I love Halloween. It’s my favorite holiday. In October, the weather here in Texas gets slightly less sweaty, the leaves go from a pretty summer green to ugly brown death in about a day, and I get to haul out my huge collection of spooky decorations. And candy. Don’t forget about the candy.
The best part is the cute little children dressed up as princesses and cowboys and watching them get all hyped up about free candy. When my two girls were little, I loved dressing them up and walking all over the neighborhood on Halloween night.
As a kid, I’m sure you were just like me. You ran around your neighborhood, dressed as a homemade ghost or a dime-store Wonder Woman, as fast as you could, trying to gather as much candy as possible before your parents made you go to bed.
Remember how you never scored as much candy as you wanted to? Why? Because:
(a) Your supervising parent wouldn’t let you cross the busy road because you might get run over,
(b) You couldn’t see the paths or find the doorbells because your stupid 1970’s flimsy plastic mask made you half-blind, and
(c) Most of the candy you did manage to gather got thrown away by your mom because it was either homemade or not individually wrapped. Which of course, meant it was either laced with cyanide or loaded with sewing needles. Thank you, by the way, to all of the Sickos in the ‘70s who ruined Halloween for all ensuing generations.
Now that my teenagers are in high school, they can’t legitimately run around in costumes begging for candy door to door anymore. Because, let’s face it, what’s more annoying than overgrown teenagers knocking on your door way past the Bewitching Hour and begging for candy? Last year, we had truckloads of dudes with husky voices and razor stubble asking for free food and smelling like they’ d just taken a Budweiser bath. Gross. Seriously, dudes, you have to know when to hang up the pillowcases and stop trolling for handouts.
And what about the overgrown girls dressed as Streetwalker Dorothy from The Wizard of Ho or Hello Slutty Kitty, or Sexed-Up Zombie Skank? Seriously, parents, where are you these days and what ever happened to modesty?
I’d like to further address the parents of these overgrown kids. Shouldn’t you, as a parent, put a stop to your 19-year-old’s efforts to scare the hell out your neighbors by trick-or-treating way past his or her prime? In case you are clueless, and you need a little help in this area, here are a few ways you can tell WHEN YOUR TEENAGER IS TOO OLD TO TRICK OR TREAT:
1) Does your kid still look like a kid? Or more like an Armed Gansta?
Do they have facial hair and neck tattoos and tower over all the bushes near the doorway? Believe me, families participating in Halloween don’t want to open their door at night to a big Drug-addicted Goth Thug wearing a black overcoat and wielding some sort of accessory that could be considered a lethal weapon. This is a bit disconcerting to the homeowner and might leave them wondering if maybe they should be giving their overgrown Halloween guest a blast of pepper spray or a tazer jolt rather than a Snickers bar. So parents, if your kid’s body has graduated from Fun Size to Full Size, maybe it’s time to hang up the ski mask.
2) Zero Effort when Fashioning a Costume
When your kid puts no thought whatsoever into their Halloween costume until the day of, and then fashions it from dirty laundry on the floor in their room, then they should probably just stay home instead. Honestly, if your kid insists on knocking on my door in an effort to scrounge up some free food, at least put damn effort into it. When he refuses to say “trick or treat” and declines to make eye contact, I’m pretty sure he’s actually there to case out my house for committing petty theft next weekend. If your kid intends to carry on with this shameless behavior all night, then the least you could do is buy him a homeless beggar costume, or a prison uniform, which would be extremely appropriate since that’s most likely where he’s going to end up after high school anyway.
3) Bad Attitude Equals Lack of Halloween Spirit
Parents, if your teen puts on a black hoodie, and then shrugs noncommittally when you ask him what neighborhood he’s going to trick-or-treat in, then that should be a red flag for you. When your kid rings my doorbell at midnight, then just rolls his eyes and sticks a pillow sack under my nose while texting his moocher friends, he’s asking for a less-than-friendly interview from the local cops. When you get that call from the local jail cell, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Hey, I was smart enough to recognize these signs myself a few years ago, so my teens don’t go door to door for candy anymore. It’s sad that they are too old for glittery butterfly wings and diamond tiaras now, but don’t worry too much, I still buy them plenty of candy. And we usually have a friends over for a party, too. But what we won’t be doing this year is opening the door to tall dudes smelling like stale beer and cigarettes. Even if they do look like Johnny Depp.
Therefore, please be advised that anyone over 4 feet tall showing up at my door this Halloween won’t be getting anything from my house. Except maybe a copy of the local “Help Wanted” ads so you can go get your lazy butt a job and buy your own candy next year. And you’re welcome.
Happy Halloween. Now get off my lawn.