Someone who has children has to answer this question for me: What the hell happened to Halloween?
Seriously. What happened to Halloween, and why does it suck now?
When I was growing up, I used to go out every Oct. 31 - first with my parents, and then with my friends when I got older - and I used to stay out for hours. If I didn't return home with 500 pieces of candy, it was a failure of a night. I remember my mom taking me and my sister to random apartment buildings nowhere even close to our house. It would be like 11 p.m., and despite being about 8 years old, I'd knock on people's doors and shout, "Trick or Treat!" at the top of my lungs. It was the best day of the year, save for Christmas and my birthday.
Now, it seems like no one cares, and those who pretend to care have ruined the spirit of Halloween. What I mean by that can be explained via a conversation I had with my editor, Ryan. This took place the Thursday prior to Halloween:.
Wow. I'm still speechless. What sort of a**holes are setting what day trick-or-treating should be? How can they possibly justify making it on a non-Halloween night? What's next? Is Thanksgiving dinner going to be rescheduled to the Monday after in some municipalities? What about Christmas? Is Santa Claus suddenly going to be rescheduled for Jan. 3? Oh, and let's have people exchange Valentine's Day presents on March 21! What a great idea!
There's no logical explanation for moving Halloween. Trick-or-treating should always be done on Oct. 31. Because that's when Halloween is. Halloween is not Oct. 29 or Oct. 25 or April 7. It's f***ing Oct. 31, you miserable douche bags.
And what's with "scheduling" trick-or-treating from 6 to 8? So, you can't knock on someone's door at 8:15 and expect to get candy? What if a parent works a 12-8 shift and won't get home until around 8:30? Is the kid not supposed to go trick-or-treating at all? It's ridiculous. Islamic countries are more lenient with their laws.
Another huge problem I have with the 6-8 window is the start time. Who goes out and begins trick-or-treating at 6 p.m.? That's dinner time, and plus, it's still light out because Daylight Savings Time is still in effect. You're not supposed to trick-or-treat when the sun is out. The whole point of trick-or-treating, besides receiving tons of candy, is to be frightened a bit. Halloween is a day for ghouls and goblins, and haunted mansions, and various other things that are supposed to scare you. There's a reason why networks like AMC air horror movies throughout the second half of October. If you're a kid, and you're not scared at all at any point during Halloween, your parents are doing a s***ty job of raising you.
With that in mind, what's so frightening about going out to trick-or-treat at 6 o'clock? I get it if you have a toddler who needs to go to bed by a certain time, but if you have kids who are at least 6 years old, they should not be stepping outside at all until the sun goes down around 7 p.m. If you're a parent who does otherwise, you seriously need to consider giving your children up for adoption, because they are going to remember their disappointing Halloweens and grow up to be even more miserable tw*ts than you are.
I still can't get over the fact that some towns have scheduled a certain (incorrect) time for trick-or-treating. It's just mind-blowing to me. It's the most un-American thing I've ever heard. And the sad thing is, if these horrible, idealistic douche bags are reading this, their only take-away might be, "Hmm... having Thanksgiving dinner the Monday after Thanksgiving sounds like a mighty good idea!"
I went up to my girlfriend's parents' house for Halloween. I did the same thing last year and had a blast, as my girlfriend's brother Jimmy set up a haunted house in the garage. It was pretty cool; I had a skeleton hand behind a picture frame, and I would reach out and scare those who passed by. The only negative about this experience was that my girlfriend's sister's husband Rob, who stranded us on the Delaware River, continuously yelled at me to scream louder.
"Pick up the slack, Walt!" he'd command. I wanted to slap him with the skeletal hand, but this might have gotten me in trouble. Maybe.
Unfortunately, there was no haunted house this year for two reasons. First, Jimmy now lives in Pittsburgh, which is unfortunate for all parties involved. He hates it there.
"Everyone here sucks, Walt!" he once told me. "You should visit here for a week, and you'll have Jerks of the Week material for years!"
I plan on making the trip at some point during the football offseason, and I look forward to meeting all of the Pittsburgh a**holes that I've apparently been missing out on.
The second reason is because our "haunted house" was deemed too scary by some parents.
"You guys have to take it down a notch," one parent said to my girlfriend's mom.
Take it down a notch!? It's freaking Halloween, you nut bag! Why would anyone ever take it down a notch on Halloween? It's not like we were murdering people. And so what if your kid was scared? That's what's supposed to happen!
Good lord, what has our country turned into? I don't know why or how it happened, but parents nowadays have become overprotective, coddling douche bags who won't let their kids do anything fun. It's the same thing with these damn participation trophies. They give out participation trophies to anyone and everyone in youth sports so that all of the kids feel good about themselves. That's just ridiculous. Kids need to be told that they suck. Otherwise, how are they going to improve upon themselves? If they're told they're great all the time, they'll never have any sort of motivation to strive for improvement, and they'll always live in this false sense of mediocrity, which is absolutely horrible.
Participation trophies and Halloween may seem like different things, but not really. Scaring kids is good; otherwise, how are they supposed to know what they have to be afraid of? It'd be one thing if we lived in a damn hippie world where everyone held hands and skipped across a flowery meadow every day, but news flash, idiot parents, that's not the case!
