Happy Halloween.

The phone rang in the middle of this morning’s pumpkin-carving, and you know what that means — run to sink and rinse hands, quickly dry them, pick up the phone, and…

Good day. Did you know congressional Democrats have dangerously blah blah blah illegal immigration blah blah blah open the borders blah blah blah–

“Are you a real person?” I asked.

“Yes,” said a young man who seriously seemed to be cursing the day he answered an ad that promised good money working at home.

“So who are you working for?” I asked, as in the middle of the blah blah I hadn’t heard a candidate’s name.

“The National Republican Congressional Committee,” he said.

“My congresswoman is a Democrat, and is so confident of victory she hasn’t bought so much as a billboard in my neighborhood,” I said. “Why don’t you spend your time calling someone in a district where you have a chance?”

No reply.

“Thanks for calling,” I said, and hung up.

This election cannot be over fast enough for me.

OK, then. Halloween! Little Red Riding Hood is bouncing off the walls; we don’t leave for The Most Worthless Day of School for another 20 minutes. No school in the morning, a Halloween parade at noon, followed by a party and God knows what else in the afternoon. Then trick-or-treating tonight. Why don’t I just puree some Snickers and hang an IV drip? Tomorrow the squirrels are free to destroy our jack-o-lanterns and everyone will be full of junk food. Here’s another day I’m happy to see in the rear-view mirror.


I love Ann Arbor, but sometimes I’m glad I don’t live there anymore. From the Ann Arbor News:

Many families love trick-or-treating, but agonize over what to with all the excess candy. The key is to set limits and stick to them. Decide, as parents or as a family, what your rules will be. Explain your reasons clearly, whether they are dietary, dental or philosophical. Each family has its own comfort level and needs. My family eats three pieces of candy apiece on Halloween, two pieces the next day and one piece the third day. We all brush our teeth promptly and vigorously afterward.

My friend’s family fills a large orange candy bowl communally with everyone’s choicest candies. They can all help themselves whenever they wish, but when it’s gone, it’s gone. A family with food allergies keeps only the dairy-free, dye-free candies. Another family boycotted all Nestle products to protest the company’s infant formula sales tactics in developing countries. We have all made different decisions based on our family values. If your children express a desire to have as much candy as their friends, “different families do things differently” is a fair response. Understanding this concept will help your children cope with peer pressure and cultural differences they encounter in all aspects of their lives.

(HT: AAiO)

Posted at 1:02 pm in Current events, Popculch |

29 responses to “Happy Halloween.”

  1. Danny said on October 31, 2006 at 1:14 pm

    I decided to bump my last blog coment to this thread to keep it current.

    I read an article yesterday, during my convalescense, that stated that the reason the democrats are having such a hard time winning is gerrymandering. And I thought, “you have to be kidding me.�?

    For one thing, until 1994 the dems held the house and senate for about 40 uninterrupted years. And thanks largely to Clinton’s “coat-tails,�? they lost both houses. But the main thing I have observed over the years, is that gerrymandering is really the result and desire of BOTH parties. My firm suspicion is that they get together and AGREE to this as one.

    This probably serves more purposes than we can imagine, none of them good for the electorate, but the main one that come to mind is the gerrymandring produces many, many “safe�? districts so the parties can hang on to most of the campaign money they raise.

    Thoughts, anyone?

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  2. nancy said on October 31, 2006 at 1:29 pm

    You’re right — both parties happily carve the districts up to solidify their positions. There’s a famous one in North Carolina that basically runs along the interstate highway for a couple hundred miles.

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  3. colleen said on October 31, 2006 at 2:10 pm

    Wow. Some of those AA people can wring the fun out of just about anything, can’t they?

    Agree with you about election. Make it STOP already. The latest Souder salvo accuses Dr. Tom of wanting to keep medicines from sick people. Or poor people. Or old people. Or old poor sick people.

    Yeah. I’m sure DOCTOR Hayhurst, champion of Matthew 25, is all about keeping people from health care.

    You know. When he’s not out kicking puppies and stuff.

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  4. mary said on October 31, 2006 at 2:28 pm

    I’m still waiting to see if some reporter DOES go interview all the rounded up sex offenders. On a similar but less creepy note, I’ver read that some animal shelters take all their black cats and white bunnies off the adoptable list for the week before Halloween to prevent any satanists from making Halloween sacrifices. I have to wonder if that’s been a big problem in the past. Doe animal shelters have a big rush on the black cats around October 30, and then get reports of mutilated kitty carcasses?
    Between junk like this and the whole Ann Arbor fun-sucking candy theories, it’s a wonder that Halloween is catching up to Christmas in consumer spending. My theory on that is that adults are the ones doing the dressing up and partying these days. Back when I was a child a million years ago, adults behaved like grown ups and kids dressed up and got candy. No one dressed up their pets, or at least I didn’t know anyone who dressed up their pets. Pets generally don’t like to wear clothing, in my experience. The closest I’ve come to pet dressing was putting antlers on my fawn great dane for the family Christmas card.

