The Decline of Halloween 

Monday, October 31, 2005

I thought all my lights would welcome trick-or-treaters.

I even "borrowed" the squashes from work (and my mother's sandals) to add to my menagerie:

My menagerie:

Eviscerated Eddie:

Gutted Gary:

Brain Tumour Benji:

Pillaged Po:

The Franken Furbies:

We bought the good candy too, not licorice or healthy crap. Aero, Caramilks, Kitkats, Crunchies and Smarties is what our kids would be getting.

Now if they only came to our door.

Around 6:30 PM we began to worry that the kids missed our house. We stared out the window to an empty street.

Finally a couple of princess-looking little girls came. They took but one chocolate each. Then two little brothers, just as polite. A group of five kids, boys and girls, came next to ask for water instead of candy. At least we would have enough candy for a deluge of trick-or-treaters that would surely soon arrive.

We kept a list: fifteen trick-or-treaters the whole night. Our last batch of boys apologized for ringing our doorbell after 8 PM. They had a small bag that - though up to the rim with candy - equaled only half of one of the loot bags from my youth.

8 PM? Fifteen kids? One measly half-bag of candy? What happened to the Halloween I exploited?

In my day, trick-or-treating began right after school. By 6 PM, we would have already started on our second bag. On my first Halloween - probably the peak of trick-or-treating in North America, I collected four bags of candy. We would have gone on to 10 PM, or even 11 PM if we stumbled upon a neighbourhood that forgot to turn off their lights.

While I felt pity for these children cheated out of their Halloween, at least I could celebrate the maturity of mine with a horror film.

Yet, flipping through the channels for over an hour turned up only the ubiquitous The Exorcist.

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