Yesterday a flyer was pushed through the mail slot. Our neighborhood association will be having a residents-only trick-or-treat event “by popular request” a couple days before Halloween. Why? “To see our children and enjoy their costumes in a safer environment.” At the bottom, in small type: “This activity does not discourage participation in any other Halloween trick-or-treating traditions.”
Something you should know: We get lots of trick-or-treating tourists on Halloween. Of course it’s dangerous to make assumptions by the way people look and dress, I’d be willing to bet at least half of the kids who ring our doorbell are from either Detroit or other nearby, less-white communities. This bothers a lot of people. It used to bother me — back when it was the case in Fort Wayne — but I got over it. Essentially, all I really want is a costume and a smile. For this, you get a Reese’s Cup.
I read the flyer, and figured it out: Participate in the neighborhood t-or-t, then leave your porch light out on Oct. 31 and you can feel you served the local kids without having to serve the tourists. Alan read it, without me saying a word, and said the same thing. Kate read it, and reached the same conclusion. As it turns out, I have to be gone Halloween evening, and won’t be able to participate anyway, but now it’ll look like I’m participating in this stupid charade.
P.S. To my knowledge, no child — local or tourist — has ever been seriously hurt on Halloween since I’ve lived here.
This all comes as yet another kettle of shit bubbles in our local schools, over the question of “non-residents” sneaking into our schools. There are always a few caught and removed over the course of the year, although it’s usually a case of families moving in or out and being briefly, not chronically, in violation. This explanation never satisfies those who believe the district is crawling with illegals, so to speak, and starting this summer a group of these people have been insisting on tougher penalties. This plays into the hands of critics on the left and right, and frankly, makes the community look crazy and mean.
Which is my way of saying, sometimes I don’t like my neighbors very much. Not the next-door ones, but all the rest.
Getting ready to watch the de-bate — for some reason I feel like stressing the first syllable these days — and fixing a bowl of buttered popcorn. Ready for an extremely good and well-written, but utterly sad, story? It’s a 1995 flashback dug up by the Washington Post and pegged to the death this weekend of George McGovern. It’s about the death of his daughter, Teresa, of alcoholism. A cautionary tale, not recommended if you’re feeling fragile and sad today.
The Onion spoofs TED talks. And nails them.
Let me know how the debate went, eh?