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What Happened To Halloween?

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Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. I think it’s in part to the fact that I love autumn, but also it’s because Halloween is like no other holiday. It was always separate from all the others, far and away it’s own special day. Think about it. It’s the only holiday that doesn’t make you honor, observe, give thanks or struggle with religious significance. It was dark, scary, spooky, eerie and sometimes even horrifying.

What do you think would happen if you showed up to a New Year’s party dressed as a ghoul with a bloody axe in your head and fake guts hanging out. You got that right, you’d be called a freak and immediately ostracized. How about going to Easter mass dressed as the devil, man that’d be fun. I’m sure you’d really enjoy the stories about what happened, after you came to in the emergency room days later. Halloween allows you to cross over to the dark side, to touch the gruesome and grotesque. If only for one night. What other holiday offers you something like that?

Let’s not forget about the candy. You might find a parade once in a while where people throw out candy, but it usually falls in a pile of house manure, tastes like gasoline or gets run over by a Shriner in a midget car just as you’re reaching for it. Halloween says, “Free candy from as many doors as you can knock on before the porch light goes out”. While some houses give better treats than others, it really shouldn’t serve as any kind of discouragement, it’s all free. Don’t like it, throw it out. Maybe you’re saying to the screen, “But Ramblin’, I’m a full grown adult, how do I get free candy?” “What are kids for?” that’s what I say. Don’t have kids, well where do you think the saying, “Like hiding in the bushes, pouncing out and taking candy from kids dressed up like dinosaurs, pirates and princess” comes from?

Lately though, it seems as though Halloween has been bought by the “Giant Wussy” corporation. I think the beginning of the downfall was when parents stopped making their children’s costumes and/or kids stopped “going” as general things, (like a skeleton, vampire, witch, etc.). Today all the kids are beatin’ the asphalt as corporate sponsors. Every time I open the door I feel like someone is going to ask me to buy a vacuum or encyclopedias, but instead of asking if they can give me a quick demonstration they just want free candy. I don’t mind giving it away, but I’d like to see some creativity, some effort, some, (dare I say it?) pizzazz! The other thing I’ve noticed is some people have taken to decorating their lawns with inflatable ornaments. Am I only the only one who thinks BB gun? Inflatables and Halloween go together like peanut butter and ketchup. It’s ridiculous. I saw a pumpkin tonight that had three ghosts popping out the top, all of which were soft and cartoony, wearing big smiles on their faces. WTF?! Halloween is for zombies, ghouls, gremlins, ghosts, bats, skulls, mummies, gigantic spiders, gallons of fake blood and the haunted, not the Care-Bears, Smurfs, or Strawberry Shortcake.

Is it too much to ask to scare the shit out of children, rendering them permanently scared, needing years of therapy to return to normal life?

Egg On!

Ramblin’ Rooster, MD, PsyD, Child Psychologist (free consultations beginning November 1st, call for details)

Written by Ramblin' Rooster

October 31, 2008 at 2:57 am