“Halloween is coming up! I still don’t have a costume! What kind of candy should I get?” —Trick or Tracy
We have forgotten over the decades that holidays are for giving stuff to kids. Candy at Halloween. Presents at Christmas and Kwanzaa and Hanukkah. Candy at Easter and Purim. Trees on Arbor Day. “Hey, kid, we killed your world. Go stick this Oak Tree in a vacant lot.” Instead we’ve somehow made holidays about adults. By showing ad after ad of people giving their spouses new cars at Christmas with big red bows on them. No one does this. These ads will start 2 seconds after Halloween is over and last until Valentine’s Day. If your spouse does give you a new car for Christmas, they may be a criminal hiding cash from the authorities. You might want to call the FBI on them.
Holidays are for kids because their lives suck. They are forced to go to school for like 20 years. At first they learn that they should share and be nice to each other. That, sadly, quickly goes away once playtime is over. Then they’re taught to achieve, win, succeed at all costs. Why not have a class for kids in “Dealing With Failure and Disappointment.” That would have come in handy when it was time for the prom.
Basically, kids are prisoners for the first two decades of their lives. Sent to read crappy books that make them believe that reading is bullshit. And then, when they find this prison boring, we dope them up so they’ll sit still and kiss the cage we’ve built for them. Most of the time kids have to deal with adults who obviously don’t know what they’re doing calling all the shots. Holidays used to be the one or two days a year it was actually worth it to be a kid. But adults have co-opted even those few days.
Your one job on Halloween is to stay home, wait for the doorbell to ring and give kids candy. That’s it. If you blow off trick-or-treaters to go to some lame adult party, you deserve to have your house egged and toilet-papered. And none of this fun-size candy. That’s what I get as back-up just in case we run out. And we’ve had a total of like 10 trick-or-treaters come to ring our bell over the past 4 years. No matter! I am ready with delicious full-sized candy for those kids. Even if they do not totally get the Halloween holiday, and are just dressed as kids with bags. No problem. You get candy. Because this is your holiday, kids. Being a kid on Halloween should be awesome and you should do your part.
Full size candy bars are worth it. Last year we gave out 100 Grand Bars. Remember those? They are delicious and different. And because we only had 2 kids I ate like 26 bars of them and gained 10 pounds and am seriously overweight. That’s the sacrifices we make for the kids. Kids appreciate it, too. Calling little tiny rejected bits of real candy bars “Fun Size” is like calling the United States a “Democracy.” You’re not fooling anyone. We know the difference between “Fun” and “Actual Fun.” You can’t gaslight us anymore, adults. Did you know most kids don’t even get to screw around with phones all day? It’s true! Their lives are garbage!
Can you imagine being a kid these days? With all this Trump shit going on? They don’t even get to vote. Don’t worry about kids. They’ll probably be saving your aging asses for the rest of your life. They’re the ones who will be trying to fix the world you fucked up for them. Can you, at the very least, buy them a whole damned candy bar to take the edge off? Don’t these kids today deserve it, for the Hell you’re putting them through?
When we were kids, trick-or-treating, we always thought the adults with the costumes on were the weird ones. And although I’m a huge fan of dressing up in costumes, Halloween is a time to admire what the kids are wearing. We should be listening to them as they tell us what Minecraft is. Or whatever wacky crap kids are into these days.
So, please, for the love of God, don’t try to make this holiday about you. We are but bystanders enjoying the parade of little kids dressed up as Wonder Woman. Whether you are wearing a sexy Mike Pence costume or not, keep it about the kids. Teach them well and let them lead the way.
Jim Behrle lives in Jersey City, NJ.