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  5. nancy said on October 31, 2006 at 2:38 pm

    I don’t know what it’s like in Cali, but every place I’ve lived, the home investigation to adopt a cat is nearly as intense as one to adopt a baby. It isn’t over in a week, either.

    We dressed Spriggy in a clown suit one year as sort of a private joke — when he was going through kindergarten puppy training, the instructor, after failing to get him to do a damn thing she wanted him to, looked down and said, “All you need is a little clown hat, don’t you?” The costume consisted of a big collar, hat and paw thingies. The paw thingies wouldn’t fit, he refused the hat and tolerated the collar. So that was his costume.

    Our neighbors in the Fort had a prison-stripes outfit for their dog, along with the fez-like hat, which read BAD DOG. I thought it was amusing.

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  6. MichaelG said on October 31, 2006 at 2:42 pm

    GODDDDD I’m so sick and tired of campaign ads. Ds, Rs — all of them. Somebody please shut them all up!! I hope we get a little break after next week and before the next siege. It seems like we’ve had non-stop ads since the last election. Each one more vicious and full of innuendos, half truths, cheap shots and outright lies than the last. There are plenty of times when I wish they could all lose. And those announcers, the ones who sound like they’re about to cry . . . I don’t even answer the phone anymore.

    As for Ann Arbor, well, we have the Peoples’ Republic of Davis not far from here which is full of all the same PC stuff. I’ve also lived in the Peoples’ Republic of Berkeley. It gets really funny. The city govt can’t decide what to do about some parking regulations, but they’re all over those important foreign policy issues. Ya gotta love these people, though, they’re all so earnest and serious and dedicated and committed and I end up busting out laughing just as we’re all doing at the AA candy issue.

    The candy issue points up the fun of being a grandparent. I don’t care if my little man has an extra helping of candy, fries or whatever. That’s the owners’ problem (for some reason my wife refers to our daughter and son-in-law as “the owners”). They’re the ones who have to bring discipline to his life. My job is to teach him to drink, cuss and smoke cigars. And by the way, the owners are doing a wonderful job. He’s the sweetest kid I’ve ever seen. Especially on Halloween.

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  7. brian stouder said on October 31, 2006 at 2:44 pm

    Back when I was a child a million years ago, adults behaved like grown ups and kids dressed up and got candy.

    agreed. We do the adult things – taking the costumed young folks here and there (an aside – back when I was a kid, mom turned us loose and we ventured far and wide. I cannot imagine turning our kids out without mom or me escorting them).

    But the day has definitely ‘taken off’, hasn’t it? Coupled with the funny line that it gives women an excuse to dress as trampy as they dare, and that the day revolves around costume parties and excess chocolate, it seems to be the one time that New Orleans-style rowdiness goes coast-to-coast.

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  8. MichaelG said on October 31, 2006 at 2:49 pm

    I’ve heard the same thing about shelters and cats at Halloween, Mary. And Nance, we’ve adopted our share of animals here in California. (Where does this “Cali” come from? Nobody here says that.) We’ve never been the subject of any particular investigation and have always left with the new object of our affections. Maybe a little time and investigation would be a good thing.

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  9. nancy said on October 31, 2006 at 2:55 pm

    Well, I admit I got “Cali” from LL Cool J. You know how I like to be down wit’ the shorties, yo.

    I wonder where you even BUY a “dairy-free, dye-free” piece of candy.

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  10. brian stouder said on October 31, 2006 at 3:04 pm

    decorative food aisle at Michaels

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  11. MichaelG said on October 31, 2006 at 3:24 pm

    Reminds me of a caffeine free, non-fat latte. Called a “why bother”.

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  12. mary said on October 31, 2006 at 3:33 pm

    The city and county shelters don’t investigate, but the rescue groups and the Humane Society do. The city seems to be happy to have anyone take a cat or a rabbit, since they are overrun with them. If you adopt a pet that’s already been fixed, it’s only five bucks plus the cost of a license here in LA. Smokey the lab was a five dollar dog, and Charlie, my first great dane was too. Both excellent dogs.

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  13. mouse's moom said on October 31, 2006 at 3:38 pm

    Hmmm, long-time Ann Arbor mom here. This is definitely a fun, interesting place to raise kids. 😉

    Our Halloween routine was that the kids collected all that candy and ate whatever they wanted pretty much whenever they wanted. Actually, they lost interest in it very quickly and when I got a chance, I’d dredge it up out of whatever shambling mounds were in their bedrooms at the time and stash it somewhere they weren’t likely to find it. ’round about Easter or so, I’d usually stumble upon it again and throw it out.

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  14. mouse's moom said on October 31, 2006 at 3:42 pm

    And my daughter used to say “Cali” until she moved out there last summer. I’m sure it’s taboo now.

