It’s Halloween shortly and the shops are filling up with plastic bats, spiders and the like and I’ve got to be honest, I hate it, I hate it all. The reasons are endless, but even those of you who do like it have to admit that it’s not even a proper calendar event. There is no accompanying holiday, so what’s the point? If it were on the Telly you wouldn’t series-link Halloween on your Sky Box. You would record Christmas and Easter, but Halloween… you wouldn’t bother would you – why waste the space on the hard disk?
What do I do on Halloween? I hide, that’s what I do. On the evening of Halloween I have all the lights off in the house and pretend I’m not in. Call that a holiday, I don’t. I call it cowardly. But what’s the alternative, when a group of strangers turn up at your door unannounced asking “Trick or Treat“, it sounds like a threat to me. It’s almost as bad as when some do-gooder turns up at your door on behalf of a charity – no thanks! Okay, if the strangers are accompanied by a responsible adult that’s not too bad, but when they are in their teens and their “outfits” consist of a hoodie in the ‘up’ position with a clutch of eggs in their hand I tend to panic.
This is probably due to a time when I was living in a top-floor flat and I told a group of suspicious sounding trick-or-treaters to “bugger off” and then, due to the autopilot nature of always pressing the unlock button whenever I put the intercom back in its cradle, I inadvertently let them in. By the time I had made it down the three floors to the front door, the hallway was covered in egg. Halloween indeed, begone and don’t darken (or egg encrust) my doorstep again.
When I was a young boy in Scotland you had to perform a trick (sing a song or something else of an innocent nature) and then you’d get a treat – probably monkey nuts. Now, when I see a monkey nut I’m sent into a blind panic, but in the past it was a positive association. Incidentally, I always thought monkey nuts grew on monkey puzzle trees – which would be great if it were true wouldn’t it.
When I moved to England I noticed that Halloween was different. Trick or Treat meant, give me a treat or we’ll perform a trick on you or your house. A simple re-ordering of the words ‘trick and treat’ and you go from harmless innocent fun to a more threatening and nasty event altogether. I also suspect that if I gave a group of Bristol teenagers some monkey nuts in response to their threat “Trick or Treat”, they’d probably post something warm, brown and gooey through the letterbox, and I’m not thinking chocolate brownie here.
It’s not just Halloween that’s rubbish, so is Shrove Tuesday – or “Pancake Day”. It’s so rubbish that they’ve given up with its name and had to go with a more obvious descriptive name of what they expect you to do on the day, otherwise dyslexics would presumably go out and hunt all the Shrews in the country. If you apply that thinking to other “holidays” this is what you’d get:
Christmas – “Presents from Santa Day”
Easter – “Chocolate Egg Day”
Halloween – “Shit Day”
Guy Fawkes Night – “Set fire to things day” – (happens most nights where I live)
So, what can we do about this monstrous carbuncle on the calendar. Re-brand it of course!
Let’s theme it around wizards and witches that have benefited from a formal education at a private boarding school where they discriminate against non-magical people in their admissions policy. What could be nicer than that? It sends out all the right messages.
So, on Harry’ween night, you get dressed up as if you attend Hogwarts and go to the park where you play Quiditch. This involves a bonfire and some fireworks – that way we can get rid of Guy Fawkes Night too. You can even perform magic tricks if you want, although personally I’ve always found magic a wee bit creepy, just look at Paul Daniels – he’d never pass the entrance exams at Hogwarts.
On absolutely no grounds whatsoever do people go to other people’s houses on Harry’ween, “trick-or-treating”. Leave me at home watching the telly, minding my own business. To liven it up a bit we could put ‘door-to-door do-gooders’ onto the bonfire I suppose – why not? I also hate charity collectors in the street, they are always so earnest and chirpy, so if we run out of door-to-door do-gooders we can put them on the fires too. I think I’ve thought this through thoroughly now – so what’s stopping us?
The Americans seem to love Halloween (another reason not to like it), so we’ll give them Halloween and we’ll have Harry’ween.
- Useful Tips to Keep Halloween Fun, Easy and Safe for Toddlers (halloweenforkids.blogspot.com)
- Uncomfortably Creepy Commercials – Snickers Gets Eerie for Halloween Campaign (VIDEO) (trendhunter.com)