Like I said: I love Halloween! It’s the most wonderful time of the year (in spite of what you may have heard in popular song).But like soap on your windows and TP in your yard, there are always things that can dampen your holiday spirits. Kinda like a rotten apple lurking amongst the Romes in your bobbing tub, here are TEN MORE BAD THINGS ABOUT HALLOWEEN.

Candy Corn. I come not to bury candy corn but to praise it. Why people want to turn this delicious confection into the fruit cake of All Hallow’s Eve is beyond me. There’s tons of worse candy out there – Now And Laters, Necco Wafers, Nik-L-Nips and black licorice – to hate on. Stop with the candy corn defamation.

Frankenberry and Count Chocula. These cereals rule. Yet they are only available during the Halloween season. Why, General Mills? Why? These breakfast monster cereals should be available ALL YEAR ROUND!!!

Homemade Costumes. Now, as a bloke who’s cobbled together pretty passable costumes for the likes of Flaming Carrot, Ash from Pokémon (complete with Pikachu), Space Ghost and the Legion of Super-Heroes’ Mon-El from materials he found or bought himself, this may seem like an odd castigation. What’s wrong with homemade costumes? Not a damn thing if you did it yourself. But when you’re a kid and mom wants to save a few bucks and decides to make you a Chewbacca costume out of an old mohair coat and some clippings off the family dog, well, you might as well get her to apply the “Kick Me” sign directly to your backside because your preteen ass is getting a whipping from every other kid whose parents decided that ten bucks for a K-Mart Darth Vader costume was a small price to pay for their precious snowflake’s Halloween happiness. I mean, check out this snippet from a Target ad: 

This kid is NOT happy. His mother thinks she’s a freakin’ Martha Stewart and is oblivious to her young’un’s shame and humiliation. And, hey, check the store-bought number. Sweet! That thing comes in MY size and I’m Tony bloody Stark’s alter ego come October 31.

Moving Trick or Treating. You can have your blasted Halloween party whenever you like. You can dress up and show off your Halloween spirit on any blasted day of the week that suits you. But for the luvva Pete, trick or treating must be – should be – can only be – on October 31! You move it from Sunday to Saturday and you’re a tool. No matter what reason you give. Kids should be able to Trick or Treat on Halloween.

Intricately-Carved Jack-O-Lanterns. Sure they look neat, but download all the patterns your PC can handle; you will never be able to make it look like it does on TV or in the picture on the kit. Better stick with triangle eyes and a goofy, snaggletoothed grin.

The Weather. Let’s be honest. The last day of October is a crapshoot as far as weather goes. It often rains and it can be chilly. This doesn’t play much havoc with adult parties but if you’re a kid your way awesome He-Man costume just doesn’t have the same flair with that heavy coat your mom makes you wear.

The Psychos. Whether the Halloween madmen and criminals exist or not is moot. Whether anyone ever actually received an apple with a razor blade in it or a popcorn ball laced in LSD doesn’t matter. The stories are there and they have persisted since that first kid rang that first bell with an alliterative demand for sweets. And now Trick or Treating is a mere sanitized shell of the grand adventure it once was. Back in my day, children would swarm the neighborhoods in hordes and mass bands of masked kinder would bang on any door with a jack-o-lantern. Now-a-days, neighbors must be vetted or Trick or Treating limited to family members only or secure indoor festivals. I mean, come on! Halloween’s supposed to be the one day out of the whole damn year that you can and are encouraged to take candy from strangers (thus being the exception that proves the rule).

X-raying the Candy. Once you’ve given in to the fear, what’s the next logical step? Taking all that scrumptious unopened candy to the local general hospitale where good-intentioned medicos will zap it with enough electromagnetic radiation to sterilize a rhesus monkey in order to verify its safety. So, congratulations. You’ve now replaced the infinitesimal chance of biting into a caramel Red delicious with a Wilkinson Sword inside it with the less remote possibility of getting jaw cancer thanks to the bucket of irradiated candy you’ve just made.

Christmas Decorations. They are already on sale at stores and displayed prominently often right beside the Halloween stuff. Now I’ve given up fighting the earlier and earlier onset of Xmas in retail – I swear I saw tinsel and ornaments next to the Independence Day supplies this year – but there is just something unpleasant and unsettling about Halloween and Christmas decorations right next to each other in your neighborhood box store. And bloody hell, NO, it’s nothing to do with holy and/or unholy and how some religious freaks perceive a holiday that long ago became secular vs. a holiday that was never about Satan worship in the first place. For me, I think it’s what the holidays convey. Halloween is all about fantasy and wish fulfillment … dressing up, candy, being someone you’re not. And Xmas is all about stress and being uncomfortable… scheduling nightmares, awkward office parties and being crammed in with relatives you’d rather forget. Stores, keep your Halloween supplies front and center until November 1. Then you can switch ‘em out with Christmas. Meantime, keep them separate, well apart, ‘cuz ne’er the twain shall meet.

Wiccans. Okay, yeah, we get it. Nobody likes to be stereotyped. But you getting all up in arms and indignant because little girls want to dress up as something with more roots in the Wicked Witch of the West than your brand of New Age, Gaia-worshippin’ Earth Love is as ridiculous as the notion that you can be divined by drowning.

Sparky MacMillan is 18 feet of gut-crunching, man-eating terror!



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