Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A Halloween Story

Halloween is not a big deal in Australia although retailers would like it to be - anything to make more money. There are more costumes and Halloween themed treats in the stores than there used to be but still nothing like the US. I've visited the US at Halloween and I thought it was awesome! I don't like over-commercialisation but the degree to which people get into Halloween really blew my mind.

Locally, there is a shop that caters to homesick Americans by importing hard to get American products and for the last few years, they have sponsored shop-to-shop trick or treating in their local shopping area. My kids like doing it and scoring a huge haul of lollies so we dressed up and headed out. It was all going well until it started raining. For a town that suffering its worst drought ever, it really sucks when you get rained on when you're trying to do something outdoors. But that isn't what made me angry.

It was almost inevitable that some evangelical would feel compelled to push his "Halloween is evil" message and sure enough, it happened. This guy may as well have had a neon sign over his head saying "I'm a dork who wants to spoil people's fun" - he was that obvious. He sidles up to me while the kids are saying "trick or treat" to a shopkeeper and says:

FREAK: "Do you know what the origins of Halloween are?"

ME: "Yes, it's All Hallows Eve, the day before All Saints Day." (thank you, ten years of Catholic education)

FREAK: "Did you know it commemorates druids slaughtering new-born babies?"

Now, I have learned a few skills in my life... but that day I brought out one of my special skills: my look that says without words: "Listen here you pathetic dweeb, I'm out here enjoying time with my kids and you're about to cross a line. Get the fuck out of my face right now or I'll be conducting a little experiment to prove whether your ugly face is stronger than the tempered glass in that shop window."

I've spent years perfecting that look and all the work was apparently worth it. Captain Shit-for-brains walked away rather quickly and the kids and I continued trick or treating in an idiot-free manner.

And as a community service, here's a video that shows why you shouldn't let kids loose with a huge bag of lollies:

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