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11/1/11

Where Have All The Trick Or Treaters Gone?

I have fond Halloween memories of ghetto costumes.  Being a pirate for 3 years until I outgrew the costume.  Taking old sheets and being a ghost.  Or mummy.  Or toga-wearing Roman (et tu, Brandon?).  All in the name of Halloween night, and trick or treating.

My friends and I would meet up at dusk, plan out our route, and walk from house to house until we had blisters on our feet or our bags were too filled with candy to carry anymore.

Then we'd keep going.

Now, as an adult, Halloween has a different meaning.  There's the grown-up side (parties, girls in slutty costumes, lots of alcohol) but also the 'giving out candy and going "AWWWW" to all the kids in their costumes' side.

But wait... where are all the kids?

I purchased the mandatory bag of candy, and waited.  No kids.  Over the last 2 Halloweens, I have only seen 3 people at my doorstep.

Why?

The definition of trick or treating has changed.  At least in Idaho...


In modern times, the candy-givers all congregate in one general area, making it easier (and safer?) for the kids.  Events like "Trick or Treat Street" or "Boo at the Zoo" or "Trunk or Treat" take all the adventure and hard work out of it.

I know we live in an age where everybody knows everything about everyone else.  There are databases of child predators, and strangers in big vans saying "Free Candy, Get Inside."  But all of these things existed 20ish years ago too, when my friends and I were hitting the streets.  You just knew which houses or hoods to avoid.

I mean, come on.  I lived in the fucking ghetto.  If you go knocking on a door, saying "TRICK OR TREAT" at one of the meth houses, you'd be shot.  Yet my friends and I still did our thing.  Parent free.

I'm not saying to send your kids out unaccompanied, and hope they come back sometime before midnight.  It's 2011, and you'll get CPS called on you if you're letting your kid wander the streets.  But what ever happened to EARNING your candy?  Walking miles, knocking on door to door, saying please-and-thank-you to complete strangers, all in the name of a sugar rush?

I'd like to start a theme.  Bring it back in 2012.   No blisters, no candy.  EARN the sugar if you want it, kids. I did.  It builds character.
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20 witty retorts:

Lady Estrogen said...

I totally noticed the heavy parental accompaniment. We would go out as a group of friends and our parents would give us a curfew (of like, 8.30 or 9, but still) iIt's different days, I tell ya. Sad.

Pickleope said...

What!?! How will kids know which house to egg if they don't go to the door and come away with pennies? How will they develop the skills to change costumes to go back to the house with the big candy bars? How will they know the tragedy of having your bag snatched by teenagers? Won't someone think of the children!?!

Haven said...

Man, we never had parental accompaniment. At least not once we hit 10 years old or so. We were free to run loose and terrorize the neighborhood as we hyped ourselves up with sugar. Not going door to door just seems wrong to me.

Yandie, Goddess of Pickles. said...

I'm debating letting the oldest go by herself next year. I still go with my kids but I tend to hang back at the end of the driveway.. and I cannot even fathom DRIVING my kids from house to house, like I've seen some parents do.

1904 Blogger said...

no blisters no candy, i love it
we used to run all night long house to house till there was no more candy to go around
i didn't get one trick or treater last night

Shutterbug said...

I was thinking the same thing...where are all the kids??

danjor21 said...

Nothing is like it was when we were kids. We would go out, fill up our bag, go home and drop it off then go back out with another bag, oftentimes hitting the same houses!

Nowadays, there ain't a kid out there who isn't accompanied by an adult, being chauffered around in a vehicle!

D4 said...

I'm gonna hate it when that happens here. It's only a matter of time, isn't it?

And you should stomp your foot down! Put up a whole campaign just to let everyone know that you have candy at your house! Use facebook and all that stuff. Start the hashtag #wheretogetcandyinidaho for Halloween. Why not?

Just don't mention how you inject THC or hallucinogens into your candy.

Orang3 said...

and why the whatever-costume-slut for 99% of girls? they're always nurse-slut, vampire-slut, even zombie-slut

alyssa said...

i'm with you on the earning thing. nothing makes me madder than when a greedy, lazy twelve-year-old comes to my door in jeans and a hoodie but expects to be given candy just because he slapped on a cape. that's BS. put some effort into your costume, kid, like i always have. i totally discriminate trick-or-treaters. the ones with creative costumes get 2 pieces, the ones that are old enough to buy bags of candy themselves get 1... if i even open the door for them. gotta teach these kids the hard way, i s'pose.

aamedor said...

only had 6 kids and I live in a pretty good neighborhood

WilyGuy said...

I'm out of love for the trunk or treat crowd. The last one I went to, the kids just kept circling. I had no candy at the end. What is the point of buying too much to have some for myself, if I don't have enough for myself? Thankfully, I have kids to go get more for me.

When I was a boy (soon to be followed by a 'get off my lawn') we got the blisters. There was a pillowcase for candy and you compared notes with kids going the other way to avoid the fruit, unless it was the caramel apples that I am sure had razor blades embedded in them.

You're right on!
WG
http://itsmynd.blogspot.com

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Insomniac #4 said...

It does seem like Trick-or-Treat participation has plummeted in recent years, but I think it made a comeback in my 'hood. The Mrs. disagrees. Wouldn't be the first time.

http://crimesoftheinsomniac.blogspot.com/

Kelly said...

Unfortunately, we live in a day and age where youngsters are pampered too gosh durn much. I say we attach wheelbarrows to their backsides and tell them they can't come home until they get their wheelbarrows filled to the brim with candy and beer.

That's good parenting right there, I tell ya.

Zombie said...

There were hardly any trick or treaters around my house. And the ones that did come didnt even have any costumes!! What has happened to my holiday?!?! O.o

gotjack28 said...

I fully agree. Halloween isn't what it used to be. When I was a kid we absolutely earned our candy. An adult went with us but we scoured the ENTIRE neighborhood. If your light was on we were coming!

Dale said...

I totally agree with you, I have had three trick or treaters in the 6 years I've lived in San Francisco. I remember running from house to house as a kid. It's sad now the modern day trick or treating, but I'm sure Today Show stories like "Should you xray your kids Halloween candy" aren't helping at all. What a sugary shame! Nice post and hopefully your theme can be brought back in 2012 :)
~Dale

Choirchick22 said...

I was so bummed out that there were no trick-or-treaters. My boyfriend and I got some candy and waited for the kids, but none came. And they haven't come the two years before either. I went trick-or-treating with my parents, but I still walked all that way and enjoyed my candy happily.

Thank, Q said...

I'm convinced Halloween isn't for kids any more. I haven't seen a kid at my crib in two years. I think it's for men to get drunk and ladies to dress like hookers. Maybe that's why I like it so much.

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