The big day is almost upon us. And although we in this business already bring enough controversy and rancor upon ourselves on a daily basis — cranked up to Spinal Tap 11 in an election year — I really think it would be irresponsible to let this important season pass without addressing one of our most pressing and immediate social concerns.
I don’t mean those grim, humorless unfortunates who think Halloween is a kid’s descent into Satan worship, even if the kids show up at the door dressed as puppies or astronauts or cheerleaders. (One dressed as Harry Potter, Hermione Granger or Professor McGonagall is probably doomed already.)
If you’re one of those pitiable folks, you should stop reading this and move on to something else — maybe the work of that “Christian” cartoonist who died last week in California after a career of mocking gay people, Muslims and Catholics. His stuff sounds like a whole truckload of yuks.
No, I mean those well-meaning people (and the really annoying ones usually are) who take it upon themselves to make Halloween nutritionally correct. The ones who dole out fruit and nuts and such instead of candy.
Really, now ... it’s one night a year. Weren’t these hyper-conscientious folks kids themselves once upon a long ago? If you never made yourself sick on Halloween candy, you missed one of the most important (and ultimately educational) rites of childhood.
At this point, I must pause to concede that our industry is a major aider, abettor and enabler of this annual social sanctimony scourge. Every year when October rolls around, you start seeing headlines like: “Make this a healthier Halloween,” followed by something like, “When those little ghosts and goblins show up on your doorstep, you can make it both fun AND nutritious,” bla bla bla.
(Not one of these articles, you’ll notice, has ever quoted an actual kid’s response to whether he or she would rather have a Twix or a whole-grain prune bar.)
I have a sneaking suspicion that some of these Halloween food police are the same annoying people you meet at parties who, when somebody mentions something on TV, seize the opportunity to say, “We don’t own a television.” This is a proud declaration that presumably confers upon them some kind of cultural superiority.
I sincerely — and I say this with no desire to be judgmental or hostile — hate those people.
They’re also a lot like the relatives (and we all remember them) who gave you clothes for Christmas instead of stuff you wanted. Here’s a hint, in case you’re still clueless about this: Things kids need are nice gifts … for their parents. Things kids want, and preferably don’t need at all, are nice gifts for kids.
“Aren’t you going to thank Aunt Boobie for the pretty shirt?”
Thank you, Aunt Boobie, for the pretty shirt from Dork-Mart that will get torn when I wear it to school and get beat up.
But that’s another holiday issue for another month. Meanwhile, if you sincerely feel bound to prepare for this year’s Trick-or-Treat invasion with raisins and granola instead of Snickers and Milk Duds, I respect your convictions.
By the way, there’s a paper bag in flames on your porch. You should go stomp it out.
Dusty Nix, 706-571-8528; firstname.lastname@example.org.