the porch light isn’t on. I don’t want ANYTHING from this house.” And so my brother would go ahead and take my pumpkin and come back several seconds later. Clearly, I would end up with far less than he would.

My humiliation came to me when we had finished the entire lap around the block and came home for the inevitable “parental scanning for dangerous objects and mother/father candy taxes” were applied. Yep, we had to go through that TWICE.

Needless to say that a majority of the chocolate items were gone before they gave back our candy. But then I would see in my brother’s pumpkin some items I had never thought possible to be given out for Halloween.

Someone had given him a Little Debbie’s Star Crunch. It was untampered with in a singled package. And on top of that, he had a single dollar bill.

When I asked him where he got them, he simply smirked with a bold smile of bragging and said, “You said you didn’t want anything from those houses, so I didn’t get you anything.”

Neither my mother or my father would take that Star Crunch from my brother. So this fabulous snack treat, and some pocket change totally was lost because I didn’t trust the houses on the other side of the block. So humiliating!

I would learn never to turn down Halloween treats, from anyone at anytime no matter what. We were still going to have to go through the parents to make sure everything was safe. But all that meant was more for us for the next week. Even if we lost the grandest of all treats to the parents, we still had awesome replacements because nobody from that point on when we went out, would dare say “I don’t want anything from this house.”