Like every year, this year we all have to do our part to make our own little remakes ofHalloween. For real. On our own doorstep. They call it trick or treat. Threatening behavior would be a more honest description of ritual terror. The horror game really isn’t that amusing.
You might also feel a little trepidation at this annual licensed juvenile extortion trick-or-treating exercise. In the name of Halloween, whatever that is or was, children are allowed to threaten entire neighborhoods with criminal harm. You too, may fear the devilish knocking on the door in the correspondingly darkening evening time.
Because if you don’t cough up some candy at the dimwitted blackmailers, the baby mobster will be throwing eggs at your windows, shoving dog poop through your mailbox, or causing thousands of pounds of damage to your car (or what they think is your car). car if parked near your home).
Heavy paintwork damage or breaking in and giving away Haribos? It’s a choice that shouldn’t be made.
Strange, this modern custom, and never in a good way. Even the nationwide paranoia over predatory pedophiles has failed to quell the rise of trick-or-treating. All it has meant is that the teenage gangs are accompanied by protective, forgiving parents who see fit to train their brat-offspring in the art of extorting money with threats. Because they look so cute dressed up as undead.
They don’t. Not while glancing maliciously at the window box or your pretty dahlia pot. Maybe the car is in danger. There’s no telling how much damage these would-be necromancers are willing to inflict on innocent householders for a handful of candy.
Even more amazing, those helicopter parents who spend the rest of the year fussing over whether their kids’ kale smoothie is organic are now only too happy to help them cheat their way to type 2 diabetes or to treat. No, go ahead and stuff yourself with sugar. Get hyper. Adds to the fun.
At times like these, I wish I had a Rottweiler, or maybe a Pitbull Mastiff crossbreed, or a Japanese Akita attack dog. Something powerful and really hard to stop coming down the road. Any mutt that could swallow one of the little sods in one gulp. There’s a trick for you.
In fact, I’d rather spend the evening at the pub (if there are any free of fake cobwebs) or sit on a night bus all night until the warlocks and witches scoot home to munch on some candy with Hades.
Trick-or-treating is, at best, the mass commercialization of Halloween—and the nastiest American import since tobacco. I’m old enough to remember when Halloween meant nothing more than a couple of idiots hollowing out a pumpkin (why?), carving a barely recognizable “face” into it, sticking a candle in it and sticking it in the windshield. A reassuringly British spectacle – amateurish, half-assed and essentially shy and unassuming. I also seem to remember that this sham satanism was frowned upon in Roman Catholic circles.
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Now it’s very much on your scared face. Every supermarket has a “seasonal” aisle dedicated to the same type of Grim Tat needed for teenage terrorist expeditions – witch costumes, gummy spiders, green slime, switchblades, and so on. Nowadays there is also special spooky Halloween food; Pizzas with olives that look like eyeballs staring at you, or the M&S zombie Colin the Caterpillar Cake that gave me quite a fright the last time I was in the food hall.
I think I’d rather have a real carcass on the drive because it won’t actually do me any harm. A gang of six-year-olds with faces and evil at heart is a much more frightening sight of an evening.
The trick or treating thing just scares me even more than usual to open the front door for fear of what’s waiting on the other side. I used to enjoy the simple pleasures of goading a Jehovah’s Witness or conservative recruiter on the doorstep, and always found them an entertaining adversary. These are scarier visitors. No wonder we live in a broken Britain when we teach our children the art of blackmail. I feel tricked.