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  15. mary said on October 31, 2006 at 4:05 pm

    “Cali” is sort of like calling San Francisco “Frisco.” Way uncool.

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  16. brian stouder said on October 31, 2006 at 4:12 pm

    Well, I for one NEVER call my region ‘the bible belt’ or ‘the rust belt’ or ‘East Bumf**k’ or ‘podunkville’ – so I guess I understand, all things considered…

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  17. mary said on October 31, 2006 at 4:15 pm

    My younger son used to call Los Angeles “Lost Sandwiches,” which is what it sounded like to him. Works for me.

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  18. mouse's moom said on October 31, 2006 at 5:00 pm

    And then there’s my mom, a native Detroiter who has lived in the Upper Peninsula since she got married 60-some years ago. She gets absolutely livid whenever she hears the word “Yooper.”

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  19. Connie said on October 31, 2006 at 5:44 pm

    I too have dressed my dog as a clown. Years ago when we lived in Seymour I made matching clown costumes for my husband and then 4 year old kid. Seymour has a very cool Halloween costume parade and contest, complete with the high school marching band in their costumes. When I realized there was no contest category they could go in together, I made a matching clown hat and ruff for the dog. They won best group of 3 or more and got a big color picture in the paper. (Hung for years on the bulletin board at our grooming shop.) Prize was $15. Costumes cost about $40 for fabric. Got my money’s worth though, they have been loaned out endlessly over the years.

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  20. Pam said on October 31, 2006 at 5:50 pm

    Here in Ohio where the republicans are not doing so well in the polls, the ads are getting worse by the minute! Ours go like this, ” blah, blah, blah, LIBERAL, blah, blah, blah LIBERAL, blah blah blah LIBERAL. Get it? The L word! Subtle! Our phone rings constantly, all evening. Thank goodness for caller id!

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  21. Connie said on October 31, 2006 at 5:51 pm

    And here at the library many of the staff dress in costume for Halloween. We all enjoy the annual preschool story time Halloween costume parade. One of the reference librarians is dressed as one of her co-workers. It is absolutely hysterical to see. They are dressed in identical khakis, shirts, shoes, and one is wearing a wig identical to the other’s usual hairstyle. Though my favorite sight was the green haired, green faced witch janitor, especially when she was cleaning the toilets.

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  22. Connie said on October 31, 2006 at 6:40 pm

    Pam, ours are sort of like yours except they go like this: blah, blah, blah, LIBERAL, blah, blah, blah Nancy Pelosi, LIBERAL, blah blah blah LIBERAL blah, blah, blah, Nancy Pelosi, LIBERAL.

    When I heard Cheney say that the Iraq insurgents were rooting for the Democrats, I had a momentary wish for Cheney to drop dead. I immediately took it back, don’t drop dead until we have a Democrat speaker.

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  23. mary said on October 31, 2006 at 7:08 pm

    Cheney is from Wyoming, and Wyoming has the highest suicide rate in the country. Somehow that works for me.

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  24. Danny said on October 31, 2006 at 8:11 pm

    Actually, despite what the Republicans are saying to save their own butts, it is quite reasonable to assume that the insurgents in Iraq would want the dems to win. The dems want to pull out of Iraq as soon as possible (and probably sooner than would be wise).

    The insurgents want the US out of Iraq so as to hasten the whole area’s descent into chaos. It would then become a fertile training ground for terrorists, further hurting security worldwide.

    The dems are unwitting allies.

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  25. joodyb said on October 31, 2006 at 9:01 pm

    here’s where you get that candy. read to the list: http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/15887228.htm

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  26. mary said on October 31, 2006 at 9:04 pm

    I don’t know. I think W is the number one recruiting tool for al qaeda. They’ve never known better times. Why would they want to switch parties? They thrive on the philosophy of Bush and his henchmen. He’s made heroes of them to lots of people who may have been indifferent otherwise.

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  27. Laura said on October 31, 2006 at 11:04 pm

    “I wonder where you even BUY a “dairy-free, dye-free�? piece of candy.”

    Now, now. Don’t pick on us parents of food allergic kids. At our house, we have to go dairy (and egg and peanut and nut) free with the candy. It’s way easier than you think (try laffy taffy, smarties, skittles, blow pops, etc.). Anyway, what would be the option–keeping food allergergic kids from trick or treating?

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  28. Deborah said on November 1, 2006 at 11:51 pm


    I could not agree more. The terrorists have thrived during the Bush watch. Why would they want to see him and his regime go? Everyone, get out and vote on the 7th. As Andrew Sullivan said on CNN this is no longer an election it’s an intervention, Iraq is the world’s Katrina.

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  29. Nina said on November 6, 2006 at 1:00 pm

    What to do with unwanted leftover Halloween candy? If it’s “intact”, bag it up and donate to a local food drive/pantry! (And in another 2 months you can do the same with Christmas treats.)

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