Smash your pumpkins, 'cuz everyone's favourite pagan holiday has ended. Christmas Bargains have (already!)replaced Halloween Spooktaculars. I'd say it's about time for....a Halloween post mortem! Just in case you weren't sick and tired of all things black 'n orange, here's your last chance to sit back and reflect on Halloween's gone by...Aaaah yes, the olde glance backwards to see what we can learn for - and forget about by - next Hallow's Eve...
Grab some candy, then read on....
Things have definitely changed since I was a trick-or-treater. Where have all the caramels gone? And when did candy get so pricey? And so puny? Two Hershey's kisses in a mini pack? That's just rude. Even the-already tiny Rockets have shrunk into mini versions. It ain't right.
We used to go with pillow cases and come back with them overflowing. Sure there were a few duds, the odd, ahem, bad apple, but on the whole, score galore. My own kids didn't do nearly as well. I don't know if it's the new punes, the rising price, or if the competition. My kids don't care, and I should be grateful - the less they get, the less I steal from them.
I also think in certain 'hoods (ie, mine), the overcorwding becomes an issue. People spend hundreds on dollars on the candies and then dole 'em out in single servings. The only supersizing going on was at the new infill houses. If you made it up the stairs you were rewarded - big time.
Around the corner is one of THOSE houses - ghouls on the roof, ghosts on the trees, corpses in the garden. The line up goes down the street as people come from miles around to see That Crazy House - or maybe they just want to try to get on tv. Yup, even the cameras are there - I should know, I pimped out my kids to try and make 'em stars. But they were too busy wiping the noses on my shoulder to bother screaming on cue.
That kind of place is a real draw, it is. But we've discovered that by going destination shallouting around there, you simply don't cash in come sorting-out time. It's the regular streets that are the winners. Even the quieter sides of the traffic-y ones kick candy butt. Choices, reach-ins, multiples. It's confection porn -and not in a creepy way.
'Cuz let's face it, Halloween is kinda creepy. Forget the fact that all the marketing crap has worked.
(aside: North Americans spent almost as much on Halloween as Christmas. I chalk it up, in part, to the fact that all non-Christians can finally get over their Christmas envy by decorating their houses. I know mine subsided a bit when I strung up the fairy lights...I mean, lit up spider web...on my front porch.)
But back to the creep factor. Let's discuss. Hologram skeletons on doors? Creepy. Grown women dressing up as schoolgirls? Creepy, creepy, creepy. Bunnies, kittens, curves-ahead road costumes? Whatev. I get it. Not for me, but I get it. That's not creepy. But the schoolgirl fetish stuff? Sorry, it's creepy. Giver-outters getting a bit wasted? Not so creepy. Trying to include us in their revelry? A little toooo welcoming. Creepy.
And the creepiest of all? The mask factor. I get chills just picturing them. Those who know me know I have mask issues. Big time. But come on people, who doesn't?! They're revolting. Those rubberized ones are the worst! I took my son (also mask-phobic) for a test drive of masks. He found most of them creepy, but titillating - the gorilla, the zombie, the werewolf. The scariest? The rubberized blond woman. What happened to makeup? Or that fun face-painting pray? Down with mak! Up with people!
But what have we learned from it all? That candy and costumes go on sale the day before Halloween, but that prices are halved the day after. That crowded streets make for lousy end-of-night paydays. That every girl under 6 dresses up as a Princess. They just do. And every one over 6 goes witch or goes home. That no one makes their own costume anymore.
And, finally, we learned that sometimes the parents get to fish their wish. And not just by eating all the Reeses Peanut Butter Cups and pretending it's for their children's health. No, they get lucky by wishing for a shot of something to keep their energy up and then - poof! Finding a house with a couple of blokes dressed as Russian Sailors and handing out, yep, shots of Vodka. Cuz it really happened! Now that makes for a Happy Halloween!