Halloween is this Saturday, and my town always schedules Trick-or-Treat night the Friday before, from 6-8 pm. The first two years I lived in Allentown I was working middle shift at my previous job, so I was unfortunately not able to hand out candy to the neighborhood kids. The first year I was home to hand out candy I was super excited. I hung decorations and carved a pumpkin; I even dressed up for the occasion. Granted, I was in scrubs and a surgical cap, so I didn’t exactly exert myself getting a costume, but hey. I participated, damn it. And that’s what counts.
What I noticed that first year was that not a lot of people on my block seemed open for business during Trick-or-Treat. No lights on, no Jack O’Lanterns, no candy. I kind of blew it off as Crab-Ass Old Man Disease, figuring most of the people on my block just weren’t into it. I only ended up with a few Trick-or-Treaters that year, and an assload of mini Baby Ruths made it to work the next day.
Over the past couple of years I’ve seen an upswing in the number of Trick-or-Treaters I get ringing my doorbell, but the kind of kids that have been coming by? Let’s just say they’re not your ‘conventional’ Trick-or-Treaters.
What’s the difference between ‘Conventional’ and ‘Unconventional’ Trick-or-Treaters, you ask? Here, how about a list?
Conventional Young Trick or Treater: Are between ages 3-7, almost always accompanied by a parent or older sibling, wears requisite store-bought costume, usually of the Disney or Marvel Superhero variety. Carries plastic Jack O’Lantern for candy procurement. Says “Trick or Treat!” in the most excited and adorable way possible. Most times too shy to engage in conversation, i.e. “What are you supposed to be?” Usually the first to arrive in order to be home by bed time. Uterus-exploding potential (Scale of 1-5): 4
Conventional Older Trick or Treaters: Are between ages 8-12, sometimes accompanied by a parent but usually travel in packs (therefore slightly dangerous). Usually wears store-bought costume, i.e. Ninja, Witch, Harry Potter, but older kids sometimes go for the Zombie/movie serial killer look. Carries plastic store-bought Halloween bag or pillow case for candy procurement. Says “Trick or Treat” slightly excitedly, but oftentimes muffled. Will engage in conversation, especially if it means extra candy. Usually do not show up until after dinner. Uterus-exploding potential: 2.5
Non-Conventional Young Trick-or-Treaters: Are 24 months old and younger, always accompanied by an older sibling but carried by a parent who also holds Candy Procurement Device, sometimes a plush variety of the aforementioned plastic Jack O’Lantern. This type of Trick-or-Treater will be clad in the MOST ADORABLE OUTFIT EVER, thus making it impossible for you to deny Candy Deployment. DO NOT BE FOOLED. THE CANDY IS NOT FOR THE CHILD. Trick-or-Treater does not engage in conversation, preferring instead to gape at you and drool. Parents will say “Trick or Treat” and smile at you expectantly, as if to say “Look at my adorable baby, isn’t he/she so cute? Surely you’d like to give him/her candy for being so exceptionally cute even though he/she can’t eat candy yet and it’s totally for me but we don’t need to acknowledge that so hows about you pony up?” Usually show up during the 7PM rush, so you don’t realize you just gave candy to a 26-year old exploiting their child for a mini-Snickers bar. Uterus-exploding potential: Child alone: 5+ With Parent: 3. You don’t fool me. I know who that candy’s for, jerk.
Non-Conventional Older Trick-or-Treaters (Type One): Are ages 11-14. Slightly too old to be Trick-or-Treating, but you cut them some slack because who the hell else is going to eat those little Butterfingers? Travel in packs, tend to dress alike(usually as ‘Thugs’) and try to confuse you during Candy Deployment in an attempt to get more candy. Will begrudgingly grumble “Trick or Treat”, grab candy, and run. Usually show up towards the end of the night, probably banking on the fact that you’re hoping to get rid of your candy before 8. Uterus-exploding potential: .5
Non-Conventional Much Older Trick-or-Treaters (Type Two): Are aged anywhere from 14 to 18. Definitely too old to be Trick-or-Treating, but your ass isn’t going to say anything because those little bastards are most likely strapped. Travel in packs, mostly to confuse and intimidate. Will say “Trick or Treat”, but you’re not really listening because you just tossed candy at them and shut the damn door. Usually show up right before the end of the night, banking that you’ll give them candy just so they’ll go away and not rip out your hydrangeas. Uterus-exploding potential: Minus 20.
So with all the scary teenagers, surly preteens, and parents thieving their kids’ candy, I think I’m kind of Scrooged out on Halloween this year. Who wants to go to the movies?