Halloween humbug reflections

Alan Duff

What do children, dentists and The Hershey Company all have in common? They all love Halloween, and it is on the way. This unfortunately means it’s time to shut the doors, bar the windows and make sure that no light escapes your house, lest you desire to be harassed by hordes of marauding children.

Now, I’m a reasonable person and I understand that children love to dress up and eat candy. I’m not opposed to that practice at all, provided it’s at a controlled party. But this trick or treating nonsense? No, no, no!

Giving children the license to run around the neighborhood in the dead of night in costumes is dangerous. These trick-or-treaters, herby referred to as ToTs, are bound to smash pumpkins, eat candy and have fun — and unless all your neighbors are like Mr. Rogers — kidnapped as well.

I don’t want to be called a curmudgeon, because I’m not one. I’m simply a person that believes that at the age of 16, children need to grow up and stop making noise. The reason it’s okay to dress up children and pets is because they are cute.

However, there is an expiration date for when a human ceases to be cute and becomes an adult, and that is when kids learn to drive and wield a giant bulk of machinery capable of running you over in seconds.

Argue with me all day that people become adults when they get to vote, but many so-called adults don’t vote. Maybe its 21 when people earn the right to drink, but many adults don’t drink. Some say a child becomes an adult when they learn responsibility, but are you really saying that learning to avoid running over the stop sign and the cat isn’t responsible?

There is no excuse for anyone over the age of 16 to be a ToT, and it easily becomes a slippery slope. Why stop at 16, or 17, or 21 or 50? These are the ToTs who seem to think that the day they finally buy a house and return the favor, is the day they get to stop living off this Halloween candy welfare program.

Coined by the illustrious Sigmund Freud, the term “regression” is what this phenomenon of adults participating in childish activities is known as, and dressing up as one’s favorite fictitious character like Superman, the Wicked Witch or Mr. Peanut is definitely childish. This is a serious problem in America. These are the same adults who seem to think it’s okay to like Harry Potter, Lady Gaga and shows produced by Seth MacFarlane.

As C.S. Lewis said, “When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up,” explaining that he recognized that adults need only concern themselves with mature, adult things when they grow up. You may say, “Well what about the writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry who talks about adults and their ‘matters of consequence?'” To which I say, “Duh.” Adults need not concern themselves with things like candy, costumes and fun.

Our concern this Halloween should be wondering why adults spend so much money on this childish holiday. According to the National Retail Federation, Americansplan to spend $6.9 billion this year for Halloween. Doing some clever math, that’s the amount of money needed to feed five million starving Africans with Snickers bars for a day. So what is more important, one day of shenanigans, or five million starving people with bellies full of chocolate, I’ll let you adults decide. Happy Halloween.