Tricks are for kids


Call me a witch, if you must.

You should know that I hold a grudge against trick-or-treaters with beards and mustaches. I’m not talking about the impenetrable, fuzzy beards that are attached via 3M adhesive tape or even the slightly worse elastic-band-over-your-ears variety. Come on over Abe Lincoln and Captain Jack Sparrow! I mean the real thing.

If you come to my house with a full-blown I-haven’t-shaved-since-the-first-of-the-month beard, I will not give you a Kit Kat. In fact, I may take the coveted Reese’s Peanut Butter cup right out of your Star Wars pillowcase and eat it in front of you.

Not nice, you say? Hear me out before you unleash the flying monkeys.
Trick or treating is for kids. Not adults who wish they were still kids, but actual children.

Layering a costume over a parka and bolting house to house down your block is unparalleled fun; the magic of transforming into something or someone else for a night, mustering courage to walk up to the creepy neighbors’ back gate, and of course, the instant gratification of sugar for bravery, all bubble together after the mandatory photos are clicked.

Halloween is the jackpot of all nights, for a kid. Encouraged freedom. Celebrated mischief. Flexible curfews.

And as they run down the street until they fade into a bunch of bouncing glow sticks, I can see them grow up a little, and I know later, when they sit around the kitchen table and count their candy stash, they will look a little older to me. They have navigated the world in the dark for a few hours and the triumph of their loot is proof they can survive this first taste of independence.

But they do not get up in the morning and drive themselves to school. Or to a job.
This is not to say that Halloween is only for children. In fact, I would argue it is probably the most ”adult” holiday of the year. Our block alone is laden with human corpse cocoons and full-size Grim Reapers. Body shops. Bloody graveyards. The North Hill does it big.

And is there really anything more fun than seeing your friends and neighbors dress up for a costume party? Seriously. I am astonished by how hungry we all are to become someone else for a night, even as adults. From elaborate vintage costumes with hoop skirts and powdered wigs to homemade wonders slapped together with leftover shower curtains and duct tape, Halloween offers up an opportunity to enjoy the unreal. The imaginary. Maybe even the dream unfulfilled.

And truthfully, anyone who shows up in public purposely wearing a milky white Hefty bag as a diaper, demands a tip of the hat. Bravery is not just for children. I would gladly serve him my best creature cupcakes. Or bloody bon bons. Or witch’s brew.
But, I will not hand him and his “Mom” even a single pack of Smarties at my doorway. No. Instead, I will hand him a bottle and ask him in for a timeout. A good Massacre Martini will put a little hair on that baby’s chest. He can always shave tomorrow.