All you Halloween Hijackers need to cease and desist. Back off trying to mess with my second favorite holiday. I don’t know how and I don’t care why, but every year it seems more people try to take an awesome celebration that is totally costume and most importantly candy focused and attempt to turn it into a healthy dried apple snack pack, carrot and zucchini stick platter with non dairy ranch dressing dip, pumpkin, gourd and corn festival. Halloween is not any of those things! It is an extraordinary wonderful time of junk food and flowing costumes that disguise an ever-expanding middle-aged midriff all experienced under the influence of a sugar high. In other words - perfection. Why, I ask you, do so many people have a problem with that?
Halloween is a huge part of childhood. Doubt me? Then do this little test. Can you remember what you got for your 7th birthday? Probably not. Now, can you remember what you were for Halloween when you were 7? Of course you can. I was a pumpkin. Even back then I was already going for comfort over style. Who needs to wear the tight, skimpy fairy costume when the pumpkin outfit gave me an infinite waistband. Now, for the bonus round. I bet you can even name which neighbors delivered on the good stuff - brand name chocolate bars and which neighbor handed out the disappointing discount flavored carmel nougats. Now, the Halloween Hijackers are trying to rob our kids of these precious Halloween moments and memories. It saddens me, really I’m having to reach for a tissue and blow my nose, as I think of the millions of young Americans growing up without the childhood touchstone that is Halloween.
Besides the priceless memories what about the educational value of Halloween? The math skills it teaches our children are considerable. There’s the counting, adding, subtracting and grouping and sorting by like characteristics. There’s no better math game than “Dump the Treat Bucket.” What child wouldn’t want to hone their numerical know how than by taking their Halloween candy and using it as a math manipulative. First you sort, by taking all your candy and grouping it into like piles. For example, Snickers in one pile, Reese Peanut Butter Cups in another. Then you count how much candy is in each pile, proceed to add up the piles, then subtract the candy you just ate from each pile. The game is so much fun it can go on all post trick-or- treat night or until some light weight who “can’t hold their candy” gets a stomachache. In fact, the extensive research I’ve done on Halloween participation and how it correlates to increased math aptitude (funded in part by the High Fructose Corn Syrup Lobby) shows that the decline in U.S. math scores can be directly linked to our nations decrease in trick-or-treating. Empirical data shows that in the 1950’s when neighborhood trick-or- treating was at it’s apex the United States led every developed country in math. Now, in 2010 as the number of trick-or-treaters has declined precipitously we’re dead last in math scores and second to last in science! That’s right - we’re the cellar dwellers in the smarty pants Olympics. That information alone should be your rally cry. It’s go time people. If you’re a good American. If you love this great country of ours then get your kids in a costume and have them work the neighborhood for candy. Nothing less than the future of the United States depends on it!
Be brave and stay strong my Trick-or-Treat Patriots because your biggest enemy in the battle of the “Re-Halloweening of America” is the ever-growing Anti-Candy faction known as the “No Funs.” The No Funs are everywhere. Sadly, I must report that have even infiltrated our schools. Just today I experienced first hand, a Halloween tragedy. At my children’s elementary school the new principal has issued a candy free Halloween proclamation. Like, it wasn’t bad enough last year when they asked the students to bring all their candy to school to donate to charity just a mere 36 hours after trick or treating. Now, they’re asking kids to “enjoy” a candy free Halloween. The note sent home encouraged parents who “allow their child to engage in trick-or-treating” (Please, with the whole “engage in trick or treating” verbiage. The school makes it sound like we’re letting our kids slam back whisky shots.) to hand out non food treats like stickers, rings, pencils and those idiotic rubber band bracelets. It gets worse. My daughter’s school Halloween party - sorry scratch that - it’s called a very politically correct Autumn Fest - was a sugar-free zone. The treats included cheese, popcorn and sparkling water. I infiltrated the school and unloaded a hail of popcorn balls. The outside was innocent fiber rich popcorn - that allowed me to clear the treat inspection team. The inside was M&M’s, Reese Pieces and mini chocolate chips. The glue that held the yumminess together was the nectar of the gods - pure Karo syrup. The kids went cuckoo for it. The No Funs acted like I had smuggled white heroin into the school. I got called to the principal’s office and while he berated me, albeit politely, for not following the sugar-free edict I sat in one his chairs and ate not one, but two popcorn balls and then licked my fingers. Score one for the Re-Halloweening of America party, my friend.
Our enemies in the fight to save Halloween are vast. Almost as lethal as the Anti-Candy faction are the Harvest Hallelujahs. These are the people who are deathly afraid of Halloween. Some feel the holiday is Satan based and promotes evil, others are just haters of sugar infused fun. They prefer that October 31 be celebrated as a Harvest Festival in a large, well-lit room, gymnasium or hall decorated with corn stalks and uncarved pumpkins. The whole Harvest Festival movement is wrong. Primarily because October 31 is not about a good harvest, that holiday is called Thanksgiving and it comes on the last Thursday in November. This confused bunch needs to be stopped.
Yes, I will agree that some Halloween celebrators can be gross. Thank you Costume Express for having the Ob-Gyn costume of “Dr. Feltersnatch” greeting me when I walked into your store with my 10 year daughter and all the zombie baby stuff is particular disgusting this year. But, the real reason for the season, the purity of the holiday deserves to be celebrated. Halloween is all about love. The love of sugar, hydrogenated soybean oil, cocoa butter and red dye # 4. The love of family that children experience by giving their mother first right of refusal on all Hershey's miniatures and fun sized bars. Halloween is also about love thy neighbor by being the house on the street that hands out full-sized Hershey bars and not mini bags of baked apple chips.
If we fail in the noble fight to Re-Halloween America I shudder to think what maybe next. Valentines Day certainly would be on the chopping block. It’s got chocolate and nude cherubs sure to offend both the Anti Candy Faction and the C.C.T.K.C.C. - “Concerned Citizens to Keep Cupid Clothed.” July 4th would be extinguished because of the excessive use of dairy - specifically sweet, creamy butter in apple pies and flag cake frosting. Fireworks finished due to the “Quiet Skies on the 4th Foundation.” This is it. Halloween is the line in the sand. If we let the forces of No Fun infiltrate and take over Halloween then the sanctity of the American way of life will be forever harmed. We will have let down our forefathers. We will no longer be a country that lives under the motto of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But a country that functions without fun, without freedom and without festivities. This is why I pledge to be a valiant warrior in “The Re-Halloweening of America” movement. Our battle cry - Party On! Please tell me that you'll join me?
*Thanks for reading the Snark. To stay up to date on new posts go to Facebook, type in Snarky in the Suburbs and click like or go to twitter @snarkynsuburbs. Happy Halloween!