On the positive side, one father had the following exchange with my girlfriend's mother:
Random Dad: My son cried after being in your haunted house last year.
Girlfriend's Mom: Oh, I'm sorry.
Random Dad: Sorry? Why sorry? That's a good thing. I'm glad he cried! It'll toughen him up!
I was thrilled to hear that. It's great to know that not all parents nowadays are horrible hippie douche bags who are ruining our country.
We didn't go up to my girlfriend's parents' house to just give out candy. She wanted to go trick-or-treating with her nephew, who turned a year old recently. It was going to be his first-ever Halloween in which he wasn't an infant, so his mom planned to take him trick-or-treating around the nearby cul-de-sac. She bought him a Curious George monkey outfit, and we were all to dress as other characters from that series.
No one even thought to take him out before it got dark out - and yes, hippie douche-bag parents, he survived - but that didn't stop other people from trick-or-treating before the sun set. In fact, people began ringing the doorbell at 5:30, which was ridiculous.
Most of these kids - and this is another thing that now irks me about Halloween - didn't even bother to say "Trick or Treat!" They didn't say anything; they just held open their bags and demanded candy.
Again, these piece-of-s*** parents are to blame. They've raised their kids to be self-entitled a**holes who feel like they deserve these horrible participation trophies they receive for accomplishing nothing. Yeah, good luck to your dumb kid in the real world, where they'll either be eaten alive in some corporate environment or earn like 55 cents per hour creating awful paintings that no one except pretentious hipsters want to look at.
Anyway, I thought these kids were bad until I heard one 8-year-old idiot say the following when my girlfriend's mom put three pieces of candy in his bucket:
"My mom said I can only have one piece of candy."
Uhh... WHAT!? First of all, what kind of monster of a mother does this kid have? Does she give him about $3.50 for his birthday? Does she leave a nickel from the Tooth Fairy? How can a woman limit her son to just one piece of candy from each house on Halloween? I actually thought about calling child-protective services so this kid could move into a foster home and escape his miserable life.
Second, the fact that this kid actually followed his mom's orders is pretty pathetic. Parents tell their children stuff all the time, but kids aren't supposed to follow stupid rules. Things like not talking to strangers actually makes sense, but commands like "you can only have one piece of candy," or "don't stay up past 9 playing video games," or "don't use your telescope to look into the hot neighbor chick's bedroom when she's changing" should always be ignored.
I can only imagine this kid as a grown up. It's going to be horrible...
Grown-Up Single Candy Kid: Here's my latest work of art. My hipster friends love it, and a renowned art critic valued it at $10,000.
Art Vendor: We'll give you 45 cents for it.
Grown-Up Single Candy Kid: Only 45 cents!? But most of my other art peers earn 55 cents for their paintings!
Art Vendor: You can only have 45 cents for it.
Grown-Up Single Candy Kid: Oh man, OK, fine.
These are the types of wussies these parents are raising.
At any rate, we went trick-or-treating after dinner. I wore this giraffe mask that made it impossible to see. I actually said hi to a scarecrow because I thought it was a real person. I also nearly fell on multiple occasions, which would've been bad. As an old, fat man with back issues, I would've been out of commission for a while. And by "a while," I mean like a decade.
I eventually took off my mask because I couldn't handle it anymore. This allowed me to see what was going on outside. There were a fair amount of trick-or-treaters, and I noted three observations:
1. This one kid dressed as Death, who was in front of us at one house, knocked on the door. An elderly woman answered it and acknowledged that she was giving candy to the Grim Reaper. His response:
"Grrr... grrr... grrr..."
If I wouldn't have gotten in trouble for it, I would've slapped this kid upside the head. What the hell did he think he was? Some kind of werewolf? Death doesn't growl. That's just stupid.
2. Three girls who were about 12-13 went around dressed as nuns. Yeah, really scary, right? This was a preposterous costume idea on its own, but to make it even worse, they all wore skirts.
I was pretty dumb-founded by this. First of all, who the hell dresses like a nun on Halloween? That has to be the worst costume idea ever. Seriously, ever. And second, what the hell is a slutty nun? I get slutty cats, and slutty nurses, and slutty witches because men secretly want to have sex with them - yes, cats, too - but nuns? These are old hags we don't want to touch. There is no way a nun could ever be sexy because, umm... THEY DON'T HAVE SEX!
Dressing like a slutty nun is akin to donning a slutty fire hydrant costume. Actually, now that I think about it, I think I speak for all men in saying that we'd rather have sex with a fire hydrant than a nun.
3. There was a drone flying around with a white sheet attached to it. Whether this was supposed to be a floating ghost or an airborne KKK member, I'm not sure, but this thing kept whizzing around the neighborhood the entire night.
It took me a while to figure this out, but I finally understood the purpose behind this drone. The white sheet was just a diversion; it was obviously being operated by some kid who wanted to tape his hot chick neighbor changing.
Now, there's a real winner. He didn't listen to his mom and instead was able to videotape his hot chick neighbor in the nude. Sounds like the best Halloween ever.