A Humbug Halloween

It’s Halloween, folks, which means it’s time to get out this (very scary) picture of Rubin:


And, with that out of the way, it’s time for me to reveal that I freaking hate Halloween. I know, I know – shocking, isn’t it? But I just don’t get it. Sure, I can see how it would be fun if you were a child, or if you were going to a party of some kind (any excuse for a party is a good one in my book), but all you adults who are practically wetting yourselves with excitement at the prospect of Halloween? I just don’t understand you. And also? I’m glad you don’t live in my street, because we don’t give candy to adults. Oh hell, no. In fact, we don’t give candy to kids either, and that’s because there IS NO CANDY. I ate it. Sorry.

Now, I know you’re all probably shrieking in disbelief at the screen right now and exclaiming about how it’s the BEST! HOLIDAY! EVER! and how you’re SO! EXCITED! but I just don’t understand why. You see, to my mind Halloween is, at best, a bit of a half-assed "celebration", and, at worst, downright dangerous.

I mean, if you were to read any of the UK tabloids (not generally recommended, although it can be good for a laugh), you would know that pretty much every second person in the country right now is a paeodophile – sorry, a "FILTHY PAEDO SCUM!". All year, parents work hard to protect their children from danger. Hell, in some schools in our area, you’re not even allowed to take pictures at your kid’s Christmas Nativity Play, because some other parent might object on the grounds that you, yourself, could be a paeodophile. So, all year we tell our children not to talk to strangers, and then, on October 31st, we send them out into the night with the instruction to go knock on strangers’ doors and beg for candy. Seriously, what’s that about? Does "stranger danger" stop existing just because it’s Halloween or something?

Now, to be fair, not all parents are like this. Some actually accompany their children to the strangers’ doors, and while I still think it’s a little odd to teach your kids that it’s OK to beg strangers for candy (and threaten them with Bad Things if they don’t cough up), I guess there’s no arguing with that. But what the hell, I’ll argue with it anyway…

See, here in Scotland, the tradition used to be that, as well as dressing up, trick or treaters would have to actually do something to earn their candy. (This was all fields then.) So, they’d knock on the door, then they’d have to tell a joke, or sing a song or… generally they’d just tell a joke or sing a song. Now? Nothing. They just ring the doorbell and then stand there with their hands out. In fact, some of the little beggars (and I use that word in its truest sense) aren’t even dressed up. Some of them, aren’t even children, really: they’re teenagers who wait until all the little kids have gone to bed, then come round and expect you to give them money – just because it’s Halloween and they’re standing on your doorstep.

I’m really glad I already ate all the candy.