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  1. Awright, folks, it's time to have a little talk. Halloween is a HOLIDAY, a time of social festivities, a time marked by the wearing of outlandish costumes and the consumption of things that aren't necessarily all that good for us. For children, it's a time for going out and pestering the neighbors, who if they obey any social mores to speak of, are obligated to obtain a small stockpile of candy or treats and hand them out on demand. For adults, it's a time when it's okay to dress like a sexy version of Sheriff Rick Grimes and the Bicycle Walker, and drink way too much booze. This is how it's been since I was a kid. This is what the ancient Celtic festival has become. Personally, I think the Celts used it as an excuse to dress up and drink too much, just like we do, but that's their business, and that's okay. But I'll tell you what is not okay during Halloween: Moralizing. I am here to tell you that if there is any justice, there is a special place in hell for you if you insist on giving out toothbrushes, bags of carrot sticks, or annoying anyone by spouting off about your precious little snowflake's peanut allergy. Toys is okay. As we speak, I have given out several spare LEGO dudes from the latest series, the Monster series, and it took me FOREVER to get Spider Lady and the Insect Guy, so I said "whatthehell," and put all the spares in little baglets with Tootsie rolls and Reeses. The kids like it, no one complains, and I have yet to meet anyone with an allergy to LEGOs. I know one guy who gave out comic books. This is well and good, provided it's good wholesome family fare, as opposed to anything from Avatar Press or some of Frank Miller's stuff. My point is this: is it a treat? Does it make the kids happy? It really doesn't take MUCH to make kids happy. Hell, I gave out bags of green army men once. The kids were agreeable. But toothbrushes? Really? What, you think Mom and Dad aren't making the little monsters brush their teeth after ravening down all that candy? Yer NOT doin' anyone a FAVOR, giving out toothbrushes. You are, in fact, taking a colossal crapola on the whole idea of Halloween, and incidentally, taking the opportunity to moralize to other people's children. In a bygone age before ubiquitous closed circuit surveillance, I'd have soaped every window in your house and let the air out of your tires to boot, ya high handed &%$#@. Carrot sticks aren't much better. Carrot sticks, to an eight year old, aren't really food; they are a thing one is made to consume when there is nothing better. They are certainly not a treat. They are not a thing worth hiking all over the neighborhood for. And, again, they are an opportunity to moralize. What kind of a monstrous person, when society demands candy, hands out carrot sticks? Hell, why don't you just give out brussels sprouts, if you're so worried about everyone's health and so contemptuous of an annual tradition? If yer not up to stickin' with the intent of the season, folks, fine. Close your door and turn off your porch light. Let the little devils move on to friendlier houses. Don't shove your high handed beliefs off on them. Let 'em be kids